By Ahmed Rufa’i, Dutse.

The former Jigawa state Governor and Peoples Democratic Party chieftain, Alhaji Sule Lamido has added his voice to the controversy thrown up by the national assembly on mandatory direct primary election for political parties

Lamido described the legislation as a clear breach of the provision of the Nigerian constitution which gives political parties the leverage to regulate the conduct of their affairs.

The former governor gave the indication in a statement he personally signed and issued to newsmen in Dutse, Jigawa state capital.
Lamido who is a former foreign affairs minister also accused the members of ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the senate for an attempt to enforce direct primary election on political parties.
He observed that despite the clear provision of the Constitution that gives political parties the leverage to regulate their affairs including mode of producing their flag bearers the lawmakers went ahead to do their mischief.

The PDP stalwart said “The APC dominated Nigerian Senate has legislated that Political Parties must conduct Direct Primaries in choosing their Candidates into elective offices is a clear indication that the APC led Senate is turning itself into a Sole Administrator of Political parties which is tantamount to political self help of APC’s dwindling political fortune”

Lamido explained that “The Nigerian Constitution guarantees the safeguard of our plural Democracy, the same Constitution inherently guarantees the Parties to regulate the conduct of their affairs and mandates the Independent Electoral Commission to oversee compliance of their (Parties) Constitution a copy of which is deposited with the electoral body”.

According him “There was a time in our political evolution when we had parties headed by late Air Marshal Alfa as the sole administrator of SDP and NRC!. But that was when the polical parties were invented and owned by the government with full compliments of offices from the National, States and Local govt, office furniture, motor vehicles, motor cycles, full funding of all the Parties activities including transportation and accommodation during congresses and conventions and what have you”.

He noted even at that it simply puts the parties that are not sovereign but mere government appendages, “we all know the attendant consequences”.
Lamido maintained that given that this legislation stands, “will the senate make the required budgetary provision to all political parties to meet up the expenditure of fulfilling this piece of law?”.

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