Appoint 40% youths as ministers, coalition tasks candidates
A coalition of young presidential candidates and former aspirants has said that Nigerians should mandate presidential candidates to appoint 40 per cent of young people into ministerial and other top government positions before casting their votes.
The charge, which was issued at a forum in Abuja on Wednesday, saw many of the aspirants demanding that the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu; his counterpart in Labour Party, Peter Obi and the flag bearer of Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, be made to sign a social contract to actively engage youths when elected.
The development is coming 86 days to the conduct of the 2023 presidential election.
Speaking at the event, APC’s youngest presidential aspirant, Nicolas Felix, stated that the purpose of the coalition was not to make selfish and personal gains.
He said, “This election is very crucial because Nigeria is in need of serious fixing. This is why I am championing the cause for at least 40 per cent of young Nigerians to get into government, whether by election or by appointment, for us to fix our country.
“We want youths as governors, ministers, heads of parastatals, lawmakers in state assemblies and local government chairmen.
“The 2023 presidential election is one many of us had hoped to participate in. Who will win the ballot? We may not be able to say for certain. But what is visible to all is that so far, the odds seem to be in favour of three leading candidates and come May 29, one of them will take over from President Muhammadu Buhari,” he said.
His position was re-echoed by the former presidential and current senatorial candidate of the Labour Party, Erastus Anslem, who disclosed that the group had agreed to slam a charter of demand on the three leading political candidates for youth inclusion in governance.
“The percentage we are demanding is 40%. The youths constitute over 70 per cent of the voting population in Nigeria. Ideally, if we all come out to vote, we shouldn’t be having anything less than 50 to 60 million votes.
“But we cannot continue to deliver this magnitude of votes without attendant reward. The reward should be for good governance, not what to put in our pockets. We are looking at a day, probably in January where presidential candidates are going to sign with us. It is going to be a social path, even though we know only one person will win,” he said.
Among other political personalities present at the forum were vice presidential candidate of African Democratic Congress, Ahmed Buhari; former presidential aspirant of United Democratic Party, Dr Awwal Aliyu; Director General of APC States Assembly, Dagogo Fubara; 2019 presidential flag bearer of National Unity Party, Moses Atibiowu and presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, Omoyele Sowore, who was represented.