SENATOR Abdulfatai Buhari representing Oyo North Senatorial District on Monday queried the youths’ readiness to actively participate in politics just as he expressed concerns over the newly enacted law – ‘Not too young to run’.
Refreshing your memory, the clamour for the younger generation to vie for elective offices in Nigeria got a major boast few months ago when a bill to amend the age requirements to run for office ‘Not too young to run bill’ was laid on the floor of the Senate on July 20th,2017 by the Chairman of the Constitution Review Committee, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and was later passed into law by the Senate on 26th July, 2017 and 27th July, 2017 by the House of Representatives respectively.
The lawmaker, Buhari stated this at a public lecture organised by the National body of the Federation of Oyo State Students Union (FOSSU) held at the Assembly Hall, The Polytechnic Ibadan.
According to the Chairman, Senate Committee on ICT and Cybercrime there are fears over readiness of youths to take over from the elders as there are questions over whether they have political sagacity to challenge the elders and whether they possess the experience or the wherewithal to deliver.
In his lecture entitled: The Not Too Young To Rule Movement: Issues, Challenges and Prospects in View, Senator Buhari alerted Nigerian youths to the fact that “they need to equip themselves intellectually through training and retraining because leadership positions require sound education and a lot of experience”.
Speaking further, he urged them to take more and meaningful advantage of the internet and social media other than their present arrogance, uncoordinated and unproductive usage.
In his words, “in contrast, today Nigeria youths have lost focus and been relegated to ordinary internet warriors, e-rats, fraudsters and political thugs arguing subjectively, illogically and irrationally in support of their pay masters, ethic and religious colouration. Instead of using it as strength, they have turned it to triviality and use it to blackmail, defraud and all sort of immoralities”.
Senator Buhari also noted that the agitation for the younger generation to vie for elective offices in Nigeria got a major boost few months ago when a bill to amend the age requirement to run for office was passed into law by National Assembly.
In addition, he said the bill has paved way for a new Nigeria where younger people can run for elective positions and participate actively in decision making and nation building, stressing that a society that prepares its youths for the sake of the future aspirations will not only secure her future development but will prepare her next set of leaders with challenges of national unity and development.
He lamented that there are more than 20 African leaders that are aged above 70 years, describing African and mostly Nigerian youths as their own worst enemies. “Looking at their percentage and their numerical strength, they ought to be dictating who gets what, when and how in our political space but are not coordinated and lacks the political will to challenge the elders”.
Charging the youths to position themselves and show leadership qualities, emphasising that power is not served a la carte, Buhari, however enjoined the elders to handover the batton of leadership to the younger generation.
Also, in his remarks, the Deputy Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon. Musa Abdulwasi, who was chairman of the occasion, promised that the House of Assembly will vote overwhelmingly for ‘Not Too Young to Run bill’ when the legislative process begins.
In his closing remarks, the state governor, Abiola Ajimobi, who was ably represented by his Special Assistant on Students, Fatima Hassan commended the students for organising such a programme that could spur youths into leadership. Ajimobi said the government would always put student matters at the fore front of policy decisions.
The event marking this year’s 57th Independence anniversary had in attendance, the Caretaker Chairman of Itesiwaju Local Government, Hon. Niyi Adeagbo; former Special Adviser to Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Media, Dr Festus Adedayo; Special Assistant to the Governor on Statistics, Ayuba Mayowa; Caretaker Chairman, Ogbomoso South West LCDA, Hon. Adeyemo Adedeji Abiodun; Former Chief of Staff, Razak Gbadegesin among others.
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