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Reps invite INEC Chairman over direct primaries

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Yakubu Mahmood.

The House of Representatives has invited the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Yakubu Mahmood to address concerns about the cost of running direct primaries.

This resolution followed the adoption of a motion of urgent importance by a member from Kogi State, Leke Abejide, on the need to address concerns over the cost of running direct primaries in the country.

Mr Abejide argued that it was necessary for the INEC Chairman to address the House so that all the insinuations about the issue can be resolved.

He said: “The INEC Chairman should brief the Committee on INEC and Appropriations because now that we are considering the (2022) appropriation that is still within the National Assembly for possible consideration for whatever it is going to cost for these direct primaries.

“We are all aware of the importance of direct primary and how it will transfer power to the real people, where they will be able to select or elect the people that will represent them from the presidency down to the councillorship. There has been a lot of noise about the cost implications.

“So, it is important for us to invite the Chairman of INEC to meet with the Committees on INEC in this hallowed chamber, and that on Appropriations, for him to be able to tell them what is going to cost to do this direct primary.”

According to him, People have been saying that direct primaries will gulp N500bn adding that it is just hearsay as nobody has ever sat down to check the actual cost that it is going to cost the nation.

He added that It may be something that is within the capacity of the budget of INEC or something that the National Assembly can even appropriate for this period that it is still considering the budget.

The INEC Chairman is to appear before the House Committees on INEC and Appropriation on the matter.

Reporting by Ibrahim Shehu; editing by Abdullahi Lamino