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Nigeria’s former president Olusegun Obasanjo has advised youths all over the African continent to take over political leadership positions by “squeezing older generation out of office.”
He said this while delivering a keynote address virtually to mark this year’s International Youth Day on Wednesday. Obasanjo noted that youths would not occupy the leadership positions unless the older politicians are forced out of the scene.
He asked the youths to be active in political parties in order to gradually phase out the old generation of leaders in the continent. Obasanjo also asked the youths to demand affirmative action enshrined in the constitution of political parties.
“Unless you squeeze out those who are in the office and those who want to remain in office perpetually, some after the age of 80. Unless you squeeze them out they will not want to be out,” he said.
“The type of change I am talking about, that I believe we can all embark upon is to subscribe to the constitution of political parties in favour of youth. Or if you like it you call it affirmative action in favour of youths. For instance, if you say, in the constitution of a political party, not less than 50 percent of those who hold executive office within the party will be less than 40 years of age.
“You’re just making sure that people that are 40 years of age will hold 50 percent of executive offices within the political party.
You can even go beyond that and say that people who will be put up for election, not less than 50 percent of them, will be less than 40 years of age. That’s affirmative action. That’s positive discrimination in favour of youths.
“I am saying this because if you leave it entirely for people to do it for you, nobody will do it for you. You have to do it for yourself.”
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