Acting National Publicity Secretary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Comrade Timi Frank has charged Nigerians to resist any attempting by politicians whose aim is to exploit them for negative purpose for their personal selfish interest.
Frank also asked the youth to demand for a legislation in all tiers of government to reduce the age for people to contest for elective post in Nigeria.
Timi Frank in an open letter he write to Nigerian youth on the commemoration of the celebration of World Youth Day, which is 12th of every August, a copy of the letter, which was made available to the press stated that “In my opinion, the factors militating against youth in this country can only be redressed when youths take their rightful political positions in leadership. Lamentably, what we have witnessed so far, is that majority of our youths have been made the enforcers of negative tendencies, rather than channeling their unbounded and creative energies into positive endeavours that would make for a better future for this country. It is time to say NO to those who make us engage in vices for their own gain!
The APC Chieftain however, challenged that “If it is true that the youths make up 50 per cent of our population, according to the National Bureau of Statistics in its 2012 report, then I think we must leverage on this reality to demand for a legislation both at the local, state and federal level that would lower the age bracket for elective positions in the country to 25 years as contained in a bill now pending before the National Assembly.
He said “We also need to leverage on our number to demand that ministers of youth affairs should, going forward, should be appointed from of persons between 25-40 years of age. It must be noted that the United Arab Emirate’s Minister of Youth is 22 while the Chairman of the ruling party in Kenya is just 31. Added to this is the example from our own very history where young men like Anthony Enahoro, Yakubu Gowon and Muhammadu Buhari all attained leadership positions at very tender age.
According to him, “It is only logical that if 50 per cent of the nation’s population is comprised of youths, 50 per cent of the nation’s elective and non-elective leadership positions like advisory boards, commissions, ministries and representatives at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) should be composed of youths. It is necessary for youth boards to be set up to advise local councils, state and federal governments on matters bordering on youth’s welfare.
Frank added that “I believe one of the things the youths must commit to during this celebration is whole-hearted respect for the elderly in our midst and thereafter, implore them to give us a chance to lead while they are still around to point the right way in the event of mis-steps.
He pleaded with Buhari’s administration that “I also wish to urge the present administration to give the youths their rightful quota in appointments yet to be made as the youths are currently less than 10 per cent of the total appointment made so far. Besides, government at all levels in the country must immediately evolve policies towards holistic investment in youth in order to make the saying that ‘youths are the future leaders’, a reality in our time.
“I think henceforth, Nigerian youths should as a matter of priority sit with candidates seeking elective positions, beginning from 2019, to sign a pact aimed at ensuring 50 per cent youth participation in governance. I also urge Nigerian youths to be civil, determined, united and massively support the #NotTooYoungToRun bill now before the House of Representatives. The National Assembly, on its part, must make history by ensuring the timeous consideration and passage of the legislation that promises to lay a solid foundation for a desired paradigm shift in the governance of the country through equitable, fair and just youth representation.
“Above all, this is the time for us, as youths, to begin to demand that there be an obligation on the part of government to youth development through adequate representation in the power matrix. Let us demand and support young men and women of unblemished character to seek political offices that would enable them serve and push our country to greater heights.
“I am championing this cause, being a youth myself who has been in the forefront of a change in mindset of our leaders and a strong advocate for an all inclusive youth population in governance as this is the time for the youths to encourage and motivate itself in breaking out of the present political alienation cocoon and subsequently taking her rightful place. It is time to wake up!