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Politics Of Godfatherism Is Hampering Growth And Development In Nigeria- NLC

Politics Of Godfatherism Is Hampering Growth And Development In Nigeria- NLC

*back NASS on direct primaries

* want Buhari to assent amended electoral Act

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said that not allowing internal democracy among political parties by way of ensuring direct primaries has hampered growth and development in Nigeria.

President of the congress , Comrade Ayuba Wabba in Abuja said the congress is taking a stand with the majority of Nigerians who commended the two chambers of National Assembly for passing the amendment of the electoral Act.

He said the items of amendment included the adoption of direct primaries for internal political parties’ contestations. The other was the accommodation of the use of technology in the conduct of general elections in Nigeria and the expansion of the powers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to develop guidelines as it deems fit to guide the deployment of technology during elections in Nigeria.

According to Comrade Wabba President Buhari must urgently give assent to the amended electoral Act because it will promote internal democracy among the political parties and the general elections.

“Majority of Nigerians have described the 2021 amendments of the Electoral Act as one of the most progressive enactments that Nigeria has had in a long time. This is also the view of the Nigeria Labour Congress.

The leadership of the Congress commends the House of Representatives and the Senate particularly the leadership of the National Assembly who stood rock solid behind the proposal for direct primaries for all political parties and rallied their colleagues in the House and the Senate to pass the bill into law.

This is the proof of committed leadership and true statesmanship.
The Congress must, however, caution that the passage of the 2021 amendment to the Electoral Act is only a journey and not a destination.

A lot more certainly needs to be done in order to fully sanitize Nigeria’s challenged electioneering system especially building on the 2007-2011 electoral reforms which the NLC actively participated in. First is to tackle the menace of godfatherism, ‘godmotherism’ and money politics which were the major concerns that necessitated the new law on direct primaries for all political parties. Due diligence and oversight must be applied to ensure that unscrupulous politicians who have been accultured to vote buying, monetization of Nigeria’s electoral process are not allowed to extend their habitual criminal subversion of our democracy to political party members during political party primary elections.
In order to further safeguard the right of Nigerians to freely choose their leaders at both political party level and during general elections without being subjected to the obscene pressure of financial lure,

“We recommend that the National Assembly should expeditiously consider developing a bill for the establishment of Electoral Offences Commission to expedite the prosecution of politicians and their agents who indulge in vote for cash, election rigging and violence.
On the full mainstreaming of the use of technology in our electoral law, we urge all stakeholders especially INEC to continue to constructively engage with the Nigerian people to ensure that the lessons from recent and remote deployment of technology during elections are not lost.

Particularly, we call for confidence building measures by the INEC particularly through voter education and sensitization. It is also important that the security of the software and hardware components of technology to be deployed for elections should be well scrutinized and reviewed by all stakeholders. This is to guard against significant failures and to facilitate public ownership”.

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