Kalu Advocates More Mentorship Trainings for Young Political Leaders

The Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu has called for resources to be put together for the mentoring and training of young political leaders who will take over governance and public service in the future.

Kalu made the call on Monday in Abuja during the opening session of a fellowship program by the Legislative Mentorship Initiative (LMI) with the topic, ‘Effective Parliamentary Debating & Public Speaking’.

The programme under the aegis of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), was conceived by Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila when he was the Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives.

Kalu lectured the participants on how best to be a good parliamentarian and how to overcome fears and nervousness while making presentations.

Speaking on the best ways to sponsor successful motions on the floor of the Parliament, the Deputy Speaker highlighted and explored a few key elements which he said are fundamentals of parliamentary debating, without which, a motion could suffer defeat and rejection during a plenary.

He hinted that parliamentary debates follow a structured format that involves different roles and time allocations for speeches, saying, “understanding the format will enable you to navigate debates effectively”.

The Deputy Speaker also identified the key elements in legislative engagements at the floor of the Parliament to include: conducting thorough research on the topic of the debate; consulting experts in the field or individuals who have specialized knowledge on the topic; engaging with relevant stakeholders who are directly impacted by the issue being debated; attending public forums or hearings related to the topic; making use of online platforms, such as databases, fact-checking websites and online forums, to gather information and engage in discussions related to the debate topic; and reviewing legislative documents, relevant legislation, policy papers, or reports that have been previously discussed or implemented concerning the topic.

He said, “in today’s fast-paced and interconnected world, the ability to communicate effectively and persuasively is crucial in various fields, including politics, business, and academia. Whether you aspire to be a politician, a business leader, or a public speaker, mastering the art of parliamentary debating and public speaking will greatly enhance your ability to influence and inspire others. This organization is doing a great job, the director, the Chairman, I saw the dedication and focus, I saw potential leaders.

“I commend the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Chief of Staff to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, and all hands that got to the deck to make this happen. I will always be a part of this. For the future of Nigeria, We need the resources in this great minds. I’m delighted to be a part of this, I look forward to come here again next year.”

Highlights of the masterclass was a short presentation on an impromptu topic: ‘Domestic Violence and How to Curb it’, with each participating group winning a cash prize of N100,000 from the Office of the Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives.

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