Olusegun Obasanjo, former president, has advised Nigerian youths to chase out old politicians from occupying powerful positions in the country.
He gave the advise on Wednesday while delivering his keynote address at an interactive session held virtually to mark the 2020 International Youth Day.
There have been calls for youth inclusion in the governance scene of the country but not much have been achieved on that aspect. President Muhammadu Buhari while signing the ‘Not Too Young To Run’ bill in 2018 pleaded with the youths to shelve their presidential ambition in the 2019 general election because he would seek re-election.
Despite his plea, one of them, in the person of Omoyele Sowore, sought the position but lost to the president. He is one of the candidates who recorded low votes in the last year exercise.
On his part, Obasanjo said the youths can chase out old politicians if determined as no one will do it for them. He advised that the fight be taken to political parties, canvassing that half of the executive positions to be apportioned to the youths.
He also said unless the old politicians are pushed out, they will likely hold firm the powerful positions in the country.
“Unless you squeeze out those who are in the office and those who want to remain in office perpetually, some after the age of 80. Unless you squeeze them out they will not want to be out,” Obasanjo said.
“The type of change I am talking about, that I believe we can all embark upon is to subscribe into the constitution of political parties in favour of youth. Or if you like it you call it affirmative action in favour of youths. For instance, if you say, in the constitution of a political party, not less than 50 per cent of those who hold executive office within the party will be less than 40 years of age.
“You’re just making sure that people that are 40 years of age will hold 50 percent of executive offices within the political party. You can even go beyond that and say that people who will be put up for election, not less than 50 percent of them, will be less than 40 years of age. That’s affirmative action. That’s positive discrimination in favour of youths.
“I am saying this because if you leave it entirely for people to do it for you, nobody will do it for you. You have to do it for yourself,” he advised.