Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth, and Advancement also known as YIAGA Africa has criticised President Muhammadu Buhari for not finding any youth below 35 worthy of being appointed a minister.
In a statement, the director of the group, Samson Itodo, flayed the omission despite the recent emergence of youths as speakers in some state houses of assembly. Oyo, Zamfara, Kwara and Plateau have all elected speakers below 35.
To YIAGA, these are proofs that youths are ready for ministerial positions.
“The conspicuous absence of young people under the age of 35 in the ministerial nominees read by Senate President Ahmed Lawan as sent to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari has to come us and the entire Nigerian youths as a Big Surprise.
“It is indeed disappointing to see that despite the giant strides made my young people especially in the area of politics and leadership, President Muhammadu Buhari has not seen any person below the age of 35 worthy of any ministerial position.
“Despite publicly proclaiming that young people of Nigeria are now set to leave their mark on the political space, just as they have done over the decades in entrepreneurship, sports, art, media entertainment, technology, and several other fields, we are surprised that President Muhammadu Buhari did not consider young people in his cabinet,” the statement read in part.
The group noted that since all Buhari’s ministerial nominees are above 50, it means the minister of youth and sports will not be a youth.
YIAGA said this is because “none of the nominees is under the age 35 not to talk of the new National youth policy which classifies youth between 15 and 29 years old.
“This is in contrast with the faith President Buhari showed to young people when he signed the Not Too Young To Run bill into law.”
“Similarly, young people have emerged in various principal positions in their state houses of assembly.
“This is no doubt a huge result achieved within a short time and no doubt should have ensured young people staked a claim for ministerial slots in the cabinet list released on Tuesday.”