Mr. Gbajabiamila says the youth should actively participate in Nigeria’s political sphere.
The Minority Leader of the Federal House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said Nigeria’s democracy is yet to develop to sustain internal democracy within political parties.
The lawmaker, who represents Surulere 1 of Lagos State on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, said this in Ibadan on Monday as the guest lecturer of June edition of Think Oyo’s monthly lecture series.
He said the pervading poverty and high level illiteracy among Nigerians has robbed many of the power to choose right in fair election.
“Internal democracy is the ideal thing. It works worldwide, particularly in developed societies where politics of ideas is the in-thing. But here, internal democracy cannot work in our current situation if we want to nurture our democracy to maturity,” he said.
Mr. Gbajabiamila’s party, the ACN, has been accused of often imposing candidates for elections without recourse to the wishes of majority of its members through party primaries. Both party members and the opposition have used this to say the party is not a democratic party. The lawmaker, however, justified his party’s actions.
“For now, if a candidate of good idea and integrity is contesting party ticket with another ill-gotten wealth, there high tendency for the money bag to pick the ticket at expense of the man of ideas and integrity because we worship money in our politics.
“That is not what we want. There will still come a time that we will develop to a stage where internal democracy will work,” he said.
Speaking on the topic, “Engaging youthful minds in national re-engineering process”, the lawmaker charged the Nigerian youth to take advantage of their numerical strength and play an active role in political and economic spheres of the nation.
“The youth need to understand their capacity and power in terms of numerical strength and get actively involved in their political environment and the nation’s economy,” he said.