Governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom has praised President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to decline assent to the modified Electoral Act due to the inclusion of mandated direct primaries by political parties in the Act, saying it is in the best interest of the country.
The Governor, who praised members of the National Assembly for including electronic transmission of election results in the Act, urged lawmakers to address the President’s concern by repealing the sections that mandated mandatory direct primaries and allowing political parties to choose the type of primaries that work best for them.
The Governor, speaking in Makurdi on Tuesday in response to the President’s decision to return the piece of legislation to the National Assembly for review, said the President’s reasons for withholding his approval should be acknowledged by all.
“I must also commend President Muhammadu Buhari for withholding assent based on the process of primaries of the various political parties; and his appeal to the National Assembly to reconsider the clause that allow only direct primaries.
“All the reasons that the President advanced to support his decision to withhold his assent are deeply appreciated. I can assure you that as a veteran politician who had the privilege of witnessing direct and indirect primaries in various parties and also witnessed consensus arrangements, the President’s decision is best for this country.
“It was almost a unanimous position by the political parties that the issue of primaries should be the responsibility of the political parties as enshrined in their various constitutions.” Ortom said.