By Chinelo Obogo
Former deputy national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olabode George, has supported the addition of direct primary into the amended Electoral Bill, saying it would bring sanity into the electoral process.
Speaking during a press briefing in Lagos, yesterday, he urged President Muhammadu Buhari to rethink his opposition to direct primary, saying it was unjust for a select few to determine the fate of any political party candidate.
He said as long as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has confirmed they can handle direct primary and the funds would be coming from the political parties, there should be no impediment to ensuring its passage.
“Let the people’s will be sustained so that every card-carrying member of any party will take part in the primary. The effect of direct primary means you are part of the selection process of those who are going to represent your party and not leave the decision in the hands of a select few who are going to sit down and decide for everyone. That is why everyone wants to control who will emerge the executive member of their ward.
“In Ekiti, some people have hijacked the executive of the wards because they are usually part of those who will be delegates during the primary. The people should be allowed to exercise their will. We have run the option A4 in this country before and everyone votes.
“The president opposed it, saying it will be too expensive but it has got nothing to do with the treasury. Even INEC chairman said they can supervise it, so, why is it a problem? We take one step forward and many steps backwards. We are wobbling and unstable,” he said.
On speculations that former president Goodluck Jonathan would contest the 2023 presidential election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), George said it would be in Jonathan’s interest not to throw his hat into the ring.
He said Jonathan was president for nearly six years and if he contests, he would be shortchanging the South which should ordinarily be entitled to two tenures of eight years.