Amidst speculations that former Lagos governor, Bola Tinubu, is vying for the presidential seat in 2023, chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), Kayode Fayemi, says the youth will not give room for any aspirant above 60 years.
Since the conclusion of the 2019 general elections, there have been hints that Mr Tinubu, the national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), is interested in running for president. Even though Mr Tinubu has yet to officially confirm his candidacy, he has already set up a large campaign office in Abuja for his exploration.
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Political insiders have also seen him as a frontrunner for the ruling APC ticket and launched campaigns on his behalf.
However, speaking at a conference organised by the Nigerian Youth Congress (NYC) in Abuja on Thursday, Mr Fayemi charged the youths to take the mantle of power, suggesting that any candidate above the age of 60 should not be allowed to rule the country in 2023, Blueprint reported.
Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos, will turn 69 on March 29. Also indicating a presidential run in 2023 is Atiku Abubakar, a former vice-president who turns 75 in November.
Fayemi, a member of the ruling APC who was represented by his adviser on federal matters, Makinde Araoye, said: “Nigeria has suffered enough,” and it was time the youths took charge of political positions.
“We have 2022 and 2023 elections around the corner, and in the new dispensations that are coming up, what is our role? Are we going to be blocking the toll gates? Are we going to be burning the national flag?
“Are we going to be tweeting #ENDSARS#; or are we going to grab the mantle of power that we have now to dictate who the next president of Nigeria will be; and who the next governors in Nigeria will be?” Mr Fayemi’s representative said.
“One thing I can tell you is that we, the Nigerian youths, are not going to allow anyone above the age of 60 years to run for president. Nigerians have suffered enough. Enough is enough. It is not by saying, we have to go into action and we have to mobilise,” he added.
In his remarks, NYC board chairman Yakub Shedam expressed hope that with proper government direction, the youths will curb banditry, a major challenge in the country.
Shedam further appealed for inclusion of its members in the programmes of government at the federal level, while noting that “the NYC is apolitical. It is rather a movement to actualise a one — Nigeria for the youth that is devoid of religious and ethnicity biases.”