Federal Lawmaker representing Ethiope Constituency, Hon. Ben Igbakpa has likened the financial escapes of delegates in the ongoing primary elections across the country to acts of banditry.
The lawmaker in a chat with The Union Nigeria, implied that the deception of delegates in the ongoing primary elections was a reflection of the dwindling fortunes of integrity in Nigeria.
According to him, “You see, this banditry we are talking about comes in various ways, for somebody to collect so much from a person knowing that you wouldn’t vote for that person. What kind of wickedness is that?”
“Considering the way these delegates are acting now I think direct primary is the only way to go so that people don’t collect money randomly and wait for someone to give instructions on who to vote.“
“So, if you collect from A and B, they will see you there that you are voting for B. People would be wary of their attitudes because these delegates are bandits as far as I’m concerned.”
Igbakpa blamed the electoral anarchy on the limitations of the recently amended Electoral Act amongst other things, such as the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to give assent to the amendment.
He accused President Muhammadu Buhari of being irresponsive to legislative proceedings, and further faulted the assumption that bills must hit the 30 days mark as provided for by the constitution before assent are given by the Presidency.
“I don’t see where in a responsible and responsive clime of government, you will leave your house on fire and go doing big brother or good Samaritan in another country.”
He said assent by the Presidency was invariably whittling down the powers of the legislative, stressing that laws were supposed to be passed by the legislative sans presidential acknowledgement while the Judiciary may be approached for interpretation.
“I think we would go into correcting it. I would implore my colleagues so we look into applying section 50 of the constitution whenever it arises. It is our responsibility to make laws, we have never questioned the executive after awarding contracts and say you can’t award this contract.”
“So, when we make laws if it’s not ok, the right place to go is the court for interpretation, it’s not for the President to point out. An action like that removes the independence of the parliament and I’m not happy about that. “Igbakpa stressed.