By Laleye Dipo
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has pegged the age limit for its youth and women leaders at 35 years.
The decision is the outcome of a recent youth summit held in Abuja.
The Niger State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs who until recently was in the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Emmanuel Umar, disclosed this in Minna weekend while speaking at “A Youth Awareness and Sensitisation Programme” organised for students of the Federal University of Technology Minna by YIAGA Africa.
“In fact, we met with critical stakeholders and agreed that henceforth anyone that will occupy the position of either youth leader at any level must be someone who falls within the age bracket (18 and 35 years).
“We are going beyond that, we are also talking about women leader,” Umar said, adding that the party is also going beyond the policy by ensuring that a reasonable number of political appointees appointed by APC governor’s are youth.
He said the policy is already being implemented by the party in Niger State which is why he, as a commissioner, relinquished his position as the youth leader of the APC in the North-central geo-political zone.
He explained that during the last local government congress of the party in Niger State “a very young girl” emerged as the women leader in one of the local government areas of the state.
“Our intention is to get the youths involved in all aspects of the party and encourage them to vie for elective positions,” Umar declared.
The commissioner said the party will continue to train and retrain the youths to enable them take over the leadership of the state and country in the foreseeable future, but said “they must be prepared to go through proper mentoring in the act of governance”.
YIAGA Africa Programmes Officer, Efema Ozuga, said at the event that the sensitisation programme was being carried out in all the geo-political zones of the country ahead of the 2023 general election, targeting the youths especially those in tertiary institutions.
Ozuga pleaded with the youths to take active part in all the electoral programmes lined up by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the 2023 elections, warning that their non-participation could result in wrong people getting to power.