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Electoral bill: Ortom commends Buhari for withholding assent over direct primary clause

 Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for withholding assent to the electoral act amendment bill.   The...



 Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for withholding assent to the electoral act amendment bill.

 

The national assembly had transmitted the bill to the president on November 19, with recommendations on electronic transmission of results and direct primaries for political parties.

 

Stating his decision for withholding assent, Buhari, in a letter to the national assembly, kicked against the recommendations on adopting only direct primaries, citing concerns on rights violation as well as cost.

 

“It is my considered position that the political parties should be allowed to freely exercise right of choice in deciding which of direct or indirect primary to adopt in the conduct of their primary elections as their respective realities may permit,” the president had said in the letter.

 

Reacting to the development, Ortom, while addressing journalists in Makurdi, said direct primary is an expensive mode of selecting candidates.

 

The Benue governor said political parties should be allowed to decide on selecting which kind of primary to deploy for selecting candidates.

 

“I want to appreciate the national assembly for amending the electoral act to include direct transmission of results. I am particularly happy that the NASS listened to Nigerians and passed the electronic transmission of results,” he said.

 

“I wish in the same manner to appreciate the president for withholding assent on the direct primaries.

 

“I appeal that he also listens to Nigerians on the economy and security of the country.”

 

He also said the consensus mode was a preferred option, adding that “members of the party come together and agree on a candidate thereby saving money, time and it is devoid of rancour”.

 

While speaking further on the electronic transmission of election results, Ortom said “it will engender transparency in the electoral system and also add value to the system”.

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