Direct primaries will promote participatory democracy – Sen La’ah


The Senator representing Kaduna South, Mr. Danjuma Laah has explained that the endorsement of direct primaries for the election of political parties’ flag bearers by the Senate is the best way to promote participatory democracy in the country.

Senator Danjuma La’ah, Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Character, while receiving a group of politicians who paid him a visit in Kafanchan, Kaduna State, on Thursday explained that the direct primaries is the best option the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state could get flag bearers capable of challenging the rival All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 polls.

He opined that direct primaries were usually transparent and open, lamenting why anyone interested in representative democracy could oppose it.

He further explained that direct primaries allow members of political parties to freely make their choices, saying that making it mandatory would evoke interest in political activities among Nigerians.

He opined that the recommendations that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should engage NYSC members for the exercise were to ensure fairness and avoid possible compromise that could result from picking political party members to conduct the exercise.

The Senator warned the PDP in Kaduna State against allowing godfathers to hijack the process of deciding candidates that would be the party’s candidate, saying that such could spell doom for the party in the general elections in 2023.

Senator Danjuma La’ah explained, “Experience has shown that such political godfathers usually impose unpopular candidates on the people. Such candidates are usually rejected in the general elections, so PDP should not take such risk.”

He also warned against any attempt to resort to indirect primaries or consensus arrangements, stressing that the mode had become unpopular among party members and thereby made unpopular candidates emerge.

Laah, said he has accepted the plea to seek a fresh mandate in 2023, saying that he was bowing to the pressure to seek the PDP ticket to run for the Senatorial seat again in the interest of his people.

He said, “The only viable platform available for me is the PDP. It is the most credible platform in Southern Kaduna. All we need to be victorious is to ensure transparent internal democracy. We should not allow anyone from another senatorial district to decide who our candidate should be.”

Earlier, Mr Labari Tella, a three-term member of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, who led the visiting group, had urged Laah to run again in view of his performance, popular appeal, particularly among the grassroots in order to continue with the good works he started since 2015.

According to Mr Labari Tella, the youths, women, the elderly and other groups that had always formed Laah’s support base were already campaigning for a fresh tenure, appealing to him (Senator Danjuma La’ah) to listen to their demand and not to disappoint them.

Tella described Senator La’ah as unbeatable in the race, stressing that he broke the jinx of the second tenure in the senatorial district when he won a fresh mandate in 2019.

He said that the people love and understand Senator La’ah, they know the Senator understands them and identify with their concerns, especially the raging insecurity, unemployment and dearth of infrastructure as they believed that only him can help us.

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