By Olasunkanmi Akoni
A youth group, Transformative Leadership and Sustainable Development Initiative, TLSDI, has called on President Muhamnadu Buhari led Federal Government and Lagos State Governor-elect, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on the need to allocate 40 per cent representation of youths in their Government, as well as all other governors across the country.
The Executive Director TLSDI, Mr. Opeyemi Oriniowo, made the remarks, yesterday, at the unveiling of a “5 year Strategic Action Plan for Nigeria’s Youth, Post 2019 General Elections,” in GRA, Ikeja.
Orinowo, particularly, made reference to Buhari and Sanwo-Olu to take the lead by example in the quest.
He however, said that the appointments was not limited to the Federal and Lagos State governments alone but that other state governments should also accede to the demands.
He said that their vision was to see the voices of more young people in governance in Nigeria.
According to him, the group strive for the expansion of the civic space to accommodate more young people, where the institution are accessible and responsive to young people and where young people can influence public policy and public official towards building a more inclusive a society.
“We believe that despite the economic hardship, a crop of resilient young people in Africa are brazing the odds to create value through. Innovation and we intend to amplify their work and position them as though leaders who will champion the advocacy and required paradigm shift that will leap-frog the continent to social economic prosperity.
“Young people in Africa are not just the leaders of tomorrow but the hope of today as many are doing so much to contribute to nation building, poverty reduction technology advancement and socio economic changes despite the limited opportunities.
“TLSDI will be there to change the narrative, advocate for environment to thrive and provide the much needed support to attain full potential.
“We expect our young people’s voice on the table of decision making at federal and state governments.
“We no longer want tokenism but full representation that will ultimately lead to the realisation of the not too young to run act, which was not realisable at the just concluded 2019 general elections.
“Although there are many youths who participated in the elections, most of them lost out to money bags.
“We are driven by our conviction that Nigeria can only grow to greater heights with more participation of youths in governance,” he said.
“He explained, “The 5-year strategic plan will focus on the voice, livelihood, enhancement, mental health and leadership development.
“We want to begin now to sensitise the youths ahead of 2023, because sustainably of visions is the key to keeping agitations alive.
“We were fully involved in the monitoring of the 2019 general elections and we discovered that the only way out is through appointments and empowerment of the youths.
“We want to intervene in Nigeria’s story and challenges through influencing public opinion in a constructive way,” he said.
Also, Media Personality, Bolanle Olukanni spoke on the group’s upcoming “SURGE” conference, which she said was designed to create a safe space for young leaders in the public, private and social sectors to synergise.
“The conference will aggregate the demands, desires and expectation of the youth and how it can be achieved.
“The conference will also deliberate on how to hold government’s accountable by ensuring transparency and responsiveness,” she said.