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Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives, says there is need to stop godfatherism and rotational candidacy in the national assembly.


According to Turaki Hassan, spokesman of the speaker, Dogara said this in an interview with Nigeria Now magazine.

Dogara said constant change of lawmakers in the national assembly constituted a waste of the country’s resources “because new legislators would have to be trained”.

He said any system that did not have the capacity to retain its “institutional memory is doomed.”

“Obviously, there’s no way one would not be bothered about the rate of turnover of legislators, it is an issue that is being discussed across board, but so many factors are responsible and it is based on the practice of democracy in Nigeria,” Dogara said.

“In some cases, some people have acquired some dominance in politics, they can just sit down and decide that they don’t like your face or that you have some kind of competence that is challenging to them, so they want to do away with you completely and eliminate you from politics.

“In some cases, it is based on the local arrangement where a constituency consists of two or three local governments and each local government would want its turn to be represented at the national assembly. So the pressure is always there to claim turns at representation.

“As soon as you send someone for four years, the agitation from the other local government is that it is their turn coming, so at the end of the day, you then have this high rate of turnover in the national assembly and it is not helping the system.

“Any system that doesn’t have the capacity to retain what is known as institutional memory is doomed, and in that process we have had well-trained and competent lawmakers where government and national assembly have expended huge resources in training and developing them, they are retired after four years when they are just getting really well developed, then they bring new sets of members who are trained for another four years and then asked to go back home.”

He added that if the retention of lawmakers was achieved the quality of legislation would improve.



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