We’ll Institutionalise Youth Leadership Programme – Reps’ Speaker Abbas
The Speaker of the House of Representatives Hon. Abbas Tajudeen, has said the 10th House under his leadership would make the Legislative Mentorship Initiative (LMI) started by his predecessor an institution for leadership training for young Nigerians.
Speaker Abbas, while addressing the second cohorts of the LMI at the National Assembly at an interactive session on Thursday, was optimistic that the mentorship scheme would turn the training into good leaders in the future.
At the session were the Deputy Chief Whip of the House, Hon. Adewunmi Oriyomi Onanuga; the Executive Secretary, National Assembly Library Trust Fund, Hon. Henry Nwawuba; Director, LMI, Chimdi Neliaku; and the Chief of Staff to the Speaker, Prof. Jake Dan-Azumi.
“I hope that the experience garnered from this mentorship programme will be a source of inspiration to you and spur you into a sojourn in the legislative field either as legislators, legislative aides, staff, or professionals providing experts’ advice to legislators and legislative committees,” Speaker Abbas said.
The Speaker commended the initiator of the LMI, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, the Chief of Staff to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for exposing the youth to the federal parliament.
Gbajabiamila initiated the LMI as Speaker in the 9th National Assembly.
Speaker Abbas said: “My deepest gratitude goes to my predecessor, who initiated this mentorship programme as a way of exposing younger ones into the legislative tradition of our nation.
“I pledge the resolve of the 10th House to sustain this laudable initiative and strengthen it even further. We will continue to identify with the initiative, expand it and provide all necessary support to institutionalise it even beyond the 10th House. As I look forward to witnessing your growth and contributions to our nation’s governance, I urge you to make the most use of this rare opportunity.”
While congratulating the cohorts for being part of the mentorship programme, the Speaker said it was a demonstration of their passion to understand the intricacies of the legislature.
“As you embark on this journey as part of the second cohort of the Legislative Mentorship Initiative, I urge you to embrace this opportunity with open minds and receptive hearts. Your selection into this cohort is a clear recognition of your strong desire to learn and grow within the realm of legislative governance. I have no doubt that it will serve as a springboard for even greater contributions to the cause of national service.
“As you undertake this mentorship programme, I encourage you to approach each day with curiosity, humility, and a willingness to learn from those who have walked this path before you. The knowledge and insights you will gain during this experience will undoubtedly shape your understanding of our legislative processes and equip you with the necessary tools and skills for future callings.
“I am confident that each of you possesses the potential to become future leaders who will uphold the values of integrity, empathy, and dedication to public service. As you engage with seasoned legislators and mentors, I urge you to seize every opportunity to glean wisdom from their experiences and perspectives,” Speaker Abbas said.
While noting that the House is made up of members elected from 360 federal constituencies across the country, Speaker Abbas said, “This is the most diversified so far in the history of the National Assembly in terms of party representation as it has members elected from eight political parties.”
He added that, “The 10th House is the most youthful in the history of the National Assembly, with the majority of its members within the IPU benchmark for young parliamentarians at 25–45 years old. The 10th House has the highest turnover rate in the history of the House, with 277 first time members. The House has 10 leadership positions and identifies itself as the ‘People’s House.”
The Director of LMI, Neliaku, earlier in her opening remark, noted that the 45 “distinguished, young emerging leaders” were drawn from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, with a 60-40 gender ratio.
“These young leaders have been selected from the pool of over 5000 applications for this programme. So, before you, Your Excellency, are the best of the best that Nigeria has produced,” Neliaku noted.
Speaker, LMI Parliament, Bernice Abeku, in her vote of thanks after Speaker Abbas had answered a series of questions from the trainees and took a photograph with each of them, thanked the Speaker for identifying with the youth.