Barr. Emeh Glory Emeh

Consensus  In Proposed  Nigeria’s Electoral Law: Not Part Of Our Jurisprudence – Former Chief Of Staff


Reactions are still trailing the recent proposal of the National Assembly to add consensus as one of the options that political parties could adopt in the selection of their candidates.



The latest reaction is coming from a former Chief of Staff, Rivers State Government House, Port Harcourt, during the administration of former Governor Celestine Omehia in Rivers State, Barr. Emeh Glory Emeh, who  explained that the Nigerian law, which is derived from the constitutional provision,  generally recognizes electoral processes  that guarantee equity, justice and fair play.


“To achieve this, elections must be by contest, preferably direct contest which naturally will involve all those concerned. Where it is convenient and reasonably agreed, the process could also  be by  selected persons, also known as delegates election or indirect election”, the consultant on politics and governance explained, even as he added that adoption of consensus will not be seen to guarantee the spirit and letter of the law as provided in the Constitution.


Insisting that the adoption of consensus will be outside the jurisprudence in Nigeria,  Barr.  Glory Emeh  further argued: “The fact that those who drafted the Electoral Amendment  Bill did not consider the issue of consensus as an alternative makes it strange for our law makers to introduce it half way.


“What would have happened if the president did not with hold assent? This is why most Nigerians consider the introduction of the third leg of consensus as one of the methods of selecting candidates as an after thought”,  the former commissioner of transport and aviation stated, while  observing that  the adoption of consensus has both advantages and disadvantages.



The advantages, according to him,  “may be that it reduces the cost and time of arriving at conclusion. On the other hand  it gives a handful the privilege to make selection on behalf of perhaps the significant majority without prejudice to how the president may react to this innocuous introduction to the Electoral Amendment Bill.


“I feel that political parties should adopt more logical and inclusive approaches of selecting candidates for elective offices as by so doing, the interest of all persons involved will be adequately accommodated”, he summed.

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