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Be politically active, Speaker urges youth, women

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Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures, Abubakar Suleiman, has urged youth and women to participate actively in the legislative arm of government.

Suleiman, who is also Speaker of Bauchi State House of Assembly, made the appeal in his keynote address to the virtual conference on “strengthening women and youth participation in the National Assembly of Nigeria” organised by Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the National Assembly.

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He reminded his audience that the Not Too Young To Run law was to encourage better participation in governance by young Nigerians.

The chairman noted that the #EndSARS protests, as well as rising cases of harassment of women and children and other social ills in the society, were enough to concern any reasonable leader to encourage youth and women to get actively involved in political activities.

By so doing, Suleiman said the young minds would be afforded a better platform to discuss their problems and channel them appropriately devoid of violence.

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His words: “Two months ago, the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Pauline Tallen, visited us at the Bauchi State House of Assembly to thank us for passing the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Bill into law.

“One of the key observations she made was that there is no female member at the Assembly. I told her that despite the absence of a female lawmaker in the House, the Assembly values and respects women and children to the highest level, hence the passage of the VAPP Bill and related bills into law.”

He observed that apathy, inferiority complex, and some religious and cultural beliefs were impeding women from seeking elective offices in spite of their numerical strength.

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The Speaker, therefore, pleaded that the female gender is encouraged to be more politically conscious.

He appealed that slots should be compulsorily reserved for women as a way out.

Suleiman observed: “If a young man or woman becomes a councillor, he or she will be exposed to all leadership and legislative processes. And from there, they will begin to aspire to become state lawmakers, and subsequently, federal lawmakers.”

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