Legislature

Electoral Bill: It’s not easy to override Buhari’s rejection — Gbajabiamila

The speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has noted that it is not easy to override President Muhammadu Buhari’s rejection of the electoral amendment bill.

Gbajabiamila said this during the commissioning of some projects including the Obele mini stadium, Dosunmu road, Adedoyin road, Ojikutu, Ishola road by Randle, Rasaq Balogun mini stadium and the Razaq Balogun road, Adeniran Ogunsanya in Surulere, Lagos.

Speaking, the speaker said; “If you followed the history of the amendment of the direct and indirect primary bill, I initiated that amendment bill 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 come rain, come shine.

“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.

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“Most of us are reformers and one of the ways to reform the system is to make 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.

“That is what the amendment was all about. Again, there is a process.

“The president has, in his wisdom, rejected it and I believe he did it with good intentions based on the advice that he got. He weighed everything. Again, maybe times are different. He has people who advised him and I guess they advised him against the amendment bill.

“There is a process. When we come back, 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 do away with the baby and 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.”

When asked whether the National Assembly may veto the bill, he said: “Which way the sword is going to fall, I have no idea until that time. I cannot read the minds of the whole National Assembly members.

“They need 2/3 of the member to override the president, there is a reason the constitution prescribes 2/3, veto is not something you easily override.

“If they muster enough and they believe it is in the best interest of Nigerians, then, that is what we will do; otherwise, we will take out the clause and pass the bill so that Nigerians can have a credible electoral act and due process. They must get it.”

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