The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila says he was inspired to go into politics by his mother.

The Speakers said this on Saturday, October 12, 2019, at WIMPOL Dialogue, an event organised by the Women in Management, Business and Public Service in Abuja.

In his keynote address, Gbajabiamila said he owes his achievement in politics to his mother.

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.”

While advising women to join politics and belong to a political party, the Speaker said he would recommend the creation of a special fund for women to sponsor their political activities to the National Executive Committee of the All Progressive Congress (APC).

He said he believes Nigerian women could engage in advocacy, lobby and peaceful protests to drive home their demands and get more elective positions, Punch reports.

Femi Gbajabiamila promises to support women as Speaker of the House of Representatives. (Concise News)
Femi Gbajabiamila promises to support women as Speaker of the House of Representatives. (Concise News)

He said, “In my experience, elections are generally won on four things: candidate, ideas, funding and organisation. I believe that if we recruit more inspired candidates, fund them and provide them organisational support to effectively manage their political operations, we will get more women to participate in electoral politics.

“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 anti-democratic idea, and the proposition collapses under the weight of its contradictions. The constitution of Nigeria, imperfect as it may be, does not impose any restrictions on women’s participation in politics. In fact, the constitution expressly prohibits any gender-based discrimination.”

The Speaker noted that the 9th House had prioritised gender equality in its legislative agenda, adding that he would personally champion the course of women in the House of Representatives.