“We are going to revisit Electoral Bill in January” – House Speaker, Gbajabiamila

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep Femi Gbajabiamila, on Thursday, assured that the National Assembly would decide the fate of the Electoral Act (amendment) Bill 2021 in January next year, upon resumption from the Christmas and New Year holiday.

Gbajabiamila gave the assurance while delivering his end-of-year speech shortly after reading the President’s communication to the House on his decision not to give his assent to the Bill,

He promised Nigerians that the parliament would not throw away the Bill just because President Muhammadu Buhari declined his assent because of the direct primary clause.

According to him, “When we return in the new year, we will resume our efforts to reform the electoral system in our country; and we will do it together. That is what the Nigerian people expect of us, and we will do our duty for God and our country.

“Whichever way it pans out, we must not throw out the baby with the bathwater and must deliver a credible and enduring electoral system to Nigerians. Every law is a living document; and as long as it has breath, it must survive”.

The Speaker made it clear that the National Assembly has a duty to ensure a smooth process, noting that the lawmakers would collectively decide the fate of the Bill.

Recall that President Buhari had, in his communication, said he was constrained to withhold assent to the Bill, citing security concerns and fear of manipulation and monetisation of the electoral process.

President Buhari, in the letter, read to the Lawmakers by the Speaker, noted that direct primary was not free from manipulation and that it would engender corruption and give rise to massive vote-buying.

He also noted that opposition political parties may mobilise against popular candidates in other political parties to ensure victory in the general election, as such parties cannot boast of credible membership register.

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