Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has called on young people to participate in political activities to take over leadership positions from the older generation of leaders.
Obasanjo said this while addressing on Wednesday, August 12, 2020, at an interactive session held virtually to commemorate the 2020 International Youth Day. The meeting was organised by the Youth Development Centre, an arm of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL).
The former president stated that the older generation would continue to occupy those positions unless if they are forced out. “Unless you squeeze out those who are in the office and those who want to remain in the office perpetually, some after the age of 80. Unless you squeeze them out they will not want to be out,” he said.
He commended that they should request favorable action preserved in the constitution of political parties, as part of an ongoing process to remove the old generation of leaders in the continent. Moreover, Obasanjo stated that the younger generation could impact the transformation by taking an active part in political activities.
“The type of change I am talking about, that I believe we can all embark upon is to subscribe to the constitution of political parties in favour of youth. Or if you like it, you call it affirmative action in favour of youths. For instance, if you say, in the constitution of the political party, not less than 50 percent of those who hold executive office within the party will be less than 40 years of age.
“You are just making sure that people that are 40 years of age will hold 50 percent of executive offices within the political party. You can even go beyond that and say that people who will be put up for election, not less than 50 percent of them, will be less than 40 years of age. That’s affirmative action. That’s positive discrimination in favour of youths,” stated the former president.
The session was attended by participants from Nigeria, Mali, USA, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa. “I am saying this because if you leave it entirely for people to do it for you, nobody will do it for you. You have to do it for yourself,” added Obasanjo.