By Demola Akinyemi
A member of the Federal House of Representatives, representing Iseyin/Itesiwaju/Kajola/Iwajowa Federal Constituency of Oyo State, Hon Shina Peller, has rhetorically asked youths across Nigeria that if we all run away, who would fix the country?
This is just as he urged Nigerian youths to produce a better government in the 2023 elections.
Speaking at a two-day youth leadership programme, tagged, Get Involved Leadership Training, in Ilorin on Wednesday the lawmaker also tasked all the stakeholders in the Nigeria project to ensure that nothing stops the forthcoming 2023 elections from holding.
Selected youths from the 16 local governments area of Kwara State who would return to their respective constituencies and also train their colleagues were selected to participate in the two-day leadership training programme.
Hon Peller who dismissed speculations of governorship and presidential about him said that participants have been trained in Oyo, Osun, Bauchi, Gombe, Niger, adding that a total of 64 participants were trained in Kwara state.
He said, “Our mission here is simply to train interdependent leaders who can in turn train others that can drive development from the grassroots. We believe in the bottom-up kind of leadership approach, because from our findings if the majority of our communities are led by well-informed citizens, our challenges as a nation will be less.
“This training aims to build Kwara State that works well for people of Kwara State. This is a platform to mentor, encourage young ones to develop their environment with honesty, transparency, etc for the best of all and for the entire good of the country.
“Today, people with means are thinking of running away from Nigeria because they have given up on the country. There are even rumours of disintegration, unpatriotic person hitting up the polity for selfish reasons. If we all run away, who will fix Nigeria?
“Of a truth, we are faced with many challenges as a country, but like I always say “You cannot solve the problem of headache by cutting off the head”. That would be a double tragedy!
“To every young person in the country, hear me clearly, the 2023 general election presents a huge opportunity for you and I, as there won’t be an incumbent president contesting at the polls. It is an opportunity in disguise.
“I admonish you to arm yourself with your voters’ card and become a member of any political party of your choice, that way you can have a stake in decision making, you can say boldly that you’re an active citizen.
“I envision a time in Nigeria where the State House of Assemblies shall be dominated by vibrant intelligent young persons. A time when the Nigerian dream of prosperity and economic growth shall be like a burden on the shoulder of every citizen”.
Hon Peller who deemphasized the existing two major political parties and the creation of new ones over the issue of better governance said emphasis should be on changing the mindsets of Nigerian youths to know what it takes to be a true and patriotic leader irrespective of the political party they belong.
The lawmaker who said that the foundation for the selection of political leaders by the existing political parties in the country is faulty also said that existing political parties in Nigeria should be structured in such a way to produce credible leaders from 8,809 wards in the country.
He said, “We have seen the widening orientation gap amongst the citizenry, especially the young generation. And we believe that for Nigeria to be transformed, we need to re-orientate a new crop of leaders to get it right and to get involved in building the nation.”
Continuing, he said, “It was when I joined politics that I began to dissect the political structure of Nigeria. I also realized that the political structure from the ward level is laid on a faulty foundation. This weak foundation has been responsible for the production of the persons at the helms of affairs. This is the truth. If the country elects the best person as president he cannot perform well as the foundation is wrong. There is a huge gap between the age group that is making policies and the age group that the policies will affect”
The lawmaker, who described the 8,809 wards in the country as the strongest level of the nation’s political system as well as the foundation, said that there is an urgent need for political parties to put right structures there, adding that, “the foundation, as it is, is wrong.”
He also said that Nigeria’s political system should identify young ones with political acumen and ambition and assist him or her for future opportunities.
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