Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth, and Advancement also known as YIAGA Africa on Wednesday decried the absence of young people on President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial nominees list describing it as disappointing.

The statement which was signed on Wednesday by the Director of the group, Samson Itodo, noted that it is disappointing that young Nigerians were omitted in the list despite their giant stride in politics and leadership.

“The conspicuous absence of young people under the age of 35 in the ministerial nominees read by Senate President Ahmed Lawan as sent to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari has to come us and the entire Nigerian youths as a Big Surprise.

“It is indeed disappointing to see that despite the giant strides made my young people especially in the area of politics and leadership, President Muhammadu Buhari has not seen any person below the age of 35 worthy of any ministerial position.

“Despite publicly proclaiming that young people of Nigeria are now set to leave their  mark on the political space, just as they have done over the decades in entrepreneurship, sports, art, media entertainment, technology, and several other fields, we are surprised that President Muhammadu Buhari did not consider young people in his cabinet,” the statement read in part.

The group added that although portfolios are yet to be assigned to ministerial nominees, it is obvious that from the list that the minister of youth and sports will not be a youth.

YIAGA said this is because “none of the nominees is under the age 35 not to talk of the new National youth policy which classifies youth between 15 and 29 years old.

“This is in contrast with the faith President Buhari showed to young people when he signed the Not Too Young To Run bill into law.”


Giving an example of some of the giant strides by young Nigerians, YIAGA said the recent emergence of  Speakers under the age of 35 in State houses of assembly of Oyo, Zamfara, Kwara and Plateau not only shows that young people are good for a ministerial position but also demonstrate their readiness to deliver effectively.

“Similarly, young people have emerged in various principal positions in their state houses of assembly.

“This is no doubt a huge result achieved within a short time and no doubt should have ensured young people staked a claim for ministerial slots in the cabinet list released on Tuesday.”

They added that, while the wait for President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet is over, the wait for youth inclusion in his cabinet still lingers.

The group also called on State Governors across Nigeria to appoint young competent people with character and capacity to head various commissions in the state.

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