* Bags SCCAOSA award of excellence.
As the controversy trailing the inclusion of Direct primaries in the electoral amendment bill rages, a former Deputy Speaker , kogi state House of Assembly, Rt.Hon. Aliyu Akuh has described the clause as the best option for the nascent democracy.
The ex lawmaker, noted that the clause allow every card carrying Member of the party to have a say in who represents them in the general election.
He added that the direct primaries as practice by modern democracies has enhanced credibility and wide acceptability which ultimately makes the candidate to be their own rather than being own by selected few.
He however, expressed reservation in the ability and credibility of the process in Nigeria as experienced in the past by some parties which had used the process.
Akuh, a chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party PDP bemoaned that some parties which returned the number of voters who purportedly participated in the process were a far cry from the actual voters who participated in the general election.
According to him” We have seen a party which declared humongous votes at the primaries, just to witness a disappointing votes at the general election.
” For instance, a party which declared thousands if not millions votes from the direct primaries, could not be able to account for one quarter of votes at the general election. So, i asked , what happened to those who participated in the primaries, have they traveled out of the country or they have died after the primaries.
” In as much as I welcome the direct primaries, i challenge the politicians and the election Management body to enforce strict compliance to the rules of the game. They should try as much as possible to insulate the process from abuse.
” I encourage INEC to rise to the occasion with stiffer sanctions to discourage those who will tinker with the process. It is only when this is done that we will say democracy has taken root in the country.
Hon. Akuh stated this over the weekend in Lokoja, kogi state capital, during the Dinner/Award ceremony Organised by Lokoja chapter of the Saint Charles College Ankpa, Old Students Association SCCAOSA.
While reminiscence his days at the college, he said , the discipline, training and moral values inculcated in them was the tonic that has propelled him to weather through thick and thin of lives to make him what he is today.
He said, the popular slogan and motto of the school” We shall overcome” has been a source of inspiration for the students to face their lives with all the strength within their disposal, adding that no situation in life is alien to the ex students.
The former lawmaker, who was the college captain of his 1975 set, reminded his colleagues to at all times live by the act of discipline, hardwork and integrity which was deposited in them by their Alma mata to make the society a better place.
Akuh, who bagged award of excellence at the occasion, urged ex students to make truth and discipline their watchwords no matter whose ox is gored.
” It is my firm belief that when you live by the truth and do the things that are true, our society would be cured of vices bedevilling our nation.
” I encourage you to exhibit spirit of our Alma mata which are the spirit of togetherness, unity and never say die. I solicit your cooperation to give back to our college, society at large and also to be our brothers’ keepers.” He advised.
In his key note remark, the Chairman, Lokoja chapter of the Association, Onuche Friday Commended members for their patriotic zeal toward issues that concern the college and urge those who have not been identified with the union to do so for the overall interest of the college.
He said the dinner/ award was to honour some of their colleagues who have distinguished themselves in their chosen vocation and have not relented in given back to the school that has moulded them.
He called on members to take attendance at meetings very seriously, while harping on paucity of funds which impedes their desire to contribute functionally to the Alma mater.
Recalled that St.Charles College Ankpa was established in 1967, even as, nine distinguished alumni were bestowed with award of excellence, while late Mrs Lydia Eneojo, first Head girl, and late Mrs Hajara Angulu were given post humus award.