Speaker Gbajabiamila moots amendments to federal character laws

Speaker Gbajabiamila moots amendments to federal character laws

- The need to review the extant definition of federal in the Nigerian constitution has been put at the forefront again in national discourse

- Leading the conversation this time is the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila

- Gbajabiamila made the call on Saturday, October 31 while delivering his remarks at an event hosted by the Young Parliamentarians Forum

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila on Saturday, October 31 called for the review of the extant definition of federal character in the Nigerian constitution.

Gbajabiamila made the call while delivering his remarks at the Young Parliamentarians Forum (YPF) national strategy meeting and retreat on “Rethinking National Youth Development” held in Abuja.

The event was in partnership with Yiaga Africa's Centre For Legislative Engagement, Westminister Foundation for Democracy, and Action Aid.

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According to the Speaker, as presently defined in the constitution, the federal character is at variance with Nigeria's realities, stressing that it limits national opportunities to geographical location alone without consideration for gender, persons living with disabilities and age classification.

Gbajabiamila moots amendments to federal character laws
Speaker Gbajabiamila has been an advocate of amending Nigeria's federal character laws. Photo credit: @femigbaja
Source: Twitter

Gbajabiamila also challenged young legislators on charting a course in preparation for the Nigerian youth taking the mantle of leadership at all levels of government in the country.

His words:

“I think it’s time that we expand the definition of federal character because the character of a nation is not just based on your tribe, it's based on religion, it's based on where you are from, it’s based on your sex, it’s based on your age.’’

In his welcome address, the Chairman of YPF, Rep. Kabir Tukura stated that Nigerian youths deserve a voice in the country and deserved to be heard and treated fairly.

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On her part, Yiaga Africa's Director of Programs, Cynthia Mbamalu said young people in Nigeria are looking forward to a constitutional amendment process that produces a constitutional review with more youth inclusion.

Her words:

“We look forward to the introduction of a budget that protects the rights and needs of young people and women. A budget that provides for specifics such as youth, women, and People With Disabilities.’’

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