Association of Former Council Chairmen of Nigeria (AFCOoN) has commended the National Assembly for the passage of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
The National Assembly had, on November 9, passed the bill to accommodate direct mode of primaries for political parties as well as the electronic transmission of results.
A leader of AFCOoN, Abayomi Adesanya, told journalists on Monday that the direct mode of primaries and electronic transmission of results would strengthen internal democracy among political parties.
Mr Adesanya said that AFCOoN threw its weight behind the bill at its inaugural meeting held at the weekend in Asaba, Delta.
He said more than 60 former council chairmen were in attendance.
A former caretaker chairman of Okitipupa Local Government Area, Mr Adesanya said that the amended electoral act would promote credible nominations and increase membership participation, thereby promoting inclusiveness and eradicating imposition.
According to him, the move would also reduce moneybag-politicians, who usually come once every four years to promote the emergence of unpopular candidates.
The AFCOoN leader also said that the bill would encourage elected officers to give an account of their stewardship to their constituents, rather than to their godfathers, thereby promoting participatory democracy and good governance.
“We are from the grassroots across Nigeria. We know the level of neglect and abandonment our political office holders have brought to the people at the grassroots from 1999 to date.
“This scenario has to change. If we want this country to develop democratically, we must give power back to the people.
“With direct primaries, all politicians have to go back to their various wards to elect their representatives, using party registers, which will make elections interesting,” Mr Adesanya noted.
He, however, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to give the amended bill accelerated assent.
Mr Adesanya also advised all political parties to update their membership data, in line with modern-day technology, for easy accreditation during primaries to avoid unnecessary litigations.
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