Gbajabiamila explains why he is in support of direct primary

Speaker of the house of representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has stated that direct primaries for political parties will create a level playing ground for Nigerians to fully participate in the leadership process.

Recall that the national assembly on Tuesday approved the conference committee report on the electoral act amendment bill.

In the report, the lawmakers approved that all political parties must use the direct primary mode in selecting candidates.

The development has elicited varied reactions with some stakeholders, including governors, rejecting the proposal.

Speaking on Thursday when he received a delegation of youths led by Sunday Dare, minister of youth and sports development, Gbajabiamila said the majority of Nigerians are happy with the development.

“If I know that my return will depend on a few men, I may not care about you. But if I know that my return will depend on my accountability and representation to the people, I will do the right thing,” he said.

“It is important for this generation to open the door of leadership to the next generation. We must allow every Nigerian to participate fully in the process of leadership. I, therefore, stand with direct primary.

“That’s why I said at different fora that I’m for direct primaries. We have to do this for the sake of the institution.

“When you gather yourselves (as youths), chances are that you’ll win. Democracy is a government of the people. Democracy is not just a general election; it starts from the primaries.”

Gbajabiamila also asked youths to be active in politics.

“I’ll ask that you carry that advocacy out there because it’s for you. The youths are the greatest asset of any nation, not just in Nigeria,” he said.

“Since the Not-Too-Young-to-Run bill became law, you’ve not taken advantage of that. The Act appears to be a paper tiger. The enabling environment to work for that Act isn’t capitalised on.”

In his remarks, Dare thanked the speaker for supporting youth development.

“I want to thank the honourable members and the house for the support they’ve been giving us for the past two years of our stewardship. I want to also thank you for your support for the youth of our country,” he said.

“Between 65 percent and 70 percent of our population are less than 25 years. So, we can’t ignore the youth. I want to plead on behalf of the Nigerian youth that you continue to support youth development. You should also expand the frontiers of youth inclusivity.”


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