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Why I Pushed For Direct Primaries- Femi Gbajabiamila

Why I Pushed For Direct Primaries- Femi Gbajabiamila

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila has stated why he believes direct primaries should be the only mechanism by which political parties elect candidates to run for elections in the recently passed Electoral Bill, 2021.


Direct primaries, according to the Speaker, would bring better accountability and proper representation because political office holders would not be limited to pleasing a small set of delegates, but would strive for the greater good of their party’s members, and by implication, the electorate.

Gbajabiamila said: “If I know that my return will depend on some few men, I may 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.

“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.”

The Speaker urged Nigerian youths to benefit from the new amendment, stating that power is not provided as a premium service. The youths are the main strength of any nation, not only in Nigeria, noting that they are one of the reasons why politicians exist.

“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.”

“Since the Not Too Young to Run 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.” he added.

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