Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers State, has declared that the party cannot adopt indirect primaries to elect its candidates in the state.
Abe made the declaration when he appeared on a live programme of the African Independent Television, AIT, which was monitored in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
He said: “Rivers State is one of those states where we cannot have indirect primaries. The entire structure of the party in the state is embroiled in legal controversy with about four or five Court cases. So if you want to do indirect primaries, which particular list of delegates are you going to use and which particular congress?”
Abe, who is also the senator representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, stated that indirect primaries breed corruption through financial inducement of delegates.
The senator said: “They say where you stand on an issue depends on where you sit. What you call indirect primaries is a situation where known party members meet in a place to elect candidates”.
“These known party members are invariably part of a structure that is already organized. So when people have control of such structure, the entire exercise is predetermined because they already know who they are going to elect”.
“You have to understand that life is dynamic and part of what we promised Nigerians is that we were going to bring change into the country and make it better. Part of the challenge people have with indirect primaries is like I said the outcome is predetermined”.
“Secondly, it is very vulnerable to financial inducement because the delegates are known and you can’t target a particular number of people as those that you need to service in order to get your nomination”.
“So, this has led over the years to a vast increase in corruption in terms of financial inducement for delegates. In bringing our message for change in Nigeria, there is, therefore, every need for us to look at these things and improve the processes as the country grows older and our democracy matures”.
“No matter the argument one may have or may not have, I believe that as far as Nigerian democracy is concerned, the days of indirect primaries are fast drawing to a close.”
– Sept. 10, 2018 @ 13:43 GMT