Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday condemned the ongoing primaries of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other parties for the 2023 general elections, describing them as a mess.
There have been allegations of monetary inducement of delegates amid other infractions.
Speaking in Abuja at the launch of a book titled, ‘Political Party Governance’, authored by Dr. Mohammed Wakil, Jonathan said it was not only undemocratic to induce delegates to get votes but that it was utterly disgraceful to an extent that defeated aspirants turn around to request that their money be given to them.
“These whole primaries going on across the country is a mess. This is not a standard practice. The process has failed.
“We cannot use the process to elect president, governors, senators and House of Representatives members and others.
“The process is already failed, which is not good for the country. But we will manage and move on.”
He prayed that “good people should come. I hope that what happened this year, 2022 will not happen again in this country.”
He called on the National Assembly to make laws to criminalise inducement of delegates and the electorate.
The Electoral Act 2022 has criminalised vote buying and empowered Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to institute cases against such persons in court.
Baring his mind on the controversial Electoral Act 2022 especially the controversial section 84, he called on the legislature to expunge the section from the Act as it negates the democratic nature of political parties.
“The National Assembly can’t make laws and lock all political parties together.
Parties have different ways of nominating candidates and the process is enshrined in their constitutions,” he said.
According to him, “Creating a situation where all parties must have the same way of selecting candidates is nonsense. Parties are not parastatals of government.
“The National Assembly can’t make laws to strangulate political parties. Section 84 should be expunged from the Electoral Act.”
The Act is a subject of contest between the executive and legislature in court and the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the matter.
He also lampooned the National Assembly for creating an Act that has removed powers for self-regulations from political parties, even as he called for the deletion of the section from the controversial Electoral Act.