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Ajimobi Advocates Youth Participation inPolitical Leadership

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Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State on
Thursday rose in stout defence of Nigerian
youths, saying they must be given a
chance to participate actively in the
political leadership of the country.
The governor stated this while speaking
on “Youth and the Future of Nigerian
Politics” at the 50th anniversary lecture of
Nnamdi Azikiwe Hall, University of
Ibadan.
“Enough is enough of the system that
makes the youth political touts and
bouncers. They must be effectively
included in general party decision-making
and leadership structure of all political
parties.
“If the youth of this country must indeed
be leaders of tomorrow, we must stop
recycling grey-haired leaders in this
country. There is no gainsaying the fact
that the same set of people who had been
ruling the country in the last 30-40 years
are still the recurrent factors in rulership
today.
“The present scheme of things where the
youth are jobless, cannot boast of a today,
is such that it would be very difficult to
articulate a concise tomorrow for them.
“All efforts must thus be made to ensure
that the youth are leaders of their
stomachs today before we can consider
them for leadership of the nation
tomorrow,’’ the governor said.
He also stressed the need for addressing
youth restiveness in Nigeria, stressing that
“in a country with over 10 million
unemployed graduate youths, their
involvement in social vices, taking up arms
and general restiveness, is a given. This
has made entrusting them with political
power very difficult as they are seen as
politically immature.
Governor Ajimobi also called on those
occupying leadership positions in the
country to ensure that the quality of
education given to the children of today
who would become leaders of tomorrow
had left the deplorable level that it is
today.
“The education that is given to the youth
of today cannot be compared to the ones
given to those great nationalists.
Substandard education hampers the
youth’s intellect and ability to master the political terrain.
“If we do all these, our youth would be
on their way to occupying positions that
rightly belong to them and the political
future of our great country would be
assured,’’ he said.
The Chairman of the occasion and former
Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari
(rtd.), in his address, described the late
Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe on whom the hall was
named after as the most out-spoken and
internationally-recognized Nigerian
nationalist.
“Zik was a true Nigerian, a nationalist
and an internationalist whose vision
extended beyond Nigeria or West Africa,’’
he remarked.

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