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Nigeria may emulate US on direct party primaries —Ekweremadu

NIGERIA’S political parties may henceforth be compelled by law to emulate the parties in the United States of America (USA) on the use of direct primaries to choose candidates for elective positions.

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who stated this when he received a delegation of the United States House of Representatives on behalf of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, said the use of direct primaries for the emergence of candidates would strengthen the nation’s electoral system.

Ekweremadu told the delegation, led by the chairman of the House Democracy Partnership, Representative Peter Roskam, which was on a working visit to the Senate, on Monday, that direct primaries by political parties had conferred enormous transparency and credibility on the American electoral system.

He also assured that since the people remained the pillar of democracy, it was important they were allowed to own the process at all times.

He noted that it was imperative that Nigeria and the United States maintained cordial and deep inter-parliamentary ties for enhancement of her democracy.

“I commend the House Democracy Partnership as a bipartisan effort at deepening responsive, effective government and

also strengthening democratic institutions through assistance to legislatures in emerging democracies around the world.

“We are willing to partner with you because it will not only enrich our democracy, but also that of the entire West Africa sub-region and Africa as a whole,” he said.

Representative Roskam, who was also accompanied by the officials of National Democratic Institute (NDI), extolled Nigeria’s efforts at sustaining democracy, adding that the US agencies would continue to collaborate with Nigeria.