•Former Ogun gov calls on Buhari to sign amended Electoral Act that prescribes direct primary for political parties
A former governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, who is recuperating in London after a knee operation, has played host to 11 senators from Nigeria.
The chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Solomon Adeola, said the senators were in London and decided to pay the former governor a visit.
Adeola, according to Premium Times, said it was gratifying to see that Osoba was fast recovering from his surgery as evidenced in his personally coming to receive them at the door from the first floor and going back up with them to the sitting room upstairs.
The visit came on the heels of a similar visit by Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State and Olakunle Oluomo, Speaker of Ogun State House of Assembly, to Osoba.
Kashim Shetima (APC, Borno Central), who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, said they went to London as Nigerians devoid of political party or regional colouration to wish him well as an elder statesman at 82.
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“As senators of the Federal Republic, all of us are interested in the growth and progress of our nation,” Shetima said.
“We did not come here for partisan consideration but to seek wisdom from an elder statesman that had contributed positively to the growth of the nation and still willing to do more even in advanced age.”
The delegation comprised Solomon Adeola (APC, Lagos West), Kashim Shetima (APC, Borno Central), Isah Jubril(APC, Kogi East), Micheal Nnachi(PDP, Ebonyi South), Ayo Akinyelure(PDP, Ondo Central), Gershom Bassey(PDP, Cross River South), Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf(APC, Taraba Central), Sadiq Sulaiman Umar(APC, Kwara North), Tokunbo Abiru(APC, Lagos East) Bashiru Ajibola(APC, Osun Central) and Hassan Gusau(APC, Zamfara Central).
Osoba, in his response, expressed appreciation to the senators, assuring that he would soon be back to the country, on completion of his treatment, adding that he was getting better on daily basis.
The APC chieftain threw his weight behind the use of direct primary to select candidates of all political parties as contained in the amended Electoral Act by the National Assembly.
He appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the amended Electoral Act, stressing that the President submitted himself to direct primary in 2019 .
“I have a feeling he will sign it,” Osoba said.
“The President himself is a product of direct primary. He submitted himself to direct primary in 2019 throughout the country, heaven did not fall. After he subjected himself to direct primary throughout Nigeria in all the wards, he also subjected himself to a National Convention to ratify his election at the primary.
“And quote me, I had cause to tell him at our National Caucus during the Edo election issue that ‘Mr. President, if you can subject yourself to direct primary and national Convention, I do not see why anybody should be afraid of direct primary.’ I said this to him and we must be honest when we are talking to our leaders. That is why I believe that the president, having been a product of direct primary, will sign the law for direct primary.”
The former governor said the ninth National Assembly has done very well in supporting what they think is right for the executive and the country.
“In the case of direct primary, we are running a presidential system of government patterned after that of the USA. It is direct primary in USA that we copied. Why are we selective? If we don’t want direct primary, then let us go back to parliamentary system like India where party caucuses select candidates.
“We cannot be selective on some aspects of the presidential system that we practise while jettisoning what is its democratic content. The idea of ‘we’ governors handpicking should stop. Let the people have a say.”