Rep Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker, House of Representatives, has rued the delegate system used in conducting political parties’ primary elections to elect candidates to fly the flag of their respective parties.
Gbajabiamila said this at the resumption of plenary last Tuesday in Abuja.
He said that it was rather unfortunate that the process went the way it went, adding that “I make bold to say here that the legislature has once again suffered losses.”
According to him, the loss really is not for members who lost, but a loss 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 their primaries because they were rejected by their constituents.
“Many of our members lost because of the process, the process which we foresaw in the House of Representatives. The delegate system which unfortunately is not what a delegate system is supposed to be,” he said.
Gbajabiamila said that the past two months had been dominated by political pursuits across the country as political parties carried out various activities to nominate their candidates for the forthcoming general elections.
He added that some members who sought the nomination of their parties to return to legislature had not gotten it, while others who sought nomination to contest other positions had also fallen short in that quest.
He said that many members lost because they were not given a fair shot, adding that the House of Reps had good legislators.
He added that the legislators abound both in the chambers and back home, who would not be coming back because of the delegate system.
“When we fought for direct primaries in this house, we knew exactly what we were saying. It pains me very deeply, that the process has gone the way it has gone.
“We will continue to push and continue to fight for our members, for democracy, for the institution and this country.
“I have experienced political loss and I can speak to the feelings of loss and disappointment that arise as a result,” he said.
He added that from experience, none of the members was defined by the outcome of any election, adding that what defined them was what they do in the time they had in public office and on earth.
The Speaker, however, enjoined members to set aside their feelings about recent electoral experiences to focus on serving the mandate they still had.
He said, ” whereas in the past, the start of the electoral calendar marked the end of governance as a priority, that will not be the case in this 9th Assembly.
“Our term in office does not end till next year. Until the moment it does, until the last minute of the final hour, we will do the people’s work and serve their interests.
“That is the oath we swore and the commitment we will live up to, come what may,” he said.