Fred Itua, Abuja
The National Assembly, yesterday, made a strong case for a new leadership recruitment process in the country. It said it will address some challenges facing the country if we get the process right.
Director General of the National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Professor Abubakar Suleiman, made the remarks when he spoke in Abuja yesterday during the zonal quiz competition on Legislature and Democracy in selected schools across the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
NILDS is an organ of the National Assembly. The Act establishing the Institute was signed into law in 2011 by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The Institute is one of the world’s premier academic and research institutions. It supports the sustenance of dynamic and effective Legislature in Nigeria at Federal, State and Local level, as well as the ECOWAS sub-region.
Professor Suleiman, a former Minister of National Planning, said: “This Institute was set up to bridge the knowledge vacuum in the legislature. What is the leadership recruitment in this country? How do we elect leaders?
“We don’t have to snatch ballot boxes and win illegally. We need to begin to examine how we recruit our leaders. One of the ways to do that is to train young students.
“We can survive as a nation if we can live peacefully. We can achieve that if we allow true democracy to thrive in o system. We must ensure that our younger ones are not used as thugs during elections. This quiz competition offers such a platform to teach the young ones.
“For a long time, we have had soldiers and military people as heads of government. That has affected our democratic and recruitment process in Nigeria.
“Next year, we will go beyond the FCT and bring six neighbouring states to join in this competition. We need to make it a national competition to teach our younger ones now things are done.”
The grand finale of the competition will hold next Tuesday at the National Assembly complex.