Buhari keeps successor close to his chest, to assent bill only if parties are given options- direct, indirect, consensus

Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday revealed while appearing on private national television, that he has his own agenda regarding the person that would succeed him, but he would be playing his cards close to his chest until the 2023 general election. because he did not want the fellow eliminated before his time.

He promised to assent to the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill only if the National Assembly removed the clause mandating political parties to conduct their election primaries directly.

Recall he had declined assent to the bill last month, saying it is undemocratic to constrain political parties to a mode of the primary election, as provided in the bill.

Responding to the cue on his likely successor, Buhari said, “No, I will not tell you, because he may be eliminated if I mention his name.” But he added that it did not really matter who succeeded him, saying whoever wins the election will succeed him.

Buhari reiterated that primaries must not be direct, but rather, people should be given options to make their choice.

“Personally, I don’t support direct primaries, because I want people to be given a choice. You can’t give them one option and think you are being democratic. Let them be given the three options, which are direct, indirect and consensus. If you could recall, ACN, APGA, ANPP, CPC and another party, came together.

“PDP was overconfident and thought they will rule Nigeria to the end of time. But the opposition, we came together and overthrew them. We didn’t overthrow PDP because of direct primaries but because of the opposition coming together and fighting the PDP.

“We must not insist that it has to be direct primary, it should be consensus and indirect. Once that’s done, I will sign the electoral bill. There should be options, you can’t dictate to people and you say you’re doing democracy. Allow them to have options to make a choice.”

 

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