The House of Representatives will adequately address the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the Electoral Act (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, 2021, in January next year.
The Speaker, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, made the disclosure in a speech to members on Tuesday to mark the adjournment of the House for the Christmas and New Year break.
President Buhari, who refused to assent to the bill, blamed it on the cost of conducting direct primary elections, security challenges and possible manipulation of electoral processes by political actors.
Buhari revealed his decision in a letter he wrote to the legislature and was read to members on the floor in Abuja by the Speaker.
Gbajabiamila stated that the new bill introduced several innovations, besides direct primaries, to help advance the country’s democracy.
“As it is now, that bill has not received presidential assent, and it falls to parliament to decide the best way forward. When we return in the new year, we will resume our efforts to reform the electoral system in our country. And we will do it together.
“That is what the Nigerian people expect of us, and we will do our duty for God and country. As long as this one breathes, it will survive. When we return, we will address it,” the Speaker said.
Gbajabiamila explained to members that time was short to address the sensitive issue at hand in haste because members were set to proceed on break and they must pass other important bills such as the 2022 Appropriation Bill and the Finance Bill before doing so.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives passed the 2022 budget of N17. 126trillion presented to it by President Muhammadu Buhari, before adjourning for the Christmas and New Year break.