2019; be positive minded, active in political parties to lead Nigeri a – Makinde to youths
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Social Democratic Party (SDP) Governorship candidate in the April
11, 2015 election in Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde at the weekend asked Nigerian youth to be positive minded and be active forces in different political parties to afford them opportunity to lead the country come 2019.
Engineer Makinde gave the advice while presenting a lecture entitled, “Youth participation in politics: prospects and challenges” as part of programme marking this year’s press week of the Oyo state NUJ Correspondent Chapel held at the Premier Hotel, Ibadan.
According to him, the nation’s political space had so far recorded a narrow opportunity for young Nigerians since the beginning of the fourth republic.
“We can conclusively say that no youth has ever being the president of Nigeria since 1999. President Olusegun Obasanjo, late President Umar Yar’ Adua, President Goodluck Jonathan and now President Mohammadu Buhari have between them, a mean age of 61 years as at the day they took office,” he said.
Engineer Makinde pointed out that “besides serving as a platform for contesting elections, political parties also play the role of policy and agenda setting for national development. So, if the youth must have any influence in the process of national development, we must be active forces in the political arena.”
Speaking further, he said many opportunities awaits the youths in this modern time, adding that “the Azikiwes, the Awolowos the Ahmadu Bellos, the Enahoros, the Margaret Ekpos did not have as much education or access to information as we have today. They were not invited to the decision making table by the British, they simply saw a cause and they seized the opportunity.
“We should remove the mental shackle of helplessness and tell ourselves that if
Nigeria must deliver human development dividends to present and future population and take its rightful place among the comity of nations, you and I must play an active role. Secondly, let us get involved in political sensitisation of
our spheres of influence.
“Let us form political cell groups, let us engage in constant policy dialogues among ourselves; let us network with young people in different parts of the country based on common values. We are seeking some high sounding ideological rallying point; we simply want to contribute positively to governance in our country. If we agree on this point, then we have a cause”.
Engineer Makinde however urged President Muhammadu Buhari to be mindful of his policies as his political opponents are waiting to ridicule him if he reneges on his promises or fails at the end of his tenure.