Reps dares Buhari on direct primaries, invites INEC chairman on cost implications

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The House of Representatives may be on the path to dare President Muhammadu Buhari over the rejection of the amended Electoral Act on which the President cited cost of conducting primary election for the various political parties across the country. The House, accordingly, sent an invitation to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on Thursday to appear before the House for further clarification on the cost of conducting direct primary election for political parties across the country.

There was deliberation on a matter of urgent public importance on the need for Nigerians to understand the cost implications of conducting direct primaries which the National Assembly included in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill after conceding to empowering INEC to independently decide the use of electronic transfer of results during elections. The lawmakers noted that the invitation had become necessary for possible consideration in the 2022 budget proposal.

The House of Representatives members insisted that the benefits of direct primaries far outweigh the cost implications.

The lawmakers appeared to be set to increase the 2022 budget than succumb to President Buhari on deleting the section on direct primary from the amended Electoral Act.

President Buhari had noted in his correspondence to the National Assembly his reason for declining assent to the passed bill, after consultations with the INEC chairman and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.