By Albert Akota
The Nigerian Youth Parliament yesterday elected a new Speaker, Hon. Abba Waziri from Gombe State following the stepping down of the former Speaker, Abdullahi Maibasira who is presently the National Youth Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The election of the new Speaker followed the announcement by the former Speaker of his intention to step down which he described as a moral obligation compelled by his new position in the PDP.
Maibasira used the opportunity to thank his colleagues for their cooperation and support during his tenure as Speaker.
He also commended the management of the Federal Ministry of Youth Development under the Minister, Boni Haruna for displaying a rare tenacity of purpose and an empowering vision which underlies the establishment of the Nigerian Youth Parliament.
In his acceptance speech, the new Speaker, Abba Waziri pledged to continue in the template of programmes set by his predecessor noting that the platform of the parliament is veritable as learning ground for the empowerment of effective youth participation in not only parliamentary advocacy but in governance.
He therefore thanked his colleagues for giving him the opportunity to serve in the office of Speaker.
The imperative of the election of the new Speaker is in consonance with the principle of non-partisanship of elected youth parliamentarians in national politics during their tenure in the Youth Parliament.
Meanwhile, the Minister, Boni Haruna has said that the weeklong valedictory session of the 2nd Nigerian Youth Parliament which commenced yesterday in the House of Representatives was convened by the ministry as part of efforts to wind down on the 2nd Parliament preparatory to the inauguration of a new Parliament in 2015.
He said that the overreaching objective for the creation of the Youth Parliament was to serve as a veritable platform for the inclusion of young people in governance processes as well as a learning ground for the acquisition of leadership skills.
He disclosed further that the success achieved in the recent past was encouraging noting that some former youth parliamentarians were already playing significant roles in mainstream politics of Nigeria.
Citing the cases of Abdullahi Maibasira, immediate Speaker of the Parliament and currently National Youth Leader of PDP as well as Luke Onofiok pioneer Speaker of the Parliament but presently serving as a legislator in the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly, the Minister averred that the these achievements were pointers to the fact that the youth were not only leaders for tomorrow, but partners of today.
The Minister pledged the continuing deployment of resources towards achieving Government’s objective of promoting effective participation of youth in nation building as well as attainment of the objectives of the World Programme of Action for Youth in the next 20 years.