The House of Reps Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila has stated that the recently passed Electoral Bill will soon be signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Speaker of the House of Reps disclosed this on Thursday, in Abuja, after a meeting with the President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.
He also revealed that the Presidency is in support of the direct primaries model recommended in the Electoral Bill recently passed by the National Assembly.
What the Speaker is saying
“I just came to brief the President about the goings-on in the country as it affects 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, Electoral Act amendment, which is what I am sure you are asking about. If I tell you we didn’t discuss that, I will be lying to you.
“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 was passed by both houses.
“Hopefully, we will get the Electoral Act Amendment Bill transmitted now that he is back, very soon.
“We are hopeful it will become law and Nigerians will be better for it,” Gbajabiamila said.
On complaints about the direct primaries model by some state governors, he said he has heard the argument about cost, however, a price tag cannot be put on democracy.
“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.
“But we have passed the law. The official position of House of Representatives and the Senate, we are for direct primaries,” he said.
The Speaker also stated that Federal lawmakers are for empowering the people at the grassroots level, as it makes everybody participate in governance, adding that 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 very clear,” he stated.
What you should know
Nairametrics reported last month that the Nigerian Senate announced a reversal of a decision taken in July on electronic transmission, by granting the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the power to electronically transmit results.