By Laide Akinboade
Worried by continued negligence, Nigerian youths has proposed 35% affirmative participation in governance.
Rotimi Olawale the Executive Director Youthhub Africa, stated this at Governance Agenda for an Inclusive Nigeria (GAIN) Validation Meeting, on Tuesday, in Abuja, he lamented that despite the fact that most voters are youths, there are only few candidates that are below 45 years old.
He condemned the amount pegged at nomination forms by the two major political parties that was above the reach of youths and for youths to be part of decision making in Nigeria, there must be a fair opportunity given to them.
“We youths of Nigeria, want a rich and progressive nation where our rights and freedoms are fully realized. As majority of voters in Nigeria, we 40 million strong and ready to make our voices heard. We have the ability to radically alter the trajectory of our nation because our intelligence, creativity, and skill. Our future is at stake , we can’t afford to pur our objectives and interests on the back burner any longer .
“We will no longer be persuaded by handouts or sit at the sidelines while others make choices that affect our lives.
“The youths of Nigeria, as key contributors to and beneficiaries of development, are eager to see the next Government of Nigeria devote themselves entirely to implementing the youth agenda .
“As a result, we urge the incoming government at the state and national level to hasten the realization of goals identified by young people.
“I think when we look at the political structure of Nigeria and how expensive it is to buy nomination forms, for political parties in Nigeria.
“It is becoming more tougher for young people to find political space in the polity, for example, look at the two major political parties in Nigeria, and how much they sold their nomination forms, it was very expensive, we discovered many youths cannot afford to buy the nomination forms.
“We are hoping that the new administration will, both at national and state level, sign executive order that at least 35% of youths would be given political appointments, we want to see them as Ministers, Commissioners, special advisers, members of different boards, Director Generals etc. on assumption of office”.
On how they intend to achieve this, he said,
“The way we will go about this is by advocacy, we will be speaking with political parties, presidential candidates, gobernitorial candidates, etc. and we are going to ensure they understand what the youths have to offer to Nigeria”.
He lamented, “Many youths are not happy about the situation in Nigeria, so they are leaving the country in large numbers. If you speak to 10 educated youths in Nigeria, 8 want to leave for greener pastures, these are people that are contributing to the socio economic development of Nigeria. Those that should be part of solving Nigeria’s challenges are leaving the country and that is why we are advocating for meaningful participation in our political space”.
Charles Asiegu, senior analyst nextar group, he noted that most of the youths are voters instead of being candidates and this is not acceptable.
Adding that discussion is already ongoing about this even if it cannot be changed, the new administration should give youths 35% affirmative.
He said there is no going back on advocacy in order to achieve the 35% participation of youths in government.