Electoral Act: House adopts direct/indirect primaries

Lawan Hamidu, Abuja

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The Nigerian House of Representatives has adopted the provision of direct and indirect primaries for the nomination of candidates for elective positions by political parties.

This followed the consideration and adoption of section 84(2) of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill recommitted to the House at plenary in line with order 12, Rule 20 (1-3) of the Standing Orders of the House.

The House amended the controversial Clause 84(2) and agreed that candidates for an election shall emerge through either direct or indirect primaries by political parties.

Recommitting the bill for reconsideration by the House committee of the whole, the Chairman House Committee on Rules and Business, Abubakar Hassan Fulata said  amending the clause was to allow the Bill to scale through for credible election.

Speaker Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila who presided over the plenary explained that the House considered and adopted only the clause, as observed by the President and that the House will continue to provide legislations that would improve governance in the country, including credible polls.

President Muhammadu Buhari had in December 2021 communicated to the National Assembly his decision to withhold assent to the bill, saying that clause 84(2) as it was, will deny many Nigerians opportunity to take part in the electoral process.

In the beginning, opposition lawmakers have attempted to stop the process but were later convinced by the Minority Leader, Mr. Ndudi Elumelu, and took part in the consideration process.

Now that the two chambers have considered and adopted the President’s observation, the amended clause will be harmonized, dusted, and re-transmitted for the President in the next few days or weeks for assent.


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