By Vanessa Obioha
The APC South-West Young Stakeholders Forumhas made a fervent appeal to President Bola Tinubu to appoint a young representative from the region as the next Minister for Youth Development. This is following the reshuffling of cabinet portfolios which has now led to a vacancy in the Youth Ministry.
In a letter directly addressed to the President and bearing the signatures of Lanre Oyegbola-Sodipo and Babajide Akeredolu, the chairman and co-chair of the Forum respectively, a list of 10 nominees from the South-west region has been presented. From the Ekiti and Ondo axis, the Forum has put forward Makinde Araoye, an active member of the APC in Ekiti; Seun Olufemi-White, a significant figure within the Renewed Hope youth movement and a trusted ally of the President’s son, Seyi Tinubu; and Ayodele Olawande, the APC State Youth Leader in Ondo.
Representing the Osun and Oyo axis, the forum has endorsed Bolaji Afeez Repete, a former Deputy National Youth Leader of the APC; Prince Oyekunle Oyewumi, a prominent figure from Ogbomoso and a valued party stakeholder in Oyo; Titilope Ayoka Gbadamosi, a dynamic party member in Oyo, who also contested for the position of Zonal Youth Leader during the last APC National Convention; and Ademola Adeyeye, an influential young party member from Osun.
Acknowledging the saturation of ministers from Lagos and Ogun states, each with two and three ministers respectively, the Forum has nevertheless included nominees from these states. Among the nominees are Abdullahi Dayo Israel, the incumbent APC National Youth Leader, who, as per insiders, has been actively lobbying for the role; Bayo Adenekan, a unifying figure among young individuals in Ogun, having previously served as an advisor to the state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, in his first term; and Dr. Seriki Muritala, a medical professional and the current youth leader of the APC in Lagos.
Given the separation of the youth and sports ministries, it is envisaged that the incoming minister will shoulder the responsibility of constructing a ministry that exclusively caters to the needs of young people. This marks a departure from the previous focus on sports by youth and sports ministers. Furthermore, the chosen minister will play a pivotal role in managing the aspirations of the youth demographic and ensuring that President Tinubu’s administration aptly addresses their concerns.