Direct primaries desirable but not practicable in Borno – Shettima
Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, says it will be difficult to conduct direct primaries in the state because of its peculiar security situation.
Shettima, in an interview with State House correspondents in Abuja, said that the constitution of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had provisions for direct and indirect primaries.
The National Executive Council (NEC) of APC recently adopted direct primaries for all elective offices.
Shettima opined that every state should adopt the option suitable to it based on its peculiarities.
The governor said that in the U.S from which Nigeria borrowed the presidential system, states of Delaware, Florida, New Mexico, New York, New Jersey and Illinois conducted closed primaries.
According to him, states like Alabama, Arizona and some of others in the southern part of the country conducted open primaries.
“So, we are a nation of diversity; and our diversity should be our source of strength.
“The constitution of the party provides for direct, indirect and consensus, so there is no cause for alarm; depending on the peculiarities of particular location, they will choose the option that is best for them.
“Like in Borno, direct primaries is desirable but is not practicable; we have challenges; so why do we have to go the whole hog of imposing an untenable system on our people and main election is coming.’’
Speaking on the 19 governorship aspirants in the state, Shettima said that it was the beauty of democracy as the more the merrier.
He said that there would be a level playing field for people to exercise their rights.
According to Shettima, it is when people are suppressed from expressing their fundamental rights of choice that problems erupt.
He said, however, that he was in the Presidential villa for consultation and update on the security situation in his state.
Shettima said that in juxtaposition with what it was four years ago, there was an improvement in security situation.
“Being optimists, we believe that things will change for the better in the coming weeks.
“Four years ago, 22 Local Government Areas were under the occupation of Boko Haram.
“So, whatever anybody might say, I think we have to give some credit to President Muhammadu Buhari administration for securing the lives and property of the citizens.
`No doubt, we have challenges; but then you have to think of the past to judge the present in order to forecast the future.
“There has been remarkable improvement and I believe that if tempo is sustained, we shall have an enduring peace in the region very soon,’’ he said. (NAN)