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Forget presidency, start from the grassroots, Osinbajo asks youth

Nigeria’s vice-president, Yemi Osinbajo, on Saturday, asked the youth interested in politics to start from the grassroots.

Mr Osinbajo, speaking at the 9th Sigma Club Lecture in Ibadan, said the youth should not start from the presidency.

“Don’t worry yourself about running for president; it will take a while,” said Mr Osinbajo who topic was “Developing the nation through youth empowerment.” “Then they should move on to the local government level, then to the state level but as for the federal level.”

He added that “Anybody who wants a career in political positions should also make an attempt to get involved in public service since there are less than 2000 of such positions. Get involved in public service.”

The promulgation of the #Nottooyoungtorun Bill this year was an outcome of wide agitations that you the youth should increasingly participate in politics and public service.

While quite a number of younger persons were able to clinch tickets of various political parties to contest in the 2019 elections, the mainstream parties, – PDP and APC – have been criticised for the exorbitant fees they imposed for their nomination forms, which negatively affected youth participation.

Speaking further on Saturday in Ibadan, Mr Osinbajo called on the youths to always hold the government accountable.

“The government’s role is to create an enabling environment for the youths to be empowered. But for this to happen, the youth take time to scrutinize their [the government’s] arguments. You are the leaders of tomorrow. No one should doubt that. However, that future would only be guaranteed if you hold your leaders to account,” he said.

While admitting that the poverty in the country is a major concern to the government, he faulted the grand corruption and high rate of borrowing of the past administration “despite earning more.”

“The most important drain to our public revenue is grand corruption, which is simply going to the treasury and withdrawing money — stealing it in short,” he said.

He added: “No nation can possibly prosper when its commonwealth is spent in that manner. So, we need to deal with grand corruption if we are to move forward as a nation.”

“Everybody must pay attention to the nation’s growth. No nation is built by one person. The future of jobs is in technology and innovations. It is where the real opportunities are. Young people have an edge where technology is concerned.”

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