By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
Former President of National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) and chairmanship aspirant of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Bello Shagari, has warned older politicians to be ready to surrender power to the younger ones in the forthcoming FCT area council polls.
Shagari gave the warning Tuesday while addressing journalists at the national secretariat of APC after attending the party’s screening for aspirants jostling for area councils Chairmanship positions.
The former youth leader boasted that the youths, backed by the “Not too young to run” law, are now better prepared and equipped to handle leadership positions and to wrestle power from the older generation.
Shagari, who frowned at exclusion of youths in politics and governance system in the country over the years, noted that the passage and accent to the “Not too young to run” bill in 2015 by President Muhammadu Buhari has opened up the political space and paved ways for young Nigerians, with requisite capacities and capabilities to aspire to any position of their choice in the land.
He said, “Under this administration, we are beginning to see the involvement of young people in governance with the likes of Ahmed Bashir, Ismail Ahmed, and more recently the appointment of EFCC chairman.
“So, I think we have started to forge the path to youth takeover in this country and my aspiration also is that another opportunity is being presented to us to take the mantle of leadership and I believe it will happen but it will be gradually.
“We must give kudos to the older ones, they are the ones who did it for us in 2015, but now they must be ready to surrender this power, they must be ready to encourage us, and we are ready to takeover.”
Speaking on his manifestos and plan for the people of AMAC if elected as the council chairman, the 33-yr-old former youth leader identified transportation, healthcare and education as key areas his administration would accord priority attention, adding that his mission would be to urbanise the entire municipal council including the inner rural suburbs and not just the city centre.
Sagari, who faulted the present transportation system in the metropolis for lack of safety and security of commuters, recalled his horrible experience in the hands of highway criminal gang known as “once chance”, whom he said carted away valuable items from him at gunpoint when he boarded.a taxi to a location in the city.
While reacting to the issues concerning the demands of Abuja natives on alleged marginalization of indigenes and request for mayoral status, Sagari said though the FCT truly deserves a mayoral status, but given the cosmopolitan nature of Abuja as the nation’s centre of unity, it was imperative we play up citizenship above indigeneship as the FCT belongs to all Nigerian regardless of State of origin.
“I’m not an advocate of indigenization, I have always preached against someone being an indigene. We are all Nigerians. What is the essence of using quota system to choose who will do the job when we can find people who can do the job regardless of wherever they come from, tribe, ethnicity or language they speak. Left to me, I will say we should even scrap the indigeneship system and replace it with citizenship because we are just further disintegrating ourselves,” he stressed.