Nigerian Youths Deserve More Political Appointments – Anifowoshe | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Nigerian Youths Deserve More Political Appointments – Anifowoshe

Posted: Aug 20, 2016 at 3:23 am   /   by   /   comments (0)


Owolabi Anifowoshe, known as Omo Anifowoshe, national secretary, Youth League in All Progressives Congress (APC), was a House of Representatives aspirant for Ikorodu Federal Constituency in the last general election. In this interview with AUGUSTINE ADAH, he spoke on his last political attempt and the need to involve more youths in the governance of the country.


How did you feel when you aspired to represent Ikorodu Federal Constituency in the last election, but could not make it through the primary?

I felt fulfilled because to me, contesting an election is not a must-win. The party at that time had spoken and as a loyal party man, it behooves on me to abide by the party’s decision and work for the success of the party in the election which I did. I am happy that we came out victorious in that election. So having contested for the House of Representatives primary, I felt a sense of achievement in me in that a young man of my age has inspired many youths in Ikorodu to come and participate in the strategic government through political participation. To me that was a huge achievement. Now youths in Ikorodu are feeling that if Anifowoshe can contest an election, they too can come out to contest an election in the area. Now, I am seeing some youths aspiring to be local government chairmen in our Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) which I am appealing to our party to give them the opportunity.

As you said, in what area did you contribute to the party’s victory?

As the national secretary of the Youth League of APC, after the primary, I quickly put the experience behind me and stated working for the success of my party in the 2015 general election. I was one of the ten youths that formed Ambode Youth Initiative at his campaign office in Gbagada and we were the first to publicly launch his campaign after his victory at the primary. I was actively involved in the campaign that led to his victory in the governorship election.

After the first attempt, what is your next plan as 2019 approaches?

Politics and political participation is not only about contesting for an election. There are other avenues and platforms which I can render my service to the community and the party, apart from contesting an election. However, if the party and my people deem it fit to approach me to serve in any capacity, I would not turn the offer down. So in 2019, I will toe the line of the party and abide by the leaders decision. But I believe 2019 is still far for us to start talking about it now.

Do you believe the youths are given their rightful place in the governance of this country?

I believe the youths have not been given adequate opportunity to contribute to the development of the country. However, I must give kudos to the governor of Lagos State for some youth programmes he has put in place which are at the verge of execution.   Nevertheless, I think the governor and our party can do more in terms of giving more roles to our youths in strategic places of governance. There is nothing wrong in appointing commissioners who are between the ages of 25-35 in the state. I know we have people who are intelligent, competent and exposed among our youths that can be appointed into such a sensitive position as commissioner. I think our party and the governor can do more in appointing youths into position of governance both at the state and federal levels.

If you look at ministers appointed by the present administration, there is virtually no youth there. The youngest minister, if I am correct, is between 49 to 50 years. I believe we have competent youths who can be appointed as ministers and commissioners in the country. We should not forget that the party’s 2014 to 2015 campaign revolves around the youths. If we must find fast solutions to the country’s problem, it is the right time we begin to involve our youths in governance because they are full of energy, innovation, vigour and all qualities needed to bring the country out of its present predicaments. I am, therefore, appealing to our elders and the political parties to give special recognition to the youths in the coming local government election in the state. I want to suggest that they should peg the maximum age of candidate to 45 years so that the youths can have a better opportunity. Presently, we have a young man possibly 28 years as administrator of Agege local government area; I think our political leaders in Ikorodu should desire to have such a thing in our area here.

What is your assessment of Governor Ambode’s performance in Lagos?

Well, my assessment of Ambode’s performance as governor of Lagos State in the past one year is above average. He has done creditably well but I believe his overall performance would be determined by the impact of his administration on the youths in Lagos State. I believe he can still do more in the area of policy implementation. In the area of security, it is thump up for him, he is equal to the task. He has been able to rise up to the security challenge in Ikorodu which has become a centre of sort for criminal activities ranging from bank robbery to kidnapping and militancy. I must give kudos to him for that achievement.  However, I want to advise the governor to concentrate attention on Ikorodu division both in policy implementation, appointments and tackling insecurity.