[OPINION] January 27th, Yahya Bello And The Nigerian Youth By Israel Oladipupo Ogunseye

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January 27th is the set date of the swearing in of the new Governor of Kogi state after a protracted battle of legal luminaries over the death of Prince Abubakar Audu (May his soul rest in eternal bliss). The date for the event has been set, and now all preparations for the big day have begun for the entrance of the youngest Governor in Nigeria at present (40 years of age).
For a constitution that says, “A person shall be eligible for the office of Governor if he or she is a citizen of Nigeria by birth at least 35 years of age, is a member of a political party and is sponsored by that political party”.
This is by far one of the biggest feats for forward thinking Nigerians having witnessed the swearing in of Governor Abdulaziz Yari, at the age of 42 in Zamfara state, and Governor Ramallan Yero of Kaduna state, sworn in at the age of 43 in 2012. Although, we could have had this feat immediately after the general elections with Alhaji Umar Mohammed Nasko, in Niger state, who also is 40 years of age.
After Cross River state have produced the youngest set of people to attain political offices, Clement Ebri (39), Donald Duke (38), Senator Liyel Imoke, (46), this development comes on the back of the calling for the active participation of the younger population as seen before and after the independence era.
It is noteworthy that Nigerian youths need to rise up to the occasion when it comes to active participation in Nigerian politics with the older generation having reserved the Special Advisers on New Media, Personal Assistants etc for the largest group of the population.
As young people, we need to challenge the status quo as Umar Nasko and now Yahya Bello have done rising up to the occasion of becoming a Governor just five years above the qualified age.
As Alh. Yahaya Bello, popularly known as Fair Plus by his admirers is set to be sworn in as the next Governor of Kogi state, the confluence state next year, I hope that other young Nigerians will stop being submissive to the use of online activism but active and significant participation in the Nigerian political ecosystem.
We need to stop being tools in the hands of stakeholders but become stakeholders ourselves.
Israel Oladipupo Ogunseye, is a Lagos based political analyst with interest in sane Environmental laws, youth development and socio-political development. He is also the co-convener of Youths in Government, a political pressure group challenging for the inclusiveness of youths in governance. He can be reached via twitter @LadiSpeaks
Israel Oladipupo Ogunseye
Lagos, Nigeria.
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