- Speaker of the house of representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, says he was not aware of threat to override Buhari
- Recall that Buhari had declined assent to the bill, citing concerns over the recommendation of direct primaries for political parties
- There had been reports that senators were collecting signatures to override the president’s decision
Nigerians have been told that there was no plot or threat to override the decision of the president on the electoral bill. This is according to Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house of representatives.
The speaker disclosed this on Friday, December 24, after a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa in Abuja.
Recall that Buhari declined assent to the bill, citing concerns over the recommendation of direct primaries for political parties.
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Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members in the House of Reps had also said they would challenge the president’s decision.
However, Gbajabiamila said he was unaware of such a development.
“I’m not aware of any such threats to override the president’s decision; at least not in my chambers. We’re on a break right now. So, the collection of signatures is not something that is done when everybody’s scattered.
“I made it abundantly clear at our last sitting that we will look at the president’s veto and his reasons when we come back on. It’s not something we’re going to do on a kneejerk.
“I made it very clear that we’re not going to throw away the baby with the bathwater. The electoral law is what a credible electoral process needs and laws are what are required at this time. Nigerians want it and Nigerians will get it.
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“By the time we come back, at least as far as the house and I’m sure the senate as well is concerned, it will be the first thing on our agenda — the very week we come back from recess.”
Meanwhile, the Senate has reportedly dropped the plan to override President Muhammadu Buhari following his decision not to sign the Electoral Amendment Bill 2021.
The senators abandoned the plan following overnight lobbying by six governors. It was gathered that the six governors, led by the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mallam Mai Mala Buni, lobbied senators overnight to stay action on their plan.
The lobbying which started at about 9pm on Tuesday, December 22, ended at 5am on Wednesday, December 23. The newspaper cited anonymous sources as saying that the ability of Senate President Ahmad Lawan to manage the situation maturely made senators ‘defer’ issues on the presidential veto till January 2022.
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Senators collecting signatures
Legit.ng earlier reported that Senator George Sekibo who represents River East senatorial district declared that 73 senators had indicated interest to override President Buhari’s veto of the electoral bill.
Sekibo who is a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said signatures have been collected from the senators ready to override the president.