Primaries monetised, a mess, says Jonathan

YEMIE FASH

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Primaries monetised, a mess, says Jonathan

To former President Goodluck Jonathan, ongoing primaries by political parties have the trapping of a scam.

Dr. Jonathan condemned what he called high-level monetary inducement of delegates by aspirants canvassing for votes at the shadow polls by the parties ahead of the elections next year.

The media have been awash with reports of defeated aspirants demanding refund of the cash they had given out to win delegates’ votes.

The one-time President condemned the development in Abuja at a book launch titled: “Political Party Governance” written by former Minister of Stare for Power, Mohammed Wakil.

Jonathan said it was despicable to induce delegates to get their votes only for aspirants to request a refund after failing to secure tickets.

He said: “These whole primaries going on across the country is a mess. This is not a standard practice. The process has failed. We cannot use the process to elect presidents, governors, senators and House of Representatives members and others.

“The process is already failed, which is not good for the country. But we will manage and move on.

“We pray that good people should come. I hope that what happened this year, 2022 will not happen again in this country.”

He urged the National Assembly to make laws to criminalise the inducement of delegates and the electorate.

Jonathan also called for a review of the nomination and selection process of candidates for elections by political parties.

He said: “The National Assembly can’t make laws and lock all political parties together. Parties have different ways of nominating candidates and the process is enshrined in their constitutions.

“Creating a situation where all parties must have the same way of selecting candidates is nonsense. Parties are not parastatals of government.

“The National Assembly can’t make laws to strangulate political parties. Section 84 should be expunged from the Electoral Act.”

The former President did not make himself available for clarifications on his alleged controversial ambition to run again on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Some groups from the Northern part of the country obtained the APC presidential nomination and expression of interest forms for the former President.

He later disowned those who purchased the forms.