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.



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