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Why I championed amendment to electoral bill for use of direct primaries – Gbajabiamila

By Msugh Ityokura (Abuja)
21 November 2021   |   3:58 am
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has called for deliberate efforts in preparing the children and youth of Nigeria to become leaders of tomorrow...

[FILES] Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila. Photo/FACEBOOK/SPEAKERGBAJA

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has called for deliberate efforts in preparing the children and youth of Nigeria to become leaders of tomorrow

Such efforts he said must include involving them in governance and expanding the democratic space to accommodate many young people.

Gbajabiamila spoke at the National Children’s Dialogue to mark the 2021 Universal Children’s Day in Abuja yesterday where he explained that this was the reason he championed an amendment to the Electoral Bill 2021 for the use of Direct Primaries by political parties as a method of choosing candidates for elective offices.

The dialogue had the theme, “The Nigerian Child and the National Unity Project.” With direct primaries, Gbajabiamila said a youth with leadership qualities had equal chances of becoming a candidate for an elective office just like any other person.

This, according to him, was one of the surest ways of securing the future of Nigeria, by giving people with multiple ideas the opportunity to be at the very top of governance.

“That debate on direct primaries, which I championed, is about the future of our country. Our position in the 9th House of Representatives is that everyone must have equal opportunities to participate in governance and the democratic process.

“Young people must have a seat at the high table and we must create the enabling environment for them to be in leadership such that a young man with bold ideas can come out to vie for any position, be it legislator, governor or any other office. That can only be achieved through direct primaries, which will give a fair chance to the youth to be involved in governance,” he said.

Gbajabiamila called for huge investment in youth education, particularly technology, which the speaker said had transformed the world from what it used to be into a global village, delivering services and innovations at an unprecedented speed.

A member of the house, Bamidele Salam who organised the event, had earlier explained that the purpose of the project was to build “exemplary” children with all the qualities that would lead Nigeria to become a truly great country.