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The House of Representatives on Tuesday described as disturbing, the high number of lawmakers, who failed to win the primaries of their various political parties. Over 150 members of the House did not make it in the primaries.

It will be recalled that after the 2011 polls, only
slightly above 100 members of the House out of 360 returned from the 2007 set. Speaking on the development, Mohammed, the house spokesperson, expressed concern that it did not allow the legislature to grow.

He noted that so long as the legislature did not grow, democracy would continue to face challenges in Nigeria. He stated that in other climes, the growth of democracy was assessed based on the capacity building in the legislature “because this is the core of democracy.”

Mohammed observed that the high turnover of members also had other implications like huge budgets for manpower training of “freshers” every four years. He said, “It is like going backwards every time there is an election. New people come in; you have to train afresh to let them understand how the system works.

As they are about to master it, you send them away and bring in another set. What this means is that we are not allowing the system to grow.” The House spokesman cited two major factors responsible for the frequent turnover of lawmakers, saying “high expectations from the constituents” was one.

He said the second factor was the “zoning or rotational arrangements” in some localities and political parties. These, according to him, do not recognize legislative competence as a reason for returning a lawmaker “even if that member is adjudged to be a performer.”….. This is tragic, just tragic. Wonder how Obama would feel when he eventually hears this….

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