Gbajabiamila bemoans Reps’ electoral losses at primaries
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Tuesday, faulted the way political parties conducted primaries leading to the failure of some members of the National Assembly to get tickets of their respective parties to seek re-election in the 2023 general elections.
Gbajabiamila particularly criticised the failure of the parties to allow statutory delegates to vote for candidates at the primaries, as the National Assembly proposed in the amendment to Section 84(8) of the Electoral Act 2022, which the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.,) has yet to assent to.
The Speaker expressed his reservation in his address at the resumption of plenary on Tuesday, saying there were forces who frustrated the efforts by the parliament towards enhancing the process.
The resumption followed the decision of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria to suspend its strike which commenced last Monday.
Gbajabiamila partly said, “Unfortunately, as is always the case in electoral contests, some of us who sought the nomination of our parties to return to legislature did not get it. Others who sought nomination to contest other positions have also fallen short in that quest.
“It is rather unfortunate that the process went the way it went. I make bold to say here that the legislature has once again suffered losses. The loss really is not for members who lost, it is a loss to democracy, to the institution and to the country.
At the Senate, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, advised his colleagues who lost the just concluded primary elections at various levels to take heart and continue to pursue what they believe in.
He wished those who defected to other political parties well and advised them to hope for better opportunities in the nearest future.
He announced the resignation of the Majority Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, and the Majority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe.
He said their resignation followed their defection from their political parties under which platform they got elected into the Senate.
Lawan said Abdullahi, in his letter of resignation, attributed his decision to his defection from the All Progressives Congress to the Peoples Democratic Party.
He also stated that Abaribe on the other hand defected from the PDP to the All Progressives Grand Alliance.
The Senate President, in yet another letter, notified his colleagues that the Chairman, Senate Committee on Works, Senator Adamu Aliero, has defected from the APC to the PDP.
Lawan, therefore, directed the Chief Whip, Senator Orji Kalu, to relocate both the former Senate Leader and his colleague in the minority caucus, to other seats.
Attempts by Senators Phillip Aduda, George Thompson and Gabriel Suswan to stop the relocation of Abaribe because he had not formally communicated his decision to his caucus were frustrated by the Senate President.