Sen. Abdulfatai Buhari (APC-Oyo North) has urged youths in the country to shun apathy and brace up for leadership roles.
He made the plea on Monday in Ibadan at a public lecture organised by the Federation of Oyo State Students’ Union (FOSSU) to commemorate Nigeria’s 57th Independence Anniversary.
Buhari delivered a lecture entitled: `Not Too Young to Rule Movement: Issues, Challenges and Prospects in View. ’
“Nigerian youths must shun apathy and actively participate in politics at all levels.
“This will allow them contest party primaries and increase their chances of emerging victorious.
“Today, Nigerian youths have lost focus and have been relegated to ordinary internet warriors, e – rats, fraudsters and political thugs arguing subjectively, illogically and irrationally in support of their pay masters.
“ Instead of using internet as strength, they have turned it to triviality and use it to blackmail, defraud and for immorality,’’ he said.
Buhari, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on ICT and Cybercrime, said many youths lack focus, coordination and political will to challenge the elders for them to hold public offices.
“There are fears over the readiness of the youths to take over from the elders as there are questions over whether they have political sagacity to challenge the elders and whether they possess the experience or the wherewithal to deliver,’’ he said.
Buhari urged the youths to equip themselves intellectually through training and retraining, saying leadership positions require sound education and a lot of experience.
He also advised the youths to use their power and knowledge of ICT as a strength to develop the nation’s democracy.
“Research has shown that apart from obsession of African leaders for power, African and most especially Nigerian youths are their own worst enemy.
“Looking at their percentage and their numerical strength, they ought to be dictating who gets what, when and how in our political space and even in the country at large.
“ There was the emergence of Vanessa D’Ambrosio (29 years) in San Marino, Kim Jong –un (32 years) in North Korea, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (35 years) in Qatar and Charles Michel (38 years) in Belgium.
“The emergence of Emmanuel Macron (39 years) in France and Justin Trudeu (42 years) in Canada to mention a few marks the gradual revolution of the younger generation of the leaders around the globe in the last couple of years,’’ he said.
He said that the Senate had on July 26 and House of Representatives on July 27 passed the ‘Not Too Young To Run Bill’ meant to amend the age requirements to run for public offices.
Buhari urged the leadership of the country to consider the bill for the betterment of all and sundry.
“Government should set up leadership training institutes or include compulsory leadership courses in the curriculum of schools starting from secondary schools.
“Government policies and programmes on politics should be directed toward encouraging the youths and they should be carried along in policies that will directly affect them.
“Political parties must encourage the youths to participate in politics by involving them in decision making and stop the imposition and selection of candidates by fiat,’’ he said.
Buhari also urged government to encourage open, free and fair party primaries for popular candidates to emerge.
“For Nigerian youths to attain leadership position, they must put aside religious and ethnic sentiments and see the development of the country as their project and ideology,’’ he said.