Direct Primaries: Gbajabiamila Lobbies Buhari To Accept Electoral Bill

Femi Gbajabiamila Direct Primaries
Femi Gbajabiamila
  • The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila says the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill will soon be signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.

EKO HOT BLOG reports that Gbajabiamila who made this known after he met with the President at the Aso Rock Villa on Thursday, added that the bill has been dispatched to the President by the Clerk of the National Assembly.

On the purpose of his visit, the Speaker said, “I just came to brief the President about the goings-on in the country as they affect the National Assembly. So, we had fruitful discussions. We had fruitful discussions and tried to strike some synergy.

“We had a very robust discussion about the tripartite committee on the Electoral Act amendment, which is what I am sure you are asking about. If I tell you that we didn’t discuss that, I will be lying to you.

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“You are aware that the National Assembly has passed the issue of direct primaries and electronic transmission of election results. That is the position of the National Assembly. It has passed both houses. Hopefully, we will get the Electoral Act Amendment Bill transmitted very soon now that he (Buhari) is back. We are hopeful that it will become a law and Nigerians will be better for it.”

Asked about the concerns raised by the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, who on Tuesday advised the President to return the Electoral Act to the National Assembly, because the direct primaries would be too expensive for political parties and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In his reaction, the Speaker said the National Assembly could not put a price tag on democracy when making decisions.

“I have heard that argument about cost. And this is what I have to say. Do you put a price tag on democracy? I don’t think you should. What is too much and what is too little to buy freedom and democracy? I don’t think you should put a price tag on it,” Gbajabiamila said.

The Speaker stated that the National Assembly would continue to support direct primaries, adding that it would empower the people at the grass-roots level.

Senator Ndume
President Muhammadu Buhari

“Let everybody participate in governance. Democracy is defined as a government of the people, for the people and by the people. ‘People’ is used three times in that definition. And it doesn’t start from general elections. It starts from primaries. So, we have made it abundantly clear,” Gbajabiamila argued.

He added that the indirect primaries have for a long time not helped the country’s democracy.

The Speaker said the indirect primary method had undermined the success of the Not-Too-Young-To-Run law, which reduced the age limit for electoral offices.

“How will the young people get involved? Now, they have a chance with direct primaries. We have opened up the space and they can get in and mobilise themselves and if they are popular enough, they win the election. They are not dependent on any godfather,” he said.

Gbajabiamila added that the President had always supported direct primaries, adding that he had been a proponent from the very start.



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Jesuwale Stephen is a journalist who finished from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism. He is a distinctive writer, media strategist and also a Digital Marketer