House Speaker pushes for redefinition of Federal Character principle

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has called for the redefinition of the concept of Federal Character, as contained in the Nigerian constitution.

Gbajabiamila made the suggestion Saturday at a national strategy retreat organised by the Young Parliamentarians Forum (YPF) of the National Assembly.

He said the lawmakers should consider an amendment in the Constitution that will redefine Federal Character.

At the moment, Federal Character within the context of appointments, infrastructure and the rest of it in the Constitution, is limited to states and ethnicity.

“I think it is time that we expand the definition of Federal Character because the character of a Nation is not just based on your tribe.

“It is based on religion, it is based on where you are from, it is based on your sex, it is based on your age.

“So when you are talking about Federal Character you look at all those things and they are what make up the Federal Character.

“You talk about so so percentage of women, percentage of youth, that is the true meaning of Federal character and I think that is what should be reflected in the constitution,” he said.

Gbajabimila said that the youth would be given more representation in the Special Committee on Constitutional Reform in the House.

He pledged to liaise with the Clerk, Mr Amos Ojo, to get a Secretariat for the YPF in the House.

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