Politics

Political parties will bear cost of primaries not FG – INEC tells reps

Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, on Thursday, stating that the electoral commission does not have the task of coming up with any cost for the conduct of primaries per political parties by direct method.

Yakubu appeared before the House Committee on Appropriation, behind closed doors, following a resolution passed on a motion of urgent public importance, sponsored by Chairman, House Committee on Customs & Excise, Honourable Leke Abejide, over the notion that over N500 billion is required for political parties to conduct direct primaries.

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While responding to questions during a media chat after the closed-door meeting, Professor Yakubu simply said: “INEC did not come up with any cost for the conduct of primaries per political parties by direct method.

“We have had very good discussions with the committee on the appropriation of the National Assembly pursuant to the resolution of the House and what we discussed you will not hear from me. Maybe the chairman of the committee will tell you.”

Though he did not disclose specific details, while speaking with journalists after the meeting, chairman, House Committee on Appropriations, Honourable Mukhtar Batera, quoted the INEC chairman as stating that only political parties have the responsibility of funding the primaries.

Batera said the INEC chairman informed the committee that the responsibility of INEC regarding whether direct or indirect primaries was minimal, pointing out that political parties are mostly to bear the responsibility of conducting of primaries.

Batera, said: “In our discussions with the INEC chairman, we wanted to know his requirements for the 2023 elections as well as cost of direct or indirect primaries.

“On the primaries, when we discussed with him, he specifically told us the role of INEC in direct or indirect primaries which he said is just minimal.

“He (INEC Chairman) said party primaries is the role of political parties and not INEC.

“For direct primaries, what the INEC chairman told us is that only the political parties have the responsibility on primaries and the funding of the primaries.”

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