Nigeria may emulate U.S. on direct party primaries, says Ekweremadu
The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has said that Nigeria may emulate the United States of America (USA) in the use of direct primaries for the emergence of candidates of political parties in a renewed effort to strengthen the nation’s electoral system.
Ekweremadu, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Uche Anichukwu, gave the indication in Abuja when he received, on behalf of the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, a delegation of the House Partnership for Democracy, United States House of Representatives, which was on a working visit to the Senate yesterday.
Ekweremadu said that direct primaries by political parties had conferred enormous transparency and credibility on the American electoral system, while also ensuring that the people remained the true owners of the various political parties.
He, therefore, noted that it was a key ingredient of the U.S democracy that could be explored by Nigeria to improve her electoral system in the nearest future.
He observed that deep inter-parliamentary ties between both countries was imperative for closer bilateral relations and the growth of Nigeria’s democracy, which he said was inspired by that of the United States.
“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.
“I believe both countries have a lot to benefit from shared parliamentary ties. Nigeria, in particular stands to benefit from you in the area of electoral reforms, such as direct primaries, which has conferred a lot of transparency and credibility on the U.S electoral system.
“We also hope to benefit from you in the area of capacity building for the parliament, Nigeria being a young democracy.
“We are interested in gaining from your experience in budgeting process, anti-corruption legal frameworks to enhance what we already have, and indeed how the U.S Congress impacts the society in general,” he said
Earlier in his remarks, the leader of the delegation and Chairman of the House Democracy Partnership, Representative Peter Roskam, who was also accompanied by the officials of National Democratic Institute (NDI), extolled Nigeria’s efforts at sustaining her democracy and pledged the support of his organisation towards strengthening it.