Remove section 84 from Electoral Act, Jonathan urges National Assembly

Former President Goodluck Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan, on Thursday, charged lawmakers to expunge Section 84 from the Electoral Act, warning that it was wrong to lump political parties with different ideologies together.

This was as he urged the National Assembly to make a legislation that would criminalise the inducement of party delegates and electorate.

Jonathan made the remarks at the book launch of a former Minister of State for Power, Mohammed Wakil.

Titled “Political Party Governance,” Wakil’s launch, which attracted several dignitaries and politicians, took place in Abuja.

The former president expressed concerns that the contentious Section 84 of the Electoral Act did not consider political parties have different processes to select candidates for elections.

He noted that laws must be designed in such a way that it would solve problems, not to create more.

“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.

“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,” he said.

Jonathan also lampooned politicians for encouraging party delegates into playing monetised politics.

While saying he found the practice distasteful, the ex-president disclosed that it was disgraceful for aspirants to induce delegates to get their votes and turnaround to demand a refund after they fail to clinch the tickets.

“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.

“We pray that good people should come. I hope that what happened this year, 2022, will not happen again in this country.”

Thursday that the former president, who is subtly nursing an ambition to return to the Aso Rock, has finally been given the waiver to contest the presidential primary on Sunday.

In recent times, he has been spotted on nocturnal visits to the State House and the home of the National Chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Adamu.

Jonathan was also paid an unusual visit by the President’s influential nephew, Mamman Daura, who was said to have thrown his weight behind him.

Daura had visited Jonathan’s Abuja home on Wednesday where the duo were seen shaking hands in a photo posted by Sahara Reporters.

Jonathan had given the condition that he would only join the race if he was endorsed by the President and supported through a consensus.

The development comes at a time the party aspirants seem to be in an apprehensive mood and unsure whether the APC presidential primary would head in the direction of consensus or indirect primary.

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