1001+Voices Initiative for People Empowerment, a sociopolitical advocacy group, has risen in support of direct primaries by political parties in preparation for 2023 general elections.
The Group in a press statement endorsed by Uwem-obong Ankak Executive Secretary made available to newsmen in Uyo said they aligned with the recent decision of the National Assembly and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to boost the clamor for Direct Primaries by a vast majority of Nigerians.
The statement opined that the rising clamour by Nigerians was because they have been shortchanged by the activities of political godfathers and their cronies in hijacking the political process in the country.
The advocacy group which prides itself in being interested in the emergence of credible, productive and citizen oriented governance, in Akwa Ibom State and in Nigeria took a holistic view of pre-election party electoral system in the country and concluded that the Direct Primaries will be more all-inclusive and beneficial to the citizens than Indirect Primaries.
According to the statement, “The reason for this conclusion is not far-fetched. The Direct Party Primaries, not minding the discordant tunes from some political party chieftains, present aspirants or candidates the opportunity to seek for votes across members of the party where the voters are amorphous and involves all members of the party rather than the delegate system or Indirect Party Primaries where selected delegates are often ambushed and caged by moneybags because they are readily known.
‘’The Direct Party Primaries will ensure a level playing field for all aspirants who will have equal access to members of the party. It will be left for the aspirants who can articulate their visions and programs, in line with the yearning of the people, to stand elected or selected’’, he said.
They group further highlighted, “ Again, the Direct Primaries will ensure that anointed candidates, whether they are fit for the job or not are properly assessed by the entire party members. The members will equally feel a sense of participation if they are involved in the selection process of candidates who will fly the party flags in the elections. 1001+ Voices Initiative for People Empowerment would want all political parties in Nigeria to embrace the Direct Primaries to ensure equity, justice, fairness, and inclusiveness in party primaries which are the precursor for eventual enthronement of leadership for the country”.
The group salutes the National Assembly and INEC for their recent decision to improve the electoral system. ‘’We note, with pride, the decision to adopt electronic transfer of election results which, everybody agrees, will reduce the incidence of ballot box snatching and altering of election results. We must collectively ensure that we clean up our electoral system to enable Nigerians chose who governs them’’, he added.