Saraki, Dogara Lament Inadequate Role For Youth In Nigeria Politics | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Saraki, Dogara Lament Inadequate Role For Youth In Nigeria Politics

Posted: Oct 7, 2015 at 8:49 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)
Attn News Editor
Rotimi Akinwumi
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Wednesday October 7 jointly decried the poor participation of young people in active politics leading to usurpation of roles meant for the youth by older politicians.
The presiding officers of the National Assembly equally bemoaned inadequate representation of youths in leadership positions at various levels of government in the country.
Saraki and Dogara made their remarks at the inauguration of the Nigerian chapter of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)-Forum of Young Parliamentarians (FYP), headed by Hon. Raphael Nnanna Igbokwe (PDP, Imo) who also doubles as the African representative on the Governing Board of the global apex body of lawmakers.
FYP is an organ of IPU charged with the responsibility of enhancing greater participation of young people in parliament, governance and decision making at all levels in any society. The body is made up of legislators within the age of 45 years and below.
Incidentally, out of the 360 members in the 8th House of Representatives, there are up to 90 lawmakers who fall within the age of 45 years and below, while the Senate has only 8 out of 109 members within the said age bracket.
The 36 State Houses of Assembly are also part of the body with un-ascertained number of legislators within that age grade.
In his remarks, Saraki expressed support for the course of the youth, adding that he would ensure participation of young people in governance.
He observed that in order to build the next generation of leaders, there was need to factor in young people.
“In order to build the next generation of leaders, we must build in young people in the process. We in the National Assembly will give support and ensure the participation of young people in governance. The future of this country lies with young people. For members of IPU, a great challenge await you”, he said.
Speaker Yakubu Dogara on his part said: “The cliche that young people are the leaders of tomorrow is no longer enough nor tenable. Young people should be given the opportunity to serve in leadership positions.
“The young people and women are the excluded majority and this imbalance must be corrected. As we celebrate our 55th Independence, we should use the occasion for some introspection”.
Decrying the shift in focus from the youth to the elderly in political considerations, Hon. Nnanna Igbokwe in his remarks said: “In Nigeria, General Yakubu Gowon mounted the saddle of leadership at the age of 28 years. The military leaders that came after him like Murtala Muhammed and Olusegun Obasanjo were in their thirties when they ruled Nigeria. Even Nigeria’s current President Muhammadu Buhari was in his early forties during his first coming in 1983.”
He urged Nigerians and parliamentarians at all levels to make it a priority in the next attempt at reviewing the nation’s constitution to amend the portion which excluded and disenfranchised young people from being voted into elective positions until they are 30 years and above.