Youths lament exclusion from Buhari’s ministerial list

YOUTHS under the aegis of Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement (YIAGA) on Tuesday, lamented their exclusion from President, Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial list.

It said the list, which comprises 43 nominees from the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory, comprised  7 women without any youth representation.

In a statement issued and signed by the Executive Director, YIAGA AFRICA, Samson Itodo, the group expressed shock over the development, saying this runs contrary to the President’s public stance on the  #NotTooYoungToRun bill.

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It said the President had publicly proclaimed that Nigerian youths were 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.

The statement partly reads: “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 to 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.

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

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YIAGA further noted that the recent emergence of  Speakers under the age of 35 in State houses of assembly of Oyo, Zamfara, Kwara and Plateau has not only shown that youths can hold ministerial position but also demonstrate their readiness to deliver effectively.

” Similarly, young people have emerged in various principal positions in their state houses of assembly. This is no doubt a huge result achieved within a short time and no doubt should have ensured young people staked a claim for ministerial slots in the cabinet list released on Tuesday.

“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,” it concluded.

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