Only Multiple Options For Party Primaries Can Make Me Sign Electoral Amendment Bill—Buhari declares


Direct primaries: Confusion trails Buhari's return of Electoral Act  Amendment Bill to NASS

Olusola  Bello

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that he would sign the electoral amended bill provided other options such as consensus candidates, and indirect primaries are included in the bill.

The President who was interviewed on Channels Television on Wednesday said that he has no objection to the bill provided those provisions he mentioned are provided for in it.

He queried the wisdom behind having just one mode of primary. ‘We must not insist that it should be direct primary alone.”

Personally, I don’t support direct primaries because I want people to be given choices. How can you give them one option and tell them you are doing democracy let them have choices to make. He said there are three options in the constitution.

According to the president, if the bill is represented to him with the amendments made, he would sign it.

The President said: “Yes, I will sign the Electoral Amendment Bill. All I said is that there should be options. We must not insist that it has to be direct; it should be consensus and indirect.

“PDP was so overconfident that they thought they would rule Nigeria till the end of time, but the opposition (parties) came together, and we overthrew them. Not as a result of direct primary, it is as a result of opposition parties coming together and fighting the PDP.

“It is because we agreed to come together. The fact that we came together gave us the success we had, and that was the mistake they made; that is why they lost.”

The president also responded to answers bordering on Boko Haram insurgency, banditry, farmer/herder conflicts and socio-economic conditions of citizens.
He said he along with heads of security agencies in the country met four times over the security situation in the country, stating that they discussed thoroughly and agreed to  make the communities  safe through their leaderships because the best intelligence you will get  comes from the local leaderships


He said the country must revert to the traditional system whereby the traditional leaders are in charge of the security of their areas.

He said he is aware of the poor economic conditions being experienced by Nigerians, adding that he is aware of the pains they are going through.

“I’m aware of it. But as I said, look at the vastness of Nigeria, only 2.4 percent of the arable land is being used. We realized it rather too late. We have to go back to the land,” he said.

On the budget, he said that it would be successfully implemented despite the fact that he has some reservations as regards what the National Assembly sent to him to sign.

He said he was confident of budget implementation because his party has the majority in the National Assembly with their leadership being APC members.  “The remarks I made would not lead to any rancor”

On whether he has interest in a particular candidate succeeding him, at first he said: “I am not interested in who becomes the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as I am open to the emergence of anyone. “No. Let him come, whoever it is.

When pressed further, he said, he has a favourite successor in 2023, but he will keep the identity of the person secret. He said he would not reveal the candidate because he could be eliminated.

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