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Experts lament youth under-representation in government, seeks more inclusion

By Joseph Onyekwere
07 December 2021   |   4:01 am
Founder and principal of Alder Consulting, Mr. Leke Alder, and other experts have lamented that 61.3 million Nigerians youths between 19 and 35 are under-represented in government.

Leke Alder

Founder and principal of Alder Consulting, Mr. Leke Alder, and other experts have lamented that 61.3 million Nigerians youths between 19 and 35 are under-represented in government.

Questioning this development, Alder said: “How is it possible that such a percentage is not represented in government when in 1966, all the leaders, who ruled the country were below 30 years?

“Now in the year 2021, we have people in the 70s and 80s still in government. How will they come up with fresh ideas? We need to address these germane issues.”

According to him, the Nigeria we want is what we don’t currently have and we must begin to deal with the root causes rather than the symptoms.

Alder said there are more natural resources in Nigeria than most countries in the world, yet the country is poor, which shows that there is a problem.

Speaking at the 15th ǼLEX yearly lecture, held virtually with the theme: “The Nigeria We Want; Economic, Political and Social Justice” at the weekend, Alder disclosed that Nigeria is a plaque with three forms of illogicality, namely; conceptual, demographic and religious illogicalities.

“On the religious illogicality, Nigerians pray to God for something that common sense can solve. If you look at all these illogicalities, you will find out the reason we are where we are,” he stated.

In her remarks, former presidential candidate, Prof. Remi Sonaiya, explained that having a modern society with political restructuring and more inclusiveness of people in governance will take Nigeria to the level where every citizen desires.

While noting that Nigeria has the capacity to solve all her problems instead of running to foreigners for help, she maintained that the leaders must be held responsible to fix the problem.

Sonaiya was one of the panelists with two other persons, Mr Frank Nweke and Alder in the lecture anchored by the co-founder and Executive Director of ElectHER, Ms. Ibironke Faborode.

At the lecture, the former don, Sonaiya further averred that a politically restructured nation should be the type whereby vibrant young women will take positions of leadership and responsibilities.

Speaking on the importance of having women in political leadership, she wondered why there are women professors, judges and those sitting on boards of companies but still considered unfit for political leadership.

Her words: “We must engage male advocates who will speak for women so that we can begin to have people who have the mind to serve and lead. To bring this about, we must continue to advocate a fundamental change of our constitution so that we will have a bigger say in the way our affairs are being run.

Former minister of information, Nweke, in his submission said no nation develops by accident, except they have leaders who are concerned with the welfare of their people.

Nweke said: “I want a Nigeria that is secure and the government is development driven, but regrettably today, we are still talking about basic needs like security for citizens. I also want a Nigeria where everybody is included and treated equally regardless of their tribe.

“It will be good if we create opportunities for women to emerge as leaders of key posts in our country as we had during the era of former president Obasanjo where we had a list of women who were empowered to participate in active governance.”

Earlier, the managing partner at ǼLEX, Mr. Tunde Adedapo-Olowu (SAN) in his welcome address, said the yearly lecture, which is the 15th edition was founded in commemoration of the founding of the law firm.

He said it has been a forum where National issues aimed at proffering solutions to our country’s problems are discussed.

“We carefully chose this year’s lecture theme to address problems like the rising cost of living and the current political disabilities in the country,” Adedapo-Olowu said.