CSOs fault Malami’s claims, say direct primaries won’t gulp N10bn

A coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs) has countered the claims of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami that direct primaries proposed in the contentious Electoral Act would gulp about N500bn.

Malami, in a phone-in programme on Radio Kano reportedly said President Muhammadu Buhari declined assent to the Electoral Act Amendment over the huge amount the proposed direct primaries would cost the nation, apart from other reasons.

However, the CSOs on Tuesday in a statement jointly signed by Ariyo-Dare Atoye, Executive Director, Adopt A Goal Initiative; Kenneth Eze, Executive Director, Speak Out Africa Initiative; and Jude Feranmi, the convener, Raising New Voices Initiative, rejected the AGF’s claim saying it will cost the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the 18 registered political parties less than N10bn to organise direct primaries

“We consider it a public service to respond to the disingenuous claims and reasons for the executive veto of the amended electoral bill made by the AGF and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

“Henceforth, media organisations and platforms interviewing Mr. Malami should endeavour to ask him to present a position paper or a financial document to substantiate his claims that it would cost political parties and INEC hundreds of billions naira to organise direct primaries.

“The statement credited to Malami in the phone-in programme on Radio Kano may have exposed him as the author and propagandist behind the phantom N500bn costs of organising direct primaries,” they said.

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