Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has explained why some house of representatives members lost primaries of political parties held across the country.
In his opening remarks at the resumption of plenary on Tuesday June 14, after over one month of recess, Gbajabiamila said he’s concerned that about 178 serving members of the house failed to secure the ticket of their various parties to return to the green chamber of the National Assembly.
According to him, many members lost because of the process of primaries, using the delegate system which is what the House fought for by making direct primaries compulsory in the Electoral Act which the President has yet to sign.
“The past few months have been dominated by political developments in the country, as political parties carry out various activities to nominate their candidates for the forthcoming general elections.
All of us, members of the House of Representatives have not been exempted from this process. Unfortunately as it is always the case in electoral contests, some of us who sought the nomination of our parties to return the legislature did not get it.
Others who sought nomination to contest other positions have also fallen short in their quests. Honourable colleagues, it is rather unfortunate that the process went the way it went.
I made bold to say here that the legislature has once again suffered losses. The loss is not only for members who lost, it is a lost to democracy, to the institution and to the country.
If it means anything, I know and I am aware that many of our members did not lose the primaries be cause they were rejected by their constituents, no, far from it.
Many of our members lost because of the process. The process which we foresaw in the House of Representatives. The delegate system, which unfortunately was not what the delegate system is supposed to be.
Many of our members lost because they were not even given a fair share or fair shot. We have good legislators, both here in the chambers and back home, who are probably not coming back because of this same process.
When we fought for Direct Primaries in this House, we knew exactly what we are saying. And in that fight, we kicked and was pushed back by those who knew who failed to know what they need to do, that has now become the bane of the institution of the legislature.”