Merely running the #NotToYoungToRun campaign would not put leadership positions in the hands of the younger generation. Youths must position themselves and show leadership qualities because power is not served a la carte.
Senator representing Oyo North Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Abdulfatai Buhari made this point on Monday at a public lecture organised by the National body of the Federation of Oyo State Students Union (FOSSU) at the Assembly Hall, The Polytechnic Ibadan.
In July, both chambers of the National Assembly voted in support of a bill to amend the age requirements to run for office. The new age qualification for running of offices as passed by the National Assembly are 35 years for President, 30 years for Governor and Senate, 25 years for House of Representatives and State House of Assembly.
The passage delighted young people who vigorously campaigned in support of the #NotTooYoungToRun movement. But Senator Buhari says there is work to be done.
In his lecture titled: 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”
The senator stated that there are strong arguments against the present campaign by youths for power to be handed over to them, and that youths must work hard to prove critics wrong.
His words: “Some political analysts and commentators believe Nigeria youths cannot be trusted because they lack integrity. The issue of integrity I agree is another problem that youths need to address. Like I earlier submitted, if you read or listen to the subjective arguments of some of these internet warrior/e-rats on the new media you will be ashamed of illogical reasoning and double standard of our so called leaders of tomorrow.
“This is why I concur with Dele Momodu in one of his articles that internet is misleading a lot of the youths and the power of the internet is being exaggerated and overrated in our beloved country. Winning election is beyond rhetoric on the internet because most of the people on new media have no permanent voters’ card to vote on the day of election. They are either on internet watching movies, monitoring news or uploading false and unconfirmed information.
The senator, who is Chairman, Senate Committee on ICT and Cybercrime, advised youths to take more and meaningful advantage of the internet and social media other than “their present arrogance, uncoordinated and unproductive usage”.
He said they must “use their power and knowledge of ICT as a strength to develop our democracy”
He added: “Also the youth must not stand akimbo, they should show the leadership qualities in them. In most developed countries they head hunt talents. Obama, Macron and other young leaders were headhunted in their respective countries”
The Deputy Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon. Musa Abdulwasi, who was chairman of the occasion, assured that the House of Assembly will vote overwhelmingly for Not Too Young to Run bill when the legislative process begins.
In his closing remarks, Governor Abiola Ajimobi, who was represented by his Special Assistant on Students, Fatima Hassan, commended the students for organising such a programme that could motivate youths into leadership. He said the government would always put student matters at the fore front of policy decisions.
The gusest speaker, Senator Buhari, donated a 14-seater bus and the sum of N100,000 to the Union.
Those present at the event include: The caretaker chairman of Itesiwaju Local Government, Hon. Niyi Adeagbo; former Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Festus Adedayo; Special Assistant to the Governor on Statistics, Ayuba Mayowa; Caretaker chairman of Ogbomoso South West LCDA, Hon. Adeyemo Adedeji Abiodun; Former Chief of Staff, Razak Gbadegesin and a host of others.