Youth inclusion in democratic processes has gained global attention, buoyed largely by the emergence of young leaders in Canada, France, and other Nations of the world. Youth representation and inclusion in democratic processes and institutions has also been given a great deal of advocacy in the last few decades.
It’s no gainsaying to state that the Nigerian Political history is not complete without appreciating the roles that the youths have played in activities leading to the Nation’s independence. In the years leading to independence, youths were the driving force behind the nationalist activities that led to the dismantling and eventual overthrow of colonialism, the activities of the likes of Herbert Macaulay, Nnamdi Azikwe, Obafemi Awolowo, H.O Davies, Tafawa Balewa, Ahmadu Bello, Samuel Akintola among a host of others in their 20s and 30s are legendary.
It’s somehow disappointing to see the influence of this energetic and highly enthusiastic group reduced over the years, one which has led to an increase advocacy across the 36 states of the Federation to honor the youths by not just seeing themselves as a mere member of the community but as an integral part of the Nation, one who’s is considered the future of the nation, for it’s on their shoulders that the nation’s future can be indeed sustained.
While the advocacy for youth participation in Governance and Politics continues to gain both the local and global attention, one which ultimately led to the signing of the Not Too Young to Run Bill by President Muhammadu Buhari in May 2018, it’s worthy to celebrate and applaud Governors in Nigeria who have keyed into this project and have wholly given themselves to see to its success.
The Executive Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN has over the years proven himself to be a Governor for the future, one who understands that against the perception of many that youths are problematic, he has instead chosen to believe that youth are problem solvers and in them lies an untapped resources needed to advance our existence for the greater good of all.
His first term as the Governor of the State saw him giving a quote number of youths in the state the chance to grow and thrive, even within the socio-political setting of the state, the emergence of various youths into key political spaces in his administration is worthy to be commended, adding to this, his unending strategically crafted empowerment projects aimed at developing the youths to be change makers and policy maker is second to none in the federation.
His decision to appoint one who is considered by many as the youngest to have ever be appointed as the Chief Press Secretary to his Government in the person of Mr. Olabode Richard is one that justifies the intention of the Governor to ensure that Youths in the State are held in high regards and their capabilities to deliver was never at any point doubted.
At the heart of the REDEEMED blue print for the State for the next 4 years is Digital Revolution in the State, one that connects other plans together, one that cannot be achieved without the full participation of the youths as the youths are considered the greatest herald of the Digital Revolution, this is a clear evidence that the Governor has at heart, the interest of the youths and he is keenly committed to giving them a chance in his administration.
He lives true to his iconic appellation, which is,” The Talk and Do Governor” what he says, is what he does, he has promised 10% youth inclusive government and he is showing us all that he is committed to achieving it.