Bayelsa politician urges youths’ participation in government
Former candidate of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) in the 2015 governorship election in Bayelsa State, Moses Siloko Siasia, has called for a paradigm shift where most public offices would be occupied by youths to engender Nigeria’s development.
The 37-year-old coordinator of Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF), who came third in a governorship race that paraded an array of heavyweights and 20 political parties, said his involvement in the election was to create awareness among youths to vie for public offices not minding the nation’s murky political space that stifles active participation by young, dynamic and resourceful people.
Emerging as the youngest person to vie for governor in Nigeria, Siasia had promised to liberate his home state from the shackles of oppression, debt and inept leadership.
The failed attempt notwithstanding, he has remained fervent to delivering the promises on other platforms available to him.Besides, Siasia has been playing the role of an opposition constructively in the state. This is evident in his contributions to policies that have direct bearing on the citizenry.
His words: “My passion about my state is to see that it is developed and gets to its destination. I keep telling people who care to listen, that we are not yet where we are supposed to be. The state needs a lot of professionalism and ideas for it to reach its destination. Government and stakeholders need to understand that there is the need for a bottom to top approach.
“Blue ocean economy and investment in agriculture can change the current economic landscape in Bayelsa. I believe the state governor is doing his best, but all the stakeholders need to come together and contribute their quota.”
Also, Siasia has been in the forefront to deepen democracy nationwide and one of his contributions is his involvement, through the NYPF, in championing the Not Too Young to Run Bill that seeks downward review of age benchmarks for available political offices that had been passed by the National Assembly.
Expectedly, the amendment generated a lot of excitement among the youths with the optimism that the development would boost their participation in partisan politics.
The NYPF had also partnered other stakeholders in providing timely responses to key social problems nationwide. For instance, the group recently gave out grants to 35 young business owners to go into agric-business, creative industry and the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.
The group has also intervened in the nation’s power sector by intervening to stop continuous vandalisation of pipelines in the oil-rich Niger Delta. And to make a lasting impact, workshops, comprising host communities, youth leaders and power firms, were held across the federation to salvage the less than 3,000-megawatt generating status.
In explaining the rationale for his involvement in the programme, Siasia at an interactive forum said, “This shameful act of sabotage is mainly caused by youths of our generation, who have lost faith and do not see themselves as stakeholders in our society.
“It is imperative to note that it is only a few stakeholders and players in the power sector that are concerned about finding a lasting solution to this menace, while some see it as a cash cow because of their selfish interests.”
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