…Says high cost of nomination forms discouraging
The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, Lagos State Area Unit has urged political actors and parties to encourage youths leadership in the country.
Ashafa said this in a press release ahead the MSSN Lagos annual conference expected to hold on Sunday on the theme – Youths leadership and governance.
He explained that a situation that has made it difficult for youths to clinched position of leadership easily is “disastrous”.
According to him, the theme of the conference was chosen to address the social injustice in the country when it comes to leadership.
Among the tactics, he alleged, that are deployed by political parties to discourage youths to aspire to be leaders at national level was through exorbitant forms fee.
He said, “There is a need to create an enabling environment and unique opportunity for young people to engage in the democratic process. It is not just a constitution review process alone that is needed, but we must put up a system that gets youth actively involved in the process of law making in a nation where they remain one of its most vulnerable groups.
“It may however be difficult to define youths in a situation where there are conflicting rules, regulations and policies pertaining to what constitutes Nigerian “youth”. We opine that there should be a clause defining the youth demography in the constitution.
“Youth leadership can be encouraged by making the participation in political process easy and pocket-friendly. A situation where one needs to possess millions of naira to purchase interest and nomination form as a tactics to discourage youths is worrisome. Being a leader in Nigeria should not be subjected to being rich. Good leaders are not not necessarily rich personalities.”
Ashafa also urged youths not to limit their focus to becoming lawmakers or executives at the state or federal level alone.
As the 2019 election approaches, he warned them to eschew violence and election malpractices.
“While we encourage youths to be ambitious, starting from the grassroot won’t be a bad idea. Nothing stops youths from being the Community Development Association (CDA) chairmen of their area of residence or leaders at grassroot levels.
“Youths should not only be interested in becoming House of Assemblies members, governors and even president. We preach that youth leadership should begin from the grassroot,” he added.
In a related development, the Amir complained over the continuous refusal of the Federal Government to declare public holiday on new hijrah year.
He said not doing so constituted “social injustice” and “marginalisation” of a section of Nigeria’s tax-payers, especially Muslims, their rights.
He commended Governors declaring first of hijrah as public holiday, urging that whoever would be succeeding them should follow their path.
“We commend the few Governors who have started declaring public holiday on Hijrah day. It is our desire that when they leave office, there successors will continue with this reasonable act of ensuring justice.
“It is beyond reason that the Federal Government has continued on the part of injustice by ignoring the Islamic New Year . We are not asking for the cancellation or denial of those holidays declared for Christians, we are only saying that in the spirit of social justice and equality, give Muslims our own Hijrah public holiday as declared for the Gregorians,” he said.