On Tuesday, January 18, 2022, members of the Federal House of Assembly resume plenary after Christmas and New year break. Upon resumption, the Electoral Amendment Bill took the front burner to the floor of the house.
To recall, the proposed Electoral Amendment Bill 2021 passed by the National House of Assembly was withheld assent by President Mohammadu Buhari late last year. His reasons adduced for the rejection of the Electoral Amendment Bill were particularly referred to the amendment of Section 87(2) of the Electoral Act, 2021 dealing with the mode of nomination of candidates by Political Parties. The president perceived that as to be cost-effective, pose a security challenge, and may bridge some political party’s constitutions.
The Assembly with the zeal to address the President’s objections had in their plenary unanimously amended Clause 84 (2) of the bill, which hitherto recognized only direct primaries, as the method for nominating party candidates. The provision now accommodates both direct and indirect primaries.
It reads “The procedure for nomination of Candidates by Political Parties for various elective positions shall be by direct or indirect primaries”.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives Rt. Hon. Gbajabiamila who presided over the plenary further clarifies that every other provision of the bill as earlier passed, remained the same, except for clause 84 (2), which had been amended to address the President’s objection.