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The United Action for Change (UAC), the political machine of former national legal adviser of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Muiz Banire, has claimed has said that it forced the hands of activities forced the hands of the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to accept the adoption of direct primaries for election in the Lagos chapter of the party.

The UAC in a statement by its national coordinator, Mr. Niyi Akinsiju, commended “the former governor for turning this new leaf,” saying that “his new embrace of the true values of internal democracy” after it hosted a symposium on the need for deepening internal democracy in political parties.

The UAC which said that it has been at the forefront of agitation for the adoption of transparent party primaries for the nomination of candidates of all political parties, regretted that “whilst to a large extent, other parties have substantially been complying with this democratic best practice, it has not been the culture of APC leadership in Lagos State to allow unfettered primary election to be held in choosing the party’s candidates.

“However, UAC believes that it is not yet Uhuru as there is a huge difference between the pronouncement and actually conducting a credible primary which is the reason why we advise more vigilance on the part of the members of the party and the general public who are supposed to benefit from effective enthronement of democracy in our society.”

The group insisted that as prerequisites to the conduct of direct primaries in the Lagos APC, the party must have a “credible and updated membership register. This must be displayed well ahead of the primaries. Aspirants must agree on the integrity of the register before its use. Venues for primaries must be publicised and known to all and officials that will conduct and manage the process must be neutral, independent and acceptable to all aspirants.”

Besides these, UAC also insists that “there must be logistic support sufficient to cater for the exercise. Security must be watertight, particularly in areas of volatility. INEC must be given sufficient notice to ensure effective monitoring of the entire process and recording of results and announcements as part of their supervisory role.

Other requirements of the group include the fact that “the media must complement the process to guarantee its credibility. Appeal process, populated by credible personalities acceptable to all aspirants must be put in place and that proper identification cards of members must be issued to members.”

It said that it is only upon the “fulfillment of these conditions that a credible primary can be said to have taken place otherwise it would constitute a shameful sham. We, as a group, shall continue to monitor the process and raise the red flag whenever we deemed necessary.”

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