2019: Coincidence of parties’ primaries and NASS resumption




With the planned primaries of the two major political parties in the country i.e , the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP), coinciding with the slated resumption date of the National Assembly (September 25th 2018), Taiye Odewale examines the possible scenario that may play out in terms of possible postponement to Tuesday , October 9, 2018.
APC primaries Both chambers of the National Assembly had on July 24, 2018 during their adjournment for the yearly long recess, resolved to resume on Tuesday, 25th September 2018.
But time tables for primary elections being released by various political parties, particularly the ruling All Progressives Congress ( APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP), indicate that the primaries especially the one for the National Assembly aspirants are to take place the very week, the federal lawmakers planned to resume which in practical terms, will prevent many of them participating in the primaries, to resume.
Using the recently released APC primaries time table, the 56 APC Senators and 196 APC members of the House of Representatives will be busy participating in the party’s primaries for governorship aspirants in the affected 29 states of the federation on the planned day of resumption, 25th of this month, and be busy with primary elections for those to fly their party’s tickets for the 469 legislative seats in the National Assembly, slated for 26th and 27th of this month.
The following Tuesday 2nd October, 2018, which would have been proposed as a new date of resumption, according to a principal officer of the Senate, is the date slated for primary elections for aspirants on the platform of APC contesting for State Houses of Assembly positions and those running for chairmanship positions of the Six Area Councils in FCT and 62 councillorship positions in the Territory.
Presidential primaries or ratification of primaries in the case of the APC, is slated for October 6 by the two leading parties, which will require participation of the serving lawmakers in terms of campaigns cum mobilizations not to talk of those contesting among them like the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, former Senate President, David Mark and Senator David Jang.
PDP due date Similarly, going by the PDP time table, while primaries for the House of Representatives are slated for Wednesday September 19, the one for Senate is slated for Sunday, September 23, two days to the planned resumption date also fixed as date for hearing of appeals from the primaries for the National Assembly positions.
Bedsides, in the same week, going by the PDP time table, nationwide governorship primaries for the party is slated for Friday, September 28, while appeals are to hold two days later on Sunday, The necessity of the postponement is very clear and certain, since the time table of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) fixed October 7, as the final date of submission of names of Presidential Candidates of all political parties.
September 30.
Even if hurried sittings are to be considered by both chambers of the National Assembly this week or next week for approval of the N143bn budget proposed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for conduct of the 2019 general elections, PDP time table for primaries of State House of Assembly candidates slated for this coming Saturday, September 15, and House of Representatives primaries slated for next week Wednesday, September 19, coincide with such arrangements.
October 9 option Little wonder that during a telephone conversation with a principal officer of the Senate on the looming coincidence, he disclosed that the leadership of both chambers would soon announce postponement of resumption to Tuesday, October 9, 2018.
“The necessity of the postponement is very clear and certain, since the time table of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) fixed October 7, as the final date of submission of names of Presidential Candidates of all political parties.
“This is not about any partisan politics or self driven interest, but about carrying out the required processes ahead of the 2019 general elections on the template put on ground by INEC”, he stressed.
Though efforts made to get information to that effect from the Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA), Alhaji Mohammed Ataba Sani- Omolori, proved abortive last week as he was said to be out of the country .
But his media aide, Andrew Oota, in a telephone conversation with the Blueprint, said decision to that effect by Political leaders of the National Assembly i.
e, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has not been transmitted to them for official announcement.
“Issues on adjournments and resumptions are strictly decided by leadership of both chambers and not the CNA.
Therefore if postponement of the earlier planned September 25 , 2018 resumption date is to be made, leadership of both chambers will have to decide that and get the new date to the CNA for official announcement “, he said .
Before the coming primary elections of the political parties coinciding with planned resumption date of the National Assembly, there have been series of agitations for reconvening of the federal Parliament for final approval of INEC budget for the 2019 general elections.
The agitations it would be recalled, led to weeks of brickbats between federal lawmakers on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and their counterparts in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) the height of which was the siege laid to the premises of the National Assembly by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) on the 7th of last month, upon which the former boss of the agency, Lawan Daura got sacked.
Whatever scenario eventually plays out, the realities on ground is that the National Assembly is most unlikely to resume on the slated date of September 25th 2018 but whether it will postpone it to Tuesday, October 9, 2018 or not, is to be decided by its leadership

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