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Why direct primary is the best for ‘real democracy’ – Dino Melaye

A two-time Member of the National Assembly, Senator Dino Melaye, has said that the controversy surrounding the Electoral Bill 2021 was uncalled for, as the initial sole direct primary option for political parties is the “real democracy.”

Melaye, who was speaking yesterday on the breakfast show on LEADERSHIP Podcast programme, InsideNIGERIA, argued that indirect primary will limit the participation of members of political parties

“We cannot have a good government without a proper electoral system because the process of electing good leaders start with the electoral laws of the country.

Democracy is about the people, indirect primary will reduce democracy from ‘government of the people by the people’ to the ‘government of the people by the privileged few’.

“Indirect primary limits the participation of members of political party. It is unfortunate that this is happening at this time,” Melaye said.

Speaking on state of the nation, the chieftain of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said Nigeria is “very sick” and “like I always say, there is need for amelioration, correction.”

Senator Melaye said the PDP remains the only option left for Nigerians in order to salvage the country.

He added that the party is organised and ready to change the fortune of the country.

“As 2023 draws near, there is only one option because we are supposed to have two major political parties, PDP and a registered non-political organisation called APC and the only coherent, organised political party in this country is the PDP and my advice is that Nigerians should vote a party that will turn things around, we have never been this devastated in this country,” Melaye said.

The former lawmaker said the level of loss of value for human life in the country has never been this bad and cannot even be compared with the civil war era.

“We need more than any other thing to unite Nigeria and correct the injustices of this draconian and satanic administration of President Muhammadu Buhari because without justice, there can never be peace.

“We need a new country where peace, justice, egalitarianism will become the order of the day,” he added.

Melaye, therefore, called on Nigerians not to see the 2023 elections as any other election as it is a way out of the woods.

He said Nigeria needed a unifier, one who understands the problem, noting that “we need one who will put round pegs in round holes, we need one who will not give carpentry jobs to a tailor.

“We need one who will stop nepotism and make sure that the right people with the requisite knowledge and experience occupy positions of authority and we need people with passion, we need people who will have empathy for the people because the present government is not only deaf and dumb but they are insensitive to the plight of Nigerians. They have shown continuously that they lack the capacity to solve the problem.”

He pointed out that the country is at the lowest ebb and needs to open the space to select the best leader come 2023 general election.

“It is not time to limit the space for selecting a leader. As a legislator who was in the National Assembly, I weep for this country. Initially I was beginning to see a ray of hope from somewhere under this administration but the action I saw yesterday (Wednesday) further confirmed to me that the National Assembly is afraid of Mr President and indeed afraid of the Presidency.

“The Electoral Act, we have lost part of the glory of taking democracy back to the people and I want to assure you that the President’s strategy is not about the direct primary. APC itself as a party is not interested in amending any section of that Act. Returning the Bill by the President will make it the 4th time the Presidency is rejecting that Bill.

“The National Assembly has been ridiculed by President Muhammadu Buhari. What the APC is interested in is to take us back to the days when they will fill their forms and rig because they are not interested in electronic transmission of results. They want to use mundane issues to delay the passage of the Bill,” Melaye lamented.

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