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DIRECT VERSUS INDIRECT PRIMARIES IN NIGERIA’S ELECTORAL SYSTEM

NOTE: First Published on December 16, 2021

SubTopics: (1) ADVANTAGES VERSUS DISADVANTAGES; (2) THE NONSENSICAL HOOPLA OVER COSTS

This is “No Bullshiting”, by Harry Agina

Most Nigerians today, political pundits and “ordinary” Nigerians alike, have an important question on their lips. Will President Mohammadu Buhari sign the controversial 2021 Electoral Act Amendment Bill into a law? It is currently on his desk. All right-thinking Nigerians who are interested in changing Nigeria from demo-crazy to democracy, should urge Mr. President to sign the Bill, meeeeeeeeen!!! 

The bone of contention in the Bill is the Direct and Indirect Primary section. It seeks to force political parties to use only the “Direct Primary” method as they choose their candidates for elections. My regular fans are aware that “No Bullshitting” has standing hatred for most acts and behaviors of the loot-makers that Nigerians call lawmakers in our National Assembly. I hate their evil self-serving role in destroying Nigeria since the inception of the nation’s “Fourth Republic” in 1999. However, regular fans are also aware that “No Bullshiting” has no permanent enemies. Instead, our enemies are the bad deeds of the subjects. And so, the hatred quickly turns into love as soon as a given subject behaves well. Customarily, it behooves me to kind-of appreciate Nigeria’s loot-makers insistence on Direct Primary method in the 2021 Electoral Law Amendment Bill. I say “kind-of appreciate” because the look-makers do not really deserve any appreciation. The fact is that their insistence on Direct Primary is actually self-serving. For the first time in a very, very long time, the motherfuckers have shown a little interest in entrenching true democracy in Nigeria because it serves their interest. Um huh, they are in a war of survival and supremacy with Nigeria’s state governors. With indirect primaries, the governors and other godfathers have been determining who become candidates of major political parties in elections, and who get rejected or schemed out. Some of the rejection casualties have been our loot-makers, and, they don’t like that shit one bit. And so, a battle line was drawn between the governors and the loot-makers.

For my readers who may not know the difference, the indirect primary method means that select few delegates within a given party choose the candidates that run for a given election. In direct primaries, all members of the party must vote in order to choose their candidates. Of done right, this has more democratic outcome. In indirect primaries, the governors buy the votes of select delegates of a couple of thousands of persons, for their chosen candidates. Hence, they can easily, and often do scheme some of the loot-makers out of the National Assembly. They deny them the tickets to run for re-election.

Now, the loot-makers are fighting back. They are insisting on the Direct Primary method, whereby the general electorate will partake in choosing candidates. We now have these two groups of political elephants—the governors and the loot-makers—fighting. There is a saying that, “When two elephants fight, the grass suffers.” However, I am quick to posit that most rules in the world have exceptions. This elephants-and-grass adage is one such positive exception. Yes, indeed; sometimes when two elephants fight, the grass actually enjoys it, rather than suffer. This exception is complemented by another saying that “When two robbers fight during or after a robbery, the victim or the owner of the stolen goods benefits.” The robbers expose themselves as they fight. Um huh, when Nigerian political elephants fight, it is often great news for the “grass” (Nigerians). And, when the crooks who are looting Nigeria dry get into squabbles among and between themselves, Nigerians also do benefit.

Check this out for illustration. The loot-makers are now fighting to get rid of the governors’ godfatherism because it often costumes them. Otherwise, they would have allowed the governors to continue their evil godfatherism. With the Direct Primary method, “ordinary” Nigerians will, for the first time, have the opportunity to determine the candidates who political parties field for elections. With Indirect Primaries, the governors always force down our throats some characters who we know to be either crooks or incompetents, or both. And, when two main contending parties are in the same evil act, the people have no choice but to end up picking “the better of two evil candidates.” Alas, good intelligent Nigerians are always schemed out of the races with indirect primaries, meeeeeeeen!!!

As things stand now with indirect primaries, the governors of Nigeria control who gets what candidacy during elections. The atrociously criminal political power of Nigeria’s governors is national in scope. The motherfuckers determine the candidates of all the elections, from the Local Government candidates and the governorship candidates of their states, all the way to the candidates for the president of the country. Once again, I will employ my analogy of “Two fighting thieves” to address a key reason for the desperation of state governors to impose candidates on the electorate at the state level. The motherfuckers choose their stooges as their successors because they need persons who will cover their atrocities and not probe to bring them to justice when they leave office. I do have one clear case to demonstrate this. In 2019, the then out-going governor of Imo State in the southeast of Nigeria, Rochas Okrocha, fought tooth-and-nail to install his son-in-law to succeed him as governor. When he failed to achieve this, it became great news for the people of Imo State. And subsequently, as “two thieves”, the former and present governors started fighting, it is a FACT that the people of Imo State (the grass-cum-victims) are recovering Imo State wealth that the former governor, Rochas, atrociously looted when he was in office. If he had succeeded to install his son-in-law as his successor, all that loot would still be in his possession now, meeeeeeeen!!!

Now, if President Buhari will be good enough to endorse the Direct Primary that the nation’s loot-makers have in 2021 Electoral Bill, albeit selfishly, then, Mr. President will leave us with one good legacy in the midst of all his terrible leadership bullshit. But, if he allows the crooked governors to bamboozle him into rejecting that provision, then he would be remembered forever as a president that achieved almost nothing good for Nigeria and Nigerians, meeeeeeeen!!!

I will conclude with the stupid argument that the governors and their allies put forward in support of their evil godfatherly Indirect Primary method. “Direct Primaries cost more money than Indirect Primaries”, they argue. And I quickly retort; so fucking what?! Almost everything on earth comes with ups and downs, or advantages and disadvantage; and, nothing good comes easy! It is always about weighing the advantages against the disadvantages; and, sane people pick any option where the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Any sane Nigerian who wants Nigeria’s democracy to transcend the current evil blood-sucking demo-crazy of our governors should support the Direct Primary option, whereby the generality of Nigerian voters choose their candidates. Besides, the governors spend huge sums of money to bribe delegates to vote for their chosen candidates in indirect primaries anyway. They should apply those sums to fund democratic direct primaries, meeeeeeeeen!!!

As for the other argument that smaller political parties cannot afford the costs of Direct Primaries; my response is that they should merge up and form the “Third Force” that we have heard about for ages, which never happens. The “Third Force”, which means a third major political party to compete favorably with the current domineering and highly corrupt two parties—PDP and APC—will do Nigeria’s democracy a whole lot of good. What the fuck are we doing with a thousand-and-one fucking political parties that add little or no values to the system, meeeeeeeeeen?!!!

Again, even if direct primaries cost more than indirect primaries (which is not really true anyway), no issue about costs should override the need for, and advantages of true democratic system that will give us good leadership in Nigeria. Whatever it costs, election-rigging at any level MUST be stopped. Nigeria’s governors are fighting against direct primary method only because they want to continue to rig their choices in as candidates, shikena (that’s all); and, we must say capital N-O, ‘no’, to their evil machinations! Look closely enough, and you will agree that I ain’t bullshitting
ya, meeeeeeeeeen!!!

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