Bauchi Speaker advocates for youth, women participations in legislation
By Ahmed Ahmed
The Speaker Bauchi state house of assembly who double as Chairman conference of speakers in Nigeria Alhaji Abubakar Sulaiman has advocated for youth and women participation in the legislation.
Speaking at High-level Conference on strengthening women’s and youth participation in the National Assembly of Nigeria organized by Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and National Assembly of Nigeria via Zoom on Monday,
He said that the passage and signing into law of the Not Too Young To Run Bill which reduced the age limits to contest for election in the country,
“A great milestone in straightening youth and women participation in governance as the positive results are seen all over the county.
Suleiman noted that the ENDSARS protests and its aftermath, rampant of cases against women and children and so many other social vices are source of concern for any reasonable leader,
“Therefore strengthening the participation of youth and women in governance, especially in the parliament, will give them a better opportunity to discuss their problems and channel their grievances to the right place without resorting to protests and violence.
“Two months ago, the Hon Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen visited us at the Bauchi State House of Assembly to thank the Assembly for passing the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Bill into law.
“One of the key observation she made was that there is no female member at the Assembly. I told her that despite the absence of a female lawmaker in the house, the Assembly values and respect women and children to the highest level, hence the passage of the VAPP Bill and other related bills into law,” he said
The Chairman also assured her that each member of the Honourable House is a HeForShe and because of the gender sensitiveness of the Honourable House.
“We always give women a special treatment of “Bow and Go” whenever they are nominated for any position and come to the Assembly for screening and confirmation.
“This is done to encourage women to come on board to contribute their quota to the nation building.
“I believe, this and other little contributions I have been making towards the betterment of women and children, might have influenced the decision of the Ministry and UN Women to confer on me the prestigious Annual HeForShe Award of Excellence.” He narrated.
Sulaiman observed that lack of confidence to contest, inferiority complex and some religious and cultural beliefs are some of the reasons women don’t contest elective positions.
“Despite the fact that they have the population strength to vote in and vote out whoever they wish and can use the voting population to bring more women on board.
He therefore stressed the need to encourage women and youth to contest elective positions because unless they contest they can’t get elected.
The Speaker urged stakeholders to consider reserving some seats at the National Assembly for women and means should be devised for even distribution of the same across the Federal Constituencies in the country.
He also calls on IPU and its partners to concentrate on State Assemblies and Local Government Areas because they are more closer to the women and youth and can serve as training grounds for them before coming to the national assembly.
He reiterated that if a woman and a youth becomes a councillor, she or he will be exposed to all leadership and legislative processes and from there they will begin to aspire to become State Lawmakers and subsequently Federal Lawmakers.