Gbajabiamila: We may review Electoral Act to remove direct primary

Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives says the National Assembly may remove the contentious direct primary clause from the 2021 Electoral Act amendment bill when it resumes for plenary.

Speaking on Thursday while inaugurating some projects in Lagos, Gbajabiamila said he initiated the process because he wanted to give back the party to members and make them have a say in who represents them, rather than few individuals.

Gbajabiamila, however added that such decisions have to be made by both chambers of the National Assembly in the interest of the nation.

According to him, “If you follow the history of the amendment of the direct and indirect primary, I initiated that amendment for a good reason and it is for people to participate in elections. These are the people you see around when you campaign every four years,” he said.

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“For me, it does not make sense that these people do not have a voice in who represents them. It is part of being used and I didn’t like that. Most of us are reformers and one of the ways to reform the system is to make it more accountable and to make the people have a voice in who represents them as opposed to a few people sitting in the four corners of a wall and writing results.

“There is a process; when we come back from recess, as I said, the House will look at those amendments. We will sit as the National Assembly, look at the reasons and at that point, consider removing that clause and pass the bill so that we do not throw away the baby with the bathwater.

“But then, it is not my decision to make. It is the decision of the National Assembly; if they determine that the reasons are not good enough, then, there is a process prescribed by the constitution.”