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Gbajabiamila Vows To Reintroduce Electoral Bill After Amending Direct Primary Clause Wednesday

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila has vowed to reintroduce on Wednesday the amended electoral bill, which President Muhammadu Buhari failed to assent to.

He said this in his address when the House resumed plenary, on Tuesday.

He said the bill will be reintroduced on Wednesday, adding that the house must amend the Direct Primaries provision in order to save the other sections of the bill.

“We should not throw the baby with the bathwater… our current constitutional review effort is as crucial as the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill. Amending our nation’s constitution to address longstanding areas of disagreement and remove the vestiges of militarism from our democracy is one of the central commitments we made in the 9th House.”

“It is a commitment we must meet or risk the harsh judgment of history. Therefore we will prioritise action to pass the Constitution Amendment Bill in the House of Representatives,” he said.

Gbajabiamila lamented that the failure of political parties to maintain a comprehensive membership register was one of the reasons the President declined assent to the bill.

He said: “This is an appalling admission that political parties in the country do not have credible and up to date registers of their members.

“We are left to question how those parties have thus far managed their affairs, including conducting congresses and primary elections, whether by direct or indirect means.

“Nonetheless, it is disappointing that the failure of political parties to adequately document their membership is being used to not give the Nigerian people the power to fully participate in our nation’s politics.

“If nothing else, including a direct primary mandate in the law, would have forced political parties to properly register their members within the shortest possible time. This would have been the singular most significant reform of our political party system in a generation.”

He further disclosed that the work of the House on key amendments is yet to be over adding that, the House will pursue constitutional amendment and other legislative duties with enough vigour.

He added that the House has so much to do within a limited time as such, members must redouble their efforts to work within the remaining time.

At a town hall meeting organised by YIAGA Africa on Sunday, the issue of the direct primary was the dominant topic

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