Senators, Reps resume plenary, tackle Electoral Bill

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The Senate and the House of Representatives on Tuesday resumed plenary with the review of the Electoral Bill on the front burner of deliberations.

The Senate immediately when into a close-door session while the lower chamber promised to take another look at the bill on Wednesday.

The President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, after saying the opening prayer, told the Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, to move for the Senate to go into executive session.

The Senate had shortly before going on break in December, 2021 hinted of plan to liaise with the House of Representatives and their constituents on what should be the next move of the Red Chamber to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill which President Muhammadu Buhari refused to sign into law.

It is not unlikely that the senators at the executive session may discuss the issue as well as other issues of interest to the upper legislative chamber.

Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila said the bill will be reintroduced on Wednesday, adding that the house must amend the Direct Primaries provision in order to save the other sections of the bill.

“We should not throw the baby with the bath water,” he said.

Gbajabiamila lamented that the failure of political parties to maintain a comprehensive membership register was one of the reasons the president declined assent to the bill.

The Speaker noted that the inclusion of the Direct Primaries clause would have forced the parties to have a comprehensive register of their members.

He wondered how the parties have been managing congresses and other activities without a comprehensive membership register.

He further disclosed that, the work of the House on key amendments is yet to be over, adding that the House will pursue constitutional amendment and other legislative duties with enough vigour.

He added that the House has so much to do within a limited time as such, members must redouble their efforts to work within the remaining time.