Ahead of the Governorship Election in Edo. former Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Mr Pally Iriase, has recommended direct primary election for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a statement in Abuja, Iriase said that the direct primary election would be more effective and would conform more with COVID-19 guidelines.
According to him, a study of the processes involved in indirect primaries’ as contained in the APC Constitution, shows that the indirect method remains the safest way to protect voters during this Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Iriase said that Article 20 (iv) (a), provided that indirect primaries should be conducted at a designated venue by an electoral college of delegates.
He said the constitution provided that delegates shall be democratically elected by members of the party at their various Ward Congresses.
The APC chieftain, however, noted that there were no permanent elected delegates under the party’s constitution for the exercise.
He explained that only Statutory Delegates, as defined in the constitution under Article 20 (iv) (c) should join elected delegates to constitute the electoral college for indirect primaries.
“After the direct election of delegates in the foregoing paragraph, all members of the electoral college, that is, elected delegates plus statutory delegates will move to the designated venue for the indirect primaries.
“It is therefore clear that we will have to do the direct election of delegates first in order to have proper indirect primaries.
“I submit that you cannot circumvent this process in Edo presently, without dire consequences.
“The atmosphere is charged, and anything outside the provisions of the party’s constitution will not work,” he said.
“You cannot use the badly factionalized party executives as surrogates in place of elected delegates, because there is no constitutional backing for that at all,” he added.
Iriase explained that direct primaries required that all party members in each ward, who would have voted for delegates, would rather vote for aspirants.
He said that they would easily turnout in their units within the wards, observe social distancing, wearing facemasks and vote for the aspirant of their choice.
According to him, a direct primary election is better than the indirect method which requires two tedious stages with huge but avoidable health challenges.