It was a double decision in the amendment of the electoral act (2010 as amended) by Nigeria’s Senate which has been perceived by many as great additions aimed at strengthening Nigeria’s Democracy. The first was the Senate’s decision to succumb to public pressure by allowing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to transmit results electronically. The second has to do with the method of selection of candidates by political parties participating in an election.
Popular Public opinions have constantly berated the way and manner in which candidates of various political parties participating in elections are selected. Most have argued that the most popular candidates among supporters usually loose to unpopular candidates who have godfather or have the money to buy delegates. The On nomination of candidates by political parties, the Senate had earlier passed clause 87(1), which gave political parties options to hold either direct or indirect method of conducting primaries.
However, the clause is now amended to read: “A political party seeking to nominate candidates for elections under this Bill shall hold direct primaries for aspirants to all elective positions, which shall be monitored by the Commission”. The new amendment also requires political parties to provide INEC with their membership register beforehand.
With this development, will the people finally have their way in deciding which candidates are nominated to fly the flags of political parties? It remains to be seen.