From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
Amidst controversy over the introduction of direct primaries in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said that it would engender the participation of young persons in governance.
Gbajabiamila stated this in Abuja yesterday at the National Children’s Dialogue to mark the 2021 Universal Children’s Day organized by his office and the Children of Africa Leadership and Values Development Initiative (CALDEV).
The dialogue has as theme: “The Nigerian Child and the National Unity Project.”
The Speaker noted that there must be deliberate efforts to prepare the children and youths in the country to become the leaders of tomorrow, adding that such efforts must include involving them in governance and expanding the democratic space to accommodate young persons.
Gbajabiamila 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.
According to him, with direct primaries, a youth with leadership qualities had equal chances of becoming a candidate for an elective office just like any other person.
Also, the Speaker called for huge investment in youth education, particularly technology, which he noted has transformed the world from what it used to be into a global village.
He commended the CALDEV board led by a member of the House, Bamidele Salam, for initiating the dialogue series.
Earlier, Salam in a welcome address stated that the project was to build “exemplary” children with all the qualities that would lead Nigeria to become a truly great country.