Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has announced that the electoral act amendment bill will be reintroduced in the Green Chamber on Wednesday.
KanyiDaily recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari had declined assent to the bill, citing concerns over the recommendation of direct primaries for political parties.
However, on Tuesday while addressing members on resumption from the Christmas and New Year breaks, Gbajabiamila said the House has resolved to rework the bill and send it back to Buhari as quickly as possible for assent.
He said, “The house will reintroduce the amendment tomorrow and we will work quickly to address the mitigating concern, pass the bill and send it to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.”
Speaking on the concerns raised over errors in the bill, Gbajabiamila said he had set up a technical committee to look into the matter, adding that the report would be made available to the house in a few days.
He said the “drafting and other technical errors in the bill, is a matter of concern as it appears the version sent to the president differs from what is circulating in the public domain”.
“However, in December of last year, I appointed a technical team to look into the issue. I expect to have their report within the next day or two so that we can proceed to the next stage,” the speaker said.
The speaker said the direct primary option was introduced into the bill to pave the way for party members to fully participate in the nomination of candidates.
He further said that it was unfortunate that the failure of political parties to have standard register of members was being used to deny Nigerians the opportunity to participate in the nomination of candidates for elections.
Gbajabiamila also said the failure of the parties to maintain credible registers violates the 1999 constitution as it makes it difficult for the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) to properly monitor activities of parties.
He said adopting the direct primary option would have forced political parties to have credible registers of members, adding that less than 13 months to the general elections, what Nigerians want is a credible electoral law.
The speaker also announced the first set of amendments to the 1999 constitution being worked on by the House will be sent to State Houses of Assembly for concurrence before the end of February, 2022.
KanyiDaily had reported how 73 Nigerian senators were set to support a motion to override President Buhari’s veto on the Electoral Act (Ammendment) Bill.