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In fact, one of the happiest moments of my life as a Public Opinion Analyst in this society was when few days ago, I received an unusual correspondence from a student of one of the Higher Institutions in the state, majoring in Political Science requesting me to throw more lights on the wahala over party primaries.

In fact, one of the happiest moments of my life as a Public Opinion Analyst in this society was when few days ago, I received an unusual correspondence from a student of one of the Higher Institutions in the state, majoring in Political Science requesting me to throw more lights on the wahala over party primaries.


Part of his correspondence reads, “Please, opinion analyst, I recently read in one of the local tabloids what you wrote on different aspects of party primaries in the United State, where we borrowed our Presidential system. Please, can you throw more light on the subject so that students of Political Science like me and other interested members of the public could learn more from your intellectual exposure on the subject?”
“You may wish to explain to us if party primaries in the United States generated so much heat as they are currently doing here in our country among political parties.”
Honestly, I welcomed this request with enthusiasm because it is quite unusual. Admittedly, from time to time, students of various disciplines from different Institutions come to me in my office for some kind of knowledge exposure. For each group, I usually take delight in giving them attention because according to Felix Cobb, “Those who make efforts to know more, learn more and understand more of any aspect of societal life must be encouraged because any little knowledge shared to a person or group is knowledge shared to the globe.”
Therefore, in this piece, I will make efforts to narrate how party primaries are organized in the United State. But before doing that, let me answer his second question whether party primaries in the United State generate this type of heat.
The answer is simple. It does not because it is a scattered process held on different dates in different states of the union. Party primaries are the exclusive functions of political parties who make all the necessary arrangements for them to be held on different dates in different states. In fact, except from the usual publicity given to party primaries by the media, those who are not involved hardly know when they are held. But according to established political culture, party primaries usually begin in the America's smallest State known as New Hemisphere in the North East. Because parties usually adopt “Direct Primary System; Presidential aspirants move from States to States were primaries have been scheduled. In a way, party primaries for the Presidential Election almost last for nearly a year before culminating in the party's Convention to pick the Presidential candidate.
It must be mention that the issue of party primaries in the United State is party matters. Although most primaries are direct primaries, nothing stops local political leadership from opting indirect primaries or using another process to nominate candidates for different elective offices from the grassroots such as Governors, Deputy Governors, Senators, House of Representatives, State Judges, Police Commissioners including a whole lot of several elective offices such as Mayors, Councilors, etc.
Therefore, it is not wrong for APC to adopt different methods; direct or indirect. But it must be mentioned that given the level of our political development, direct primaries should be the ideal thing because it reduces conflicts and outright purchasing of delegates.
However, a mixture of the two smells right. On like in the US, arrangements for party primaries are the responsibilities of State or Local party leadership and not that of the National leadership of the party. Even, some states or LGA leadership may opt to choose delegates through what is known as caucuses. Because of mischievous intentions, some party leaders may choose to adopt methods which may favour their political whims and caprices.
This is where the problem begins. Whether direct or indirect primaries, the process is that members of the particular party use their party membership card as their voting qualification. It is not for every electorate, not at all.
Unfortunately, here in Nigeria, party primaries are generating a lot of heat because of the introduction of delegates in an indirect primary arrangement. This is indeed the cause of the party primaries wahala. It is likely to tear some parties apart particularly those parties who have opened a flood-gate for money and commercial politicians entries to come and destabilize the parties.
It is my hope that this would help my inquiring Political Science student to learn more about party primaries in the US.

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