The lawmaker representing Kebbi South Senatorial District, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah, says the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila introduced a mandatory direct primary clause into the Electoral Act Amendment Bill “to favour someone”.
Senator Na’Allah accuses Gbajabiamila of introducing Direct Primary to favour someone
The senator said the process of passing the bill into law was not painstaking enough.
President Muhammadu Buhari had withheld his assent on the controversial bill over the inclusion of mandatory direct primary among other reasons.
On Wednesday, January 19, 2022, the National Assembly removed the clause that makes direct primary mandatory for the election of candidates in political parties from the electoral act amendment bill, and equally passed it into law.
Speaking on Channels TV on Thursday, January 20, 2022, Na’Allah said the process of passing the bill into law was not painstaking enough, saying he heard the law was intended for someone.
Hew said, “We are hearing that that law (direct primary) was intended for an individual. I don’t know. I honestly don’t know but I must say and maintain that the process was not painstaking enough.
“The issue of direct primary came at the dying minute on the floor of the House of Representatives when they were considering the report of the committee of electoral matters. What it means is that it was never discussed or adopted by the committee of the House but that it came as an amendment allegedly because I don’t have the records, by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.”
He added that the claim that the law was necessary to protect federal lawmakers from the influence of governors showed that the proposed law was done for personal reasons.
He said, “And I have seen the Speaker doing whatever was humanly possible to defend that position. But what would prove me right is that in one breath, I heard the Speaker saying that because of the rate of return at the National Assembly, there was the need to protect the members of the National Assembly from the influence of governors, therefore the resort to direct primaries.
“Now, the catch there is that personal interest was allowed in the process. That is the catch because he particularly said the turnover of members is very disturbing and that there is the need to protect members of the National Assembly from the governors.
“In the first place, that argument will fall flat because it means that decision was taken to promote personal interest against the oath of office that we have taken as members of the National Assembly.”
Reacting to Na'Allah's accusation during the House plenary on Thursday, January 20, 2022, Gbajabiamila cautioned lawmakers to be careful not to malign the National Assembly.
Gbajabiamila said he has no problem with lawmakers expressing their opinions at all times.
He, however, expressed disappointment, saying the things that were uttered by members of the National Assembly were disgraceful.
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