The Cultural Affairs Specialist of the Abuja office of the U.S. Embassy, Ms. Bella Ndubuisi, has recommended to Nigerians schools to adopt elections for students seeking positions as prefects. She said they should be made to campaign and be elected to such positions.
Ndubuisi made this known to the media Monday, in Abuja pointing out that such exercise would serve as training ground to achieve effective leadership and accountability at a higher level of political endeavour.
According to her, positions like Head Boy, Head Girl, Games Labour, Health Prefects and other positions would have more impact if interested students contested for such positions.
“Currently we have a situation in Nigeria where we are not fully preparing or equipping our prefects with the tools that they need to be successful. Prefect positions in schools should be contested.
“I think that even at that lower level, the prefects need to understand the roles and challenges they are interested in tackling; they need to be provided tools they need in tackling these challenges.
[penci_blockquote style=”style-2″ align=”none” author=””]“This will be beneficial to the country when they eventually assume political positions at the federal or state level,’’[/penci_blockquote]
“At that level, we should be teaching these students leadership and accountability; we need to open their minds to explore ideas and be innovative as far as how to solve challenges.
“This will be beneficial to the country when they eventually assume political positions at the federal or state level,’’ she said.
Ndubuisi averred that Nigeria needed to build on the already existing system to prepare young people who might be interested in politics to gain practical experience.
According to her, through a legislative internship programme, young Nigerians can be provided with practical experience in leadership at the national assembly level or even at the state legislatures.
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“If we have this system and young people are interested, they can then sign up maybe during their holidays or attached to a particular legislator.
“This will help them learn all the nooks and crannies so that we don’t have a situation where they will say young people don’t have experience.
“However, young people also need to join political parties to influence the system and also ensure the emergence of credible candidates that will contest for elections,’’ she said.
The Cultural Affairs Specialist harped on the importance of youth participation in politics and the need for them to start early from primary and secondary schools.