Electoral Act: Why Reps Will Address President’s Decline Of Bill Next Year – Gbajabiamila


Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila presides over a plenary at the House of Representatives chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

The House of Representatives will adequately address the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the Electoral Act (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, 2021, in January next year.

Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, stated this in a speech to the lawmakers on Tuesday in Abuja to mark the adjournment of the House for the Christmas and New Year break.

“As it is now, that bill has not received presidential assent, and it falls to parliament to decide the best way forward,” he told his colleagues. “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 country. As long as this one breathes, it will survive. When we return, we will address it.”

READ ALSO: Lawmakers Deliberate Next Steps Over Buhari’s Refusal To Sign Electoral Bill

President Buhari had withheld his assent to the bill, citing the cost of conducting direct primary elections, security challenges, and possible manipulation of electoral processes by political actors as reasons.

Gbajabiamila explained that the time was short to address the sensitive issue at hand in haste because members were set to proceed on break, and they must pass other important bills such as the 2022 Appropriation Bill and the Finance Bill before doing so.

He stated that the new bill introduced several innovations, besides direct primaries, to help advance the country’s democracy.

Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila gives a speech during a plenary at the House of Representatives chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

The speaker, who commended the lawmakers for the efforts they made to ensure the passage of the bill, reminded them of the Legislative Agenda of the 9th House, which he said must be followed through to its conclusion.

“In the past, election years have witnessed a decline in governance activities as political pursuits cloud the calendar. That will not be the case this time around. As you are aware, we have a legislative agenda in this 9th House of Representatives, which we tagged ‘Our Contract with Nigerians,” he said.

“I expect that we will do everything within our power to keep the commitments we made in that document so that when we appear before our various constituencies, we can stand tall in the knowledge that despite challenges and difficulties, we did what we promised to do and given a chance again, will do even more.”

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