The Director Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement, YIAGA, Mr Samson Itodo has beckoned on Nigerian youths to vote for leaders who are competent, have content, responsive and accountable.
Itodo gave the admonition during a panel discussion at the 2018 Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Alumni Association seminar with the theme “The Youth and Transformational Leadership in Nigeria”.
Itodo whose organization was behind the campaign for the NotTooYounToRun said the category of leaders who should emerge in 2019 are youths who are competent, he urged them to mobilize themselves, support one another, take responsibility and add value to the nation.
“You should not vote for leaders because of their geographical location, the only category of leaders that deserve your vote in 2019 are those who are competent”, Itodo added.
The Executive Vice Chairman of Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy, Professor, Tunji Olaopa stressed that for youths to stay relevant in the political space, they need to have a shared vision and common goal.
“The youths, who are most endangered and whose future is at stake if governed by bad leaders need to come together, have a shared vision by creating a central organizing framework or structure through which you can confront those in leadership.
“Confronting the leadership is not only about being aggressive without having a direction, getting the mantle of leadership is not going to be an easy affair, it’s going to be a struggle that will be propelled by a structure”, he added.
Addressing funds which is a major impediment to youths’ effective participation in politics, Prof Olaopa said youths need to harness their strengths, diversity and wealth and also utilize the crowd funding mechanism to make available funds for youths in politics.
Also on the panel was 2018 CNN Hero of the Year Nominee and Founder, Pearls Africa Foundation, Ms. Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin who through her NGO is empowering girls in impoverished community to stay relevant in the country. Abisoye explained that through her Girls Coding program, girls in various slum communities in Lagos State have been empowered in programming which has in turn serve as solution provider and of economic benefits to fishermen in some of these communities.