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Rights lawyer applauds Senate on e-transmission bill, rejects bill on direct primaries

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By Timi Black

A Delta based Rights Lawyer and Chairman Board of Trustees, Centre for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade (CHURAC), Alaowei Cleric Esq, has applauded the senate for amending the electoral bill already passed to include e-transmission of election results in the country.

This was contained in a press statement signed by himself on Wednesday.

The group, said in as much it commended the senate for revising its earlier decision on electronic transmission of election results, it outrightly reject the senate’s fresh bill for direct party primaries.

The statement read in partly:
“However, we are in sharp disagreement with the Senate on the approval of only direct primary to conduct party primaries. Such is not only inimical to freedom of association as provided by the Constitution but it’s also a recipe for anarchy, electoral malfeasance, rigging in the highest order as well as reintroducing ballot box snatching.

According to rights lawyer: “the Nigerian Senate has now come to term with the Nigerian population who wanted an improved political development in the electoral system.

He added: “By amending the Bill they already passed to pave way for electronic transfer of results, the Senate is now on the same page with Nigerians. Of course, electronic transfer of election results will go a long way in checkmating electoral malfeasance in the Country. We applaud the Senate for listening to the yearnings of Nigerians.

“If political parties are allowed to conduct only direct primaries, it means we have moved to thirty years backward. Of course, there will be chaos in the electoral system where even INEC cannot curtal it. Even the courts will be unnecessarily over burdened with pre-election litigations.

“The gesture will derail the gains we have already achieved. Remember that the political parties will not use those technological devices INEC is using. That means aspirants will have to resort to thuggery and other forms of violence to win the primary elections by all means.

“It will sure be a game of the Titans. The most influential and powerful ones will decide the pace. Millions of Nigerians will be disenfranchised as we used to experience in the past elections before Goodluck Jonathan came to stabilize the system.

“Again, it will also be too costly to allow only direct primaries. Such will in no doubt encourage corruption in the public sectors. Even INEC does not have enough personnel to monitor the elections across all the units in the Country as provided by the Bill. What if two to three political parties conduct their primaries in one day, how will INEC divide its few staffs to monitor and supervise the exercises?

“The Senate should just allow political parties to choose which method they want to use to conduct party primaries. Compelling political parties to use only direct primary will sure take us to the dark days of our political history. No sane man should ever contemplate on this absurdity”, he added.

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