The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has advocated a drastic shift in Nigeria towards producing leaders with the capacity and character to manage societal changes.
He stated this in Abuja Monday, while delivering an address to young potential leaders selected as interns on the theme: ‘Youth Leadership and the Future of Democracy: Harnessing the Power of Young People in Nigeria’, at the opening ceremony of the Legislative Mentorship Initiative (LMI) inaugural cohort, which began on October 1, 2022.
He said in Nigeria and across the world, there have been rapid and relentless changes across every facet of human life, adding that some of these changes are technological and others are economic and political.”
He said, “There is also a great deal of demographic and population change. All are happening at the same time. It is clear to anybody paying attention that the old equilibrium is unsettled, and the rules of the old order no longer apply. What is less clear is what happens next. Whatever happens, Nigeria desperately needs leaders with the capacity and character to manage change.”
He stated further that “the consequences of the changes happening in our world today will depend on how we respond, the decisions we make, and the ideas we choose to invest in. The quality of our decision-making in politics and governance will define the course of our country. Whether we achieve progress, prosperity, peace, and security for all our people depends entirely on the capacity and competence of our political leadership.”
The LMI, an initiative of his office, he said, “is to develop the leaders who will shape the future of our country and the world, Hon. Gbajabiamila averred that although many young people are eager to make a change, they cannot change anything if they don’t understand and participate in the political and governance process.”
Director General of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Professor Olanrewaju Suleiman, in his remarks expressed worries over the poor perception of parliaments among the three arms of government worldwide, saying however that “It is easier for citizens to access lawmakers than the executive, who are often shielded by higher-level protocol and security.”