Force old generation out of power - Obasanjo to African youths

Former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo
Emeh Joy

The former president of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has urged African youths to squeeze out older generation from leadership positions.

He advised the youths in the continent to participate actively in the activities of political parties so that they can take over the structure from them.

The former president said this on Wednesday while giving a keynote address at an interactive session which was held to mark this year's International Youth Day.

The programme was organized by the Youth Development Centre, an arm of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

Participants of the event include citizens of Nigeria, Ghana, USA, Kenya, Mali and South Africa.

He said unless the old generation is forced out of the political sphere, they will continue occupying the leadership positions to the detriment of the youths.

Obasanjo said, "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.

"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 the youths.

"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 per cent of those who hold executive office within the party will be less than 40 years.

"You can even go beyond that and say that people who will be put up for election, not less than 50 per cent of them will be less than 40 years of age. That's affirmative action. That's positive discrimination in favour of the youths".

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