Because I pushed for the direct primaries – Gbajabiamila

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila on Thursday explained why he called for the adoption of direct primaries as the only method by which political parties should elect candidates in the elections in the newly approved 2021 electoral bill.

The president said direct primaries will bring greater accountability and adequate representation as political office holders would not just please a group of a few people selected as delegates, but will work in the interest of their party members as a whole and , by extension, the electorate.

Furthermore, Gbajabiamila said he observed that many Nigerians, especially young people, want to participate fully in the election of those who would represent them from below, hence his determination to support direct primaries.

The president, while hosting a delegation of young Nigerians on a thank you visit for his role in the direct primary led by the minister of youth and sports development, Sunday Dare, said he preferred a situation where the political space is open to all, including young people, to participate fully.

This also when young Nigerians thanked the president for having moved on their own for the amendment in the electoral act to have direct primaries as the only method for electing party candidates.

Gbajabiamila said some members of the political class may not be comfortable with the deal, but that the majority of the masses are in favor of direct primaries, which he believes would give them the opportunity to decide who will represent them.

Citing some of the reasons, Gbajabiamila said: “If I know that my return will depend on a few men, I might be interested in you. But if I know that my return will depend on my responsibility and representation towards the people, I will do the right thing.

“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 leadership process. So I am with the Direct Primary.

“That is why I have said in several forums that they are for direct primaries. We have to do this for the good of the institution.

“When you get together (as a young man), the chances are you will win. Democracy is a government of the people. Democracy is not just a general election. It starts from the primary “.

The President, therefore, challenged young Nigerians to “take advantage of the new amendment”, saying that “power is not served à la carte.

“I’ll ask you to take that defense out there because it’s for you.”

He noted that young people are part of the reasons lawmakers exist, saying, “Young people are the greatest asset of any nation, not just Nigeria.”

He said Nigerian youth are thriving in different spheres of life, but that when it comes to politics, they don’t show much interest.

“Since Not Too Young to Run became law, you haven’t taken advantage of it. The Act appears to be a paper tiger. The enabling environment to work for that law is not capitalized. “

Source: – Tribuneonline

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