Ikorodu youths, under the aegis of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), on Saturday, April 23, 2022, engaged aspirants vying for the two seats of the Ikorodu Constituency I and II in the Lagos State House of Assembly.
Only four out of the about 30 aspirants honoured the invite and engaged youths at a session organized by the NYCN and sponsored by budgIT.
The event, which was tagged, ‘Interactive Session with Youth Stakeholders’, took place at 365 Lounge, Alogba junction, Ibeshe Road, Ikorodu, on Saturday, April 23, 2022.
Hon. Fathiu Jimoh Salisu, former Chairman, Ijede Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Mr Olakunle Aliasau Matti, a senior Local Government staff and and Mr Hakeen Taoreed, a senior staff with the Lagos State Government, were in attendance to present their programmes and interface with stakeholders. The trio are aspiring to occupy the Ikorodu Constituency II Assembly seat.
The Executive Director, Ikorodu Division Youth Initiative (IDYI) and facilitator of the #NotTooYoungToRun, Mr Samson Bisiriyu was the only aspirant from Constituency I, that was attendance.
Comr Asoro Abubakri Olatunji, Coordinator, Ikorodu West LCDA, moderated the session.
Kunle Matti, responding to questions on rotational arrangement and friction that usually occur among elected Assembly members and council chairmen, said that there is a need to have more Assembly and House of Representatives seats to prevent fracas that normally associate with elections.
He said that he is in support of the rotational arrangement in his constituency.
“The truth is that every Nigerian has the right to contest but what the stakeholders are doing is to regulate the situation and prevent it from causing chaos.
“The issue in Ikorodu Division will continue to be if there are no additional constituencies because Ikorodu is too big to have just two Assembly members and one House of Representatives member.
“The present situation, if not corrected, would continue to make the positions highly contestable and that was what necessitated the rotational arrangement in Constituency II.
“The idea of rotation is very sensitive and I stand by it”.
On people misconstruing the Federal and State representatives’ functions and access and friction between Assembly members and council chairmen, Matti said:
“It’s important to understand each other’s functions and once we can do this, there will be no need for any rancour among Assembly men and council chairmen.
“There is also a need for mutual respect and understanding among different political office holders”, he added.
Hon. Fathiu Salisu called for a change of attitudes by the governed and those in government by doing the right thing.
He said that there is need to curb corruption in society if we are to get it right.
The former Council Chairman also called on the youths to develop themselves and build strong character to be good and responsible citizens.
Hakeem Taoreed, who said that he has adequate knowledge about signs, promised to assist special people by facilitating numerous programmes available at the state level for them, if elected to represent the Ikorodu Constituency II.
He also pledged to work with the youths in his Constituency and also facilitate empowerment programmes from the state for them.
Comrade Samson Bisiriyu said that he will focus on education by assisting youths in his Constituency with scholarship and bursary.
He also promised to be accessible and work with various youth groups if elected.
Comr. Odusanya Abdullateef TY Sleek, Chairman of the six NYCN Coordinators in Ikorodu division, said that the interactive session was organised to mobilise youths and sensitise them about political participation.
“The initiative is to mobilise youths and sensitise them about the leadership role in the constituency”, he said.
“It’s actually important that we put this in the front burner that we are actually the leader of tomorrow”.
While commending aspirants that turned out for the session, he also added that the session achieved its purpose.
“The initiative has actually achieved its intention from the day the #NotTooYoungToRun Bill was passed. But we must build on it and not sleep on it”, he said.
“We organised the session to interact with aspirants, many of whom are youths. This is also to assist them with a platform to sell their candidature and also use them in encouraging more youths to be involved.
“Though, the turnout of aspirants is somewhat low but we appreciate those from the Constituency ll and the only one from Ikorodu Constituency I, that are in attendance”, he said.
He condemned some of the youthful aspirants that sent representatives.
State Chairman, NYCN, Comrade Olalekan Oba Biliamin, in his remarks, said that there is need to change the perspective of some leaders and older people that they do not have the capacity to lead, nowadays.
“It’s incumbent on us to prove to some of the older generations that we have the capacity to develop ourselves and lead. We must change their perspective about us”, he said.
While commending the NYCN for the initiative, Oba also commended aspirants that honoured the youths’ invitation to interface with them.
In a communique released after the session and signed by the six Coordinators, Comr Odusanya Abdullateef TY Sleek Coordinator, Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA (Chairman), Comr Asoro Abubakri Olatunji, Coordinator, Ikorodu West LCDA (Secretary), Comr Awal Folarin Adegboyega, Coordinator, Imota LCDA, Comr. Idris Omotayo, Coordinator, Ikorodu Central, Comr Adewale Nurudeen, Coordinator, Ikorodu North and Comr Bello Idris, Coordinator, Ijede LCDA, it was stated that youths and special people are being marginalized and that the session was called to engage aspirants on their programmes for the youths and special people.
“It has been observed that the youths have become one of the marginalized strata of the society and are being left to grapple with a number of issues such as unemployment and non-inclusion in governance among others”, the statement said.
“On the other hand are persons living with disabilities (PWDs). While these people also clamour for inclusion in governance, ensuring their welfare is no doubt paramount.
“It has also been observed that communication has become a barrier in accessing quality healthcare services for the PWDs, notably the deaf.
“Also, it has been observed that budget transparency at the local level would have been an added advantage at earning the trust of the electorate and possibly, jack up revenue.
“Hence, the need to hold this interactive session to have many of these issues discussed”, it said.
According to the NYCN Coordinators, it was resolved at the session that:
“It has become necessary to start giving youths a sense of belonging in governance.
“The youths commend some political parties that have considered the reduction of price of nomination forms to accomodate young political aspirants at certain percentages. However, there is need for deliberate policies to be put in place to ensure that young aspirants have easy ride at the primaries and clinch the tickets of their respective political parties.
“It’s time for the Ikorodu Division to give the youths a place in governance, particularly in the state assemblies and other political offices.
“The persons living with disabilities are part of our society, and as such, deliberate policies should be provided to ensure they don’t feel neglected.
“It is also imperative to station interpreters at public health facilities to enable members of this community access quality healthcare services.
“It is also important for governments at the local level to be transparent on the issue of budget as a way of rebuilding public confidence. This, we believe, will even increase their internally generated revenue (IGR) as citizens will have more reasons to pay their taxes and levies”, the statement further said.