Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has expressed regret that many experienced lawmakers lost out to religious and ethnics politics in the February 25th National Assembly elections.
Gbajabiamila stated this while addressing journalists in his office on Tuesday night.
He lamented that performance of the members was sacrificed on the altar of ethnicity, religion and other factors which were used to vote them out.
Gbajabiamila said, “It was a hard won battle, not just for me but for many of our colleagues on the floor there. All 360 of us. Many were unlucky. Some were lucky.
“I used the word ‘lucky’ deliberately because this election was not as it should be, not so much about the performance of members whether on the floor or in their constituencies.
“It was about a lot of other things. It was about religion. It was about ethnicity. It was about so many other things which I hope that as we develop as a nation, one’s election would be based solely, or at least mostly on his or her performance on the floor and in the constituency.
“That is what I hope would happen as we move along and that is why he mentioned the Electoral Act that was just passed.
“That is why I fought tooth and nail to make sure the Electoral Act adopted strictly the direct mode for primaries because of elections.
“Even though at the general elections members lost, a lot of members actually lost their elections at the primaries, where their acceptance by the constituents was not put to test.
“What was put to test was what one or two leaders in their constituencies determined whether they were returning or not. So we lost a lot of legislators even at the primaries level, and that does not help our democracy”.