In spite of President Muhammadu Buhari’s delay in assenting to the proposed Electoral Bill, a governorship aspirant in Ekiti State, Hon Bamidele Faparusi, has told the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to make the state a testing ground for the conduct of credible direct primary in the country.
Faparusi, who said the failure of the political parties in the application of indirect or delegate mode of primary necessitated the mulling of direct process, urged the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led caretaker executive to reorganise the APC and make it a veritable platform to practice the process.
The former member of the House of Representatives said this in a statement in Ado Ekiti on Saturday.
He was emphatic that the fact that President Buhari withheld assent to the proposed bill passed by the National Assembly did not connote that the process should be jettisoned outrightly.
Faparusi, who resigned barely a week ago as the Ekiti State Commissioner for Public Utilities, described direct primary as the most credible and reliable way of electing a candidate of any party and an opportunity to give power back to the ordinary Nigerians.
“The national leaders of APC must rise above emotion and pedestrian thinking in some quarters and do exactly what the higher majority wanted, which is direct primary for Ekiti, Osun elections and others that will be coming in 2023.
“When President Buhari came in 2015, he promised that power will be returned to the people and direct primary remains the best option to actualise this patriotic and selfless pledge.
“Let the APC national leadership use Ekiti to prove a point that they have the capacity to conduct credible primary, especially the direct mode.
“Political parties are independent organs that can apply what is best for the people even without constitutional provision. President Buhari and many governors in APC were either reelected or elected in 2019 through the direct mode of primaries even when there was no law mandating that. That was democracy in action.
“That showed that we knew what was the best for our members. So to me and many others, Direct primary is best for Ekiti,” he said.
The former federal lawmaker added: “I quite appreciate the fact that President Buhari had been painstaking in considering the proposed Electoral Bill. It was also heartwarming that he didn’t just reject wholesomely without cogent explanations, he pointed out grey areas that needed to be finetuned.
“The lawmakers shouldn’t give us. Let them go and study the grey areas and look for ways to straighten all rough edges for representation to the President.
“Except we are deceiving ourselves, Nigerians prefer direct primary going by the mood in town and democracy depicts that people are more powerful than those in power and they should be made to have their way”.