The former director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside, says Nigeria does not need to reserve seats for women and youths at the national assembly.
Speaking on Saturday, during the presentation of “The Urgency of Now; Why Nigeria needs a Vision of Prosperity and Liberty,” a book by Seun Awogbenle, Peterside said a level playing field should be provided for all Nigerians, adding that “what you struggle for or work hard for, you value them more”.
“The earlier we draw a line between the past and going forward, the better for all of us. Enough of complaints of our past, enough of complaints about our forebears, what they did and what they did not do, their actions and inactions; it just cannot help us going forward,” he said.
“The future can be shaped, so we have a role. Those of us who live in this generation have a role in shaping the future and to shape the future has to be deliberate, intentional, and we must take steps to shape the future so that those who will come after us will not keep blaming us. That step begins with us as individuals, as subnational and as a country. That future can only be shaped by a coherent vision.
“Participation is germane to shaping national vision. I don’t subscribe to those that say reserve 50 percent of the legislative seats for women, reserve 40 or 50 percent of the legislative seats for young people. What you struggle for or work hard for, you value the more.
“I believe if we provide equal opportunity, there will be more young people in the national assembly, there will be more young people in legislative houses and when we have more young people, they can begin to shape the future of the country.”
Peterside said there is a need for Nigeria to study the model operated in Rwanda where there is no law allocating more seats for women but women occupy more seats than men in the parliament.