The members of the House of Representatives on Thursday took turns to reel out lamentations of their woes from the primary elections across the country while blaming their parties for a lack of internal democracy.
The reactions followed a motion of urgent public importance moved by Chika Adamu on the need to intervene to save political parties from impunity. It can be recalled that Adamu back in 2017 announced his decision to withdraw from seeking election in 2019.
It appears that the lawmaker representing Shiroro federal constituency has changed his mind to re-contest, but did not emerge from the primary election.
While moving the motion, Adamu expressed concerns that “if legislative measures are not adopted to address this dangerous drift, the National Assembly may in the nearest future be the assemblage of governors’ stooges to the detriment of our democracy and the interest of the electorates.”
He also raised alarm over the high cost of the nomination form, and the practice of altering results. He specifically called out his Governor, Sani Bello, for the outcome of the primary.
“Disturbed that the act of selling nomination forms to aspirants at exorbitant rates, even when the leaders of the parties had pre-determined the winner, amounts to injustice and corruption.
“Further disturbed that in some cases, even where a clear winner emerged, in the primaries, the results were altered and other persons declared winners and made flag bearers of the parties in such contest, thereby, shortchanging the democratic will of the electorates and violating the law, particularly, section 87 (3,4) of the electoral act,” he said
Ironically, while Adamu was able to blame his state governor for his travails, the lawmaker who spoke after him, Adekunle Abdulkabir Akinlade explained that his own woes were because of his loyalty to his Governor, Ibikunle Amosun.
“In Ogun state, my people from Ogun West came together and agreed to my emergence, some people, of course, did not agree, and we agreed to a direct primary.
During the Primary, my Governor invited Channels, TVC and other television stations. Shockingly, some people in Abuja informed state party chairman to come and pick up a nomination form.
Subsequently, we were informed that the positions have been shared; four to the group that lost out, and the winning side, five positions. How manage that even a governor did not get any?” he stated.
Speaking in support of the motion, the newly appointed Chairman rules and business, Edward Pwajok (APC, Plateau) jokingly said that himself and some members are about to form the association of Internally Displaced Politicians (IDP).
“I have already spoken with Chika, we will be forming an association of IDP (Internally Displaced Politician). We are aggrieved, very soon, this house will be filled with stooges of governors or retirement home of governors. This little time we have, let us for the benefit of the people and democracy,” he said.
Pwajok added that “more than 100 women have been elected into the US Congress. We need to investigate the finances of the political parties.
“The last time we tried amending the electoral act, some of us wanted to do a thorough work, but some said, we should give the president what we want.”
Following several contributions from members, the House resolved to Constitute an ad hoc committee to investigate the violation of the electoral act by political parties, with collusion or complicit of INEC.