Activists call for re-classification of youths in Constitution
STAKEHOLDERS and activists involved in youth development have called for the review of the 1999 Constitution to legally re-classified youths as persons between the ages of 18 and 45 years.
They said people under this age bracket should be accommodated within the constitutional age requirements for elective positions.
This was disclosed at a one-day summit of the Nigerian Arise/Nigerian Youth Think-Tank Group Summit, Western Region Summit, theme, “Generation Change and Transformation in Government: Nigerian Youths and Young Professionals Arise: re-write your history, take your destiny in your hands, looking beyond 2015” held at Ikeja, Lagos.
The Director general of the group, Dr Victor Offiong in his welcome address said it is high time the cliche of Nigerian youths being the leaders of tomorrow is changed, adding that the youths should be leaders of today.
He said since he was born, he grew up meeting elders using the cliche of Youths being the leaders of tomorrow and uptill now, the same tomorrow has not come.
He urged the youth to wake up from their slumber and rise to the occasion to be true leaders of today because tomorrow may not come, noting that the Nigerian 2009 National Youth Policy defines youth in Nigeria to include all members of the Federal Republic of Nigeria aged 18 to 35.
A leading constitutional rights and people’s development advocacy initiative campaigner, Ikechukwu Ikeji in his paper titled, “An Analysis of Youths and Young Professionals Involvement in Governace from the first republic: The prospects in 2015 and beyond” called for an immediate review of the Nigerian National Youth Policy of 2009 to reflect changes taking place around the world and the setting up of a National Youth Commission to serve as the regulatory organ for Youth Affirmative Action.
Ikeji advocated for a Youth Affirmative Action in political and elective positions for at least 35 per cent representation of youth in all structures, positions, committees and congresses of political