Not-Too-Young-to-Run Group Faults Buhari’s Ministerial List

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Muhammadu Buhari

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The youth advocacy group, Not-Too-Young-To-Run, has said the list of ministerial nominees released by President Muhammadu Buhari is neither inclusive nor representative of the population and those who voted for him, including youths, women and persons with disabilities.

In a statement issued Thursday by the group under the auspices of YIAGA Africa, it said the list of ministerial nominees fell short of satisfying the promise made by President Buhari to the Nigerian youths. The group also said the list that comprises 43 male-dominated nominees coming from 36 states, excluded nominees below the age of 35 “The conspicuous absence of young people under the age of 35 among the ministerial nominees read by Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, as sent to the National Assembly by President Buhari contradicts the letter and spirit of the Not-Too-Young-To-Run law and the promise of inclusion in governance and political processes for Nigerian youths,” it said. The advocacy group recalled that President Buhari, at the signing of the Not-Too-Young-To Run (age reduction) bill into law, said the expectation was that it would expand the political space for more youth participation in politics.

According to the group, “Similarly, the All Progressives Congress (APC) Next Level Road Map prioritised inclusion in government by promising more youth appointments. The list of ministerial nominees is a missed opportunity by President Buhari and the APC to keep their promise and show faith and fidelity with the Nigerian youths who entrusted them with a mandate for the next four
years.

“Nigeria’s most important resource is not oil nor agriculture nor solid minerals but undoubtedly the youths. Our energy, intelligence and talent are what will drive and develop Nigeria. Nigerian youths are ready to leave their marks on the political space, just as we have done over the decades in entrepreneurship, sports, art, media, entertainment, technology among several other fields. Nigeria needs a government constituted to represent its diversity with respect to youth and women representation.”

It said the Not-Too-Young-To-Run movement is driven by the compelling need to restructure the country’s political system to address the deeply entrenched system of political exclusion and institute inclusive politics for transformative leadership and sustainable democracy.

The advocacy group therefore urged President Buhari to ensure more appointment of youths, women and persons with disabilities into boards and agencies.