‘We need to groom, mentor youths for strategic political leadership’
Prince David Adetunji Adeyeye (DAA) is an energy lawyer based in Abuja. He has been canvassing need to have young Nigerians in leadership positions. Adeyeye, a NUI Galway scholar and Rotarian discussed with KINGSLEY JEREMIAH critical issues on youth development and his political ambition.
There is clamour for young leaders in political offices in Nigeria, what needs to change if this must become feasible?
There is a need for young people to mobilize themselves. They are the critical mass that determines political leadership and dynamics in Nigeria. Been 68 per cent of the population, they have all it takes to assume leadership of the country. The problem however is the seed of discord, distraction and division along ethnic, religious, tribal and class orchestrated to pre-occupy the youth by the political elite and establishment for selfish reason and self-preservation.
For the youth, they must re-awaken their minds and begin a gentle but gradual mental revolution to mobilise intelligently and strategically to take over from the expired and failed political leadership we all have been suffering since 1999.
They must shun dirty money politics, corruption, violence and ‘godfatherism’ that enslave their minds if they want to take the mantle of leadership. They must be perseverant, and not despair in the face of difficulties and obstacles.
What is behind your drive for young leaders?
I came to FCT-Abuja in year 2000 for my National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) programme at the National Assembly, as a graduate of University of Ibadan, before subsequently attending the National University of Ireland-Galway (NUIG) to obtain LL.B and LL.M degrees in Law. I work in the Nigerian Power Sector (the distribution sub-sector) focusing mainly on regulations and regulatory frameworks of the Nigerian Electricity Service Industry (NESI). Before joining the power sector, I had worked with several cadres of people in the public, diplomatic and private sectors in Nigeria, West Africa and Europe. It is because I am a community organiser and enthusiast for community and local economies development as foundation for national socio-economic development.
How can youth be empowered for the development of the country?
So many ways, first, youth with creative ideas need access to financing and single digit seed loan or start-up capital that would provide the needed support to starting and sustaining small businesses and start-up ideas. We need to work on community and local council scholarship schemes and educational grants to students and the indigent to improve education penetration for our disadvantaged communities.
On leadership, we must, as a country begins to groom and mentor our youths for strategic political leadership like the military did throughout their reins. If you look at the military leaders when they emerged as leaders they were mostly young people stating with Gowon, Obasanjo, Buhari, IBB, Idi-Agbon, Oyinlola etc. We must provide to sound education and sustainable job opportunities to engage our youths and divert energy from negative vices.
What motivates you on the House of Representative aspiration for the FCT?
I am aspiring to contest as a political candidate to represent the diverse and unique people of FCT as the House of Representatives Member for AMAC/BWARI Federal Constituency-FCT Abuja, under the fresh and unblemished a youth centric, corruption free, ideological and disciplined political party – The Youth Progressive Party (YPP). It may interest you to know that I am not a traditional politician, but an average young Nigerian lawyer driven by love for country and community.
My motivations to serve as the people’s representatives are derivatives of my innate desires for quality and robust legislative representation of FCT people, better communities and functioning socio-economic and physical infrastructures across AMAC/Bwari and FCT at large.There is more need to provide such infrastructures as link-roads, functioning pipe-borne water, schools, housing and security of lives and properties, among others.
While there is need for maternity and public health for women and children, the youth would need to be equipped in training and standardization of technical and vocational skills, community libraries, community cooperative Banks for access to zero digits and non-securitized seed loans for small start-ups in communities. These are things that would help secure a mayoral status for FCT.
As a youth, what would you do differently from what others have done?
Beyond providing robust and qualitative legislative representation for syndicate professional group, residents and people of the FCT, I would immediately initiate pressure points lobby and a call to action for the Executive arm of government to fix the very bad and shameful roads and schools in places like Tungan Jiwa, Dantata in Gwui Ward, Zuba to Gaku in Jiwa Ward, Mpape, Kawu in Kawu ward, Sabon Gari, Kubwa, Kawu Nomadic school and build a secondary school in Ushafa.
My legislative agenda for community development would divide AMAC/BWARI into seven zones for community cooperative banks, library/ICT/E-learning centres cum event centres and town halls, and community sporting/leisure centres. I would institute community think-Tank for sustainable development planning, Tourism, scholarships and educational grants, security and job creation.
I would provide unfettered access to constituents by having my constituency office/clinic open and accessible always while operating from the constituency and transiting to the National Assembly.
What is your take about skills acquisition as a means for sustainable empowerment?
Absolutely, skill acquisition for youth and women is critical and fundamental to national development. I think we have stagnated in this area and sometime completely been reactive. We urgently need to have educational and training centres that would continuously do a need assessment of types of skill lacking in any area of the economy and then design a curriculum for such absent skills acquisition.
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