On the 24th of April, 2022 the Avant Garde intellectual, Dr. Sam Amadi wrote a piece titled “Who is Qualified To Be A Delegate In Indirect Primary?
In that very elucidating piece, Dr. Amadi avered that by the provisions of Section 84(4) of the Ammended Electoral Act, only delegates democratically elected in ward Congress are qualified to vote in Indirect Primary elections. He went on to say that the provision clearly “knocks off and invalidates the so-called statutory delegates except they are specially elected..” He further avered that even though this was a radical reading of section 84 of the law, “it is the proper reading…”
Bellow were my exact comments on the post at the time.
“Sam Amadi Thank God you said “radical reading”
I will assume therefore there is also a conservative reading. Otherwise the parties may have to alter their existing constitutions which already stipulates those who are to participate in congresses, meetings and conventions.
Perhaps, it is important to point out that the parties are not reading the new Electoral Act the way you have espoused it here.
Where I am, statutory delegates are the beautiful brides. Some have been on payroll of some aspirants before and even after the enactment of the Act.
I hope the entire process does not become mired in a legal mess”
In reaction to this comment Dr Amdi said he will engage the electoral body and the National Assembly because of the danger this poses to the electoral system. He actually did and the result was the hurried passage of an amendment to the Act by both Houses of the National Assembly which the President has dittered in signing, thereby throwing both major political parties in confusion and frequent postponement of the dates set for their Primaries in the hope that the President will accent to the ammendmets.
But how long can they do this? INEC has said the dates in their own electoral time table are sacrosanct arguing that the parties were given sufficient time to put their affairs in order. The situation I predicted in my comments above now looms large. One can only now hope that the entire process is not mired in legal mess giving the penchant of our politicians to seek legal redress when they feel short-changed in an electoral process. There may even be others whose purpose will be to scuttle the entire process by making holding of the elections impossible and thereby instigate a constitutional crises.
But how did we get here? The Ammended Electoral Act was before the National Assembly for a long time. Even when it was passed by the NASS and it’s contents fully known to the public, the President withheld his accent for a long time leading to a back and forth between it and the NASS. How come we did not notice all these pitfalls and cry out before the law was eventually signed?
Nigerians are too uninterested in the way they are ruled. We were too interested in getting the next election underway, forgetting to pay attention to the process that will midwife it.