Electoral bill: I’m unaware of threats to override Buhari’s decision, says Gbaja


Femi Gbajabiamila

Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house of representatives, says he is not aware of “threats” to override the decision of the president on the electoral bill.

He said this on Friday night after a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa in Abuja.

President Muhammadu Buhari had declined assent to the bill, citing concerns over the recommendation of direct primaries for political parties.

According to him, such recommendation “violates the spirit of democracy”.

There had been reports that senators were collecting signatures to override the president’s decision.

Members of the house of representatives elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had also said they would challenge the president’s decision.

However, Gbajabiamila said he was unaware of such a development, adding that the matter will be first on the agenda when lawmakers resume sitting in January 2022.

“I’m not aware of any such threats to override the president’s decision; at least not in my chambers. We’re on a break right now. So, the collection of signatures is not something that is done when everybody’s scattered,” he said.

“I made it abundantly clear at our last sitting that we will look at the president’s veto and his reasons when we come back on. It’s not something we’re going to do on a knee jerk.

“When we come back from our recess — there’s still ample time — we will decide one way or the other. We will do what is right for the Nigerian people.

“I made it very clear that we’re not going to throw away the baby with the bathwater. The electoral law is what a credible electoral process needs and laws are what are required at this time. Nigerians want it and Nigerians will get it.

“By the time we come back, at least as far as the house and I’m sure the senate as well is concerned, it will be the first thing on our agenda — the very week we come back from recess.”

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