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Youths protest exclusion from ministerial list

The YIAGA AFRICA has said that the exclusion of youths under the age of 35 in list of the 43 ministerial nominees by President Muhammadu…

The YIAGA AFRICA has said that the exclusion of youths under the age of 35 in list of the 43 ministerial nominees by President Muhammadu Buhari was shocking.

The Executive Director, YIAGA AFRICA, Samson Itodo, said that the nominees for President Buhari’s second term in office across the 36 states and FCT though contained only seven women, surprisingly has no single person below the age of 35.

“The conspicuous absence of young people under the age of 35 in the ministerial nominees read by Senate President Ahmed Lawan as sent to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari has to come us and the entire Nigerian youths as a big Surprise.

“It is indeed disappointing to see that despite the giant strides made by young people especially in the area of politics and leadership, President Muhammadu Buhari has not seen any person below the age of 35 worthy of any ministerial position,” Itodo said.

According to him, despite publicly proclaiming that young people of Nigeria are now set to leave their mark on the political space, just as they have done over the decades in entrepreneurship, sports, art, media entertainment, technology, and several other fields, it was surprising that President Buhari did not consider young people in his cabinet.

He said that while portfolios are yet to be assigned to ministerial nominees, it is obvious that from the list, the minister of youth and sports will not be a youth as none of the nominees is under the age 35 not to talk of the new National youth policy which classifies youth between 15 and 29 years old.

“This is in contrast with the faith President Buhari showed to young people when he signed the Not Too Young To run bill into law,” he said.

He added that the recent emergence of Speakers under the age of 35 in state houses of assembly of Oyo, Zamfara, Kwara and plateau not only shows that young people are good for ministerial position but also demonstrate their readiness to deliver effectively.

He said, “While the wait for President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet is over, the wait for youth inclusion in his cabinet still lingers. State Governors across Nigeria still have an opportunity to change this narrative by appointing young competent people with character and capacity to head various commissions in the state.”