NIGERIAN President Muhammadu Buhari has said he will sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law if other options for selecting candidates for elections are included.
He said this during an interview with Channels Television on Wednesday.
“I will sign. All I would like is that there should be options. You can’t dictate to people and say you are doing democracy. Allow them other options so that they can make a choice,” he said.
Buhari said direct primaries should not be the only means of selecting electoral candidates, but the options of indirect primaries and consensus candidates should also be included.
“I don’t support direct primaries because I want people to be given a choice. There should be options. We must not insist that it should be direct. There should be consensus and indirect.”
Buhari had declined assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill for the fifth time in December due to the part that imposed direct primaries on political parties.
Following his refusal to assent to the bill, he wrote a letter to the National Assembly, which was read during plenary on December 21, 2021.
In his letter, Buhari said that the compulsory adoption of direct primaries for elections had negative implications on citizens’ rights.
He also noted that conducting direct primaries across all wards in the country would increase the cost of running primaries and monitoring elections.