- Buhari *
Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has congratulated Nigerians and all active citizens within the civil society bloc, urging well-meaning Nigerians to strongly resist the removal of Clause 84(12) from the electoral act, insisting that the clause actually introduced equity into political party primaries at all levels.
The umbrella body of all registered political parties and political associations in the country, in a statement signed by its Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, said that “Mr. President is crying more than the bereaved by ordering the immediate removal of the clause that barred political appointees at all level from voting as delegates or be voted for at party Conventions or Congresses political parties for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for elections.”
According to the CNPP, “Clause 84 (12), which reads, “no political appointee at any level shall be voting delegate or be voted for at the Convention or Congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election”, only introduced equity in political party primary elections.
“An appointee of the Executive should not, and must not, be a delegate in primary elections while still in office, just as an appointee must not be contesting as a delegate while still in office.
“Such appointees have ended up using their offices to intimidate political opponents of their principals during party primaries in a bid to retain their jobs.
“This is the major reason for electoral violence witnessed at local government and state Congresses of most virile political parties in the country with the attendant loss of lives and property.
“Rather than delete the clause, the National Assembly should amend any provision of the constitution that allows any appointee to be a delegate or be a voter or contest as delegate at party Conventions or Congresses the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.
“However, the CNPP congratulates Nigerians, especially active citizens in the civil society community for their resilience, doggedness, and for the nonviolent manner they resisted the attempt to return the bill for the sixth time to the National Assembly by Mr. President.
“We equally commend the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for fighting on the side of the masses. So, we urge INEC to continue to improve on the electoral processes, even as we urge Nigerians to have faith in the leadership of INEC to deliver free and fair elections in 2023 in view of the provisions of the new Act”, the statement read.