Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has said that Nigeria cannot achieve political dependent based on the rights of the Nigerian people to choose their leaders in a free and fair election without interference and imposition and yet argue for the imposition of quotas in elective offices.
The Speaker also said that he owes his success in the political arena to his mother who he said encouraged his participation in politics, stressing that he want to be remembered as someone who contributed to active women participation in the political life of the country.
To this end, he said he would be proposing Women’s Victory Fund at the next meeting of the National Executive Committee of the his party, the All Progressives Congress and ask all other parties to do the same as a way of raising money to encourage women participation in the electoral process of the country.
Delivering a keynote address at a Women in Politics dialogue forum organised by Women in Management, Business and Public Service in Abuja, the Speaker said “I have heard it said that we can achieve increased gender participation in politics by imposing quotas and allocating elective political office.
“We cannot on the one hand advocate for a new kind of politics dependent on respect for the basic human right of all people to choose their leaders in free and fair elections without interference and imposition, and on the other hand argue for the imposition of quotas in elective office.
“This is a fundamentally antidemocratic idea, and the proposition collapses under the weight of its own contradictions.”
He told them that they cannot achieve anything in politics or hope to occupy political positions without first joining a political party and playing active part in its as they must first belong to a party before they can be nominated for elective office.
He said “my participation in politics is a legacy of my mother and I owe my achievements in this arena to her. Now, I am a father of daughters for whom I hold the highest ambitions.
“At the end of my career in politics, it is my hope that I would have contributed constructively to the achievement of a society where my daughters and all our daughters can live up to their highest aspirations, freed from discrimination on the basis of their gender, and protected from the worst consequences of our patriarchal society.”