From Adedeji Joseph, Ilorin.
Ahead of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries for 2019 general elections, youths of the party in Kwara State have adopted a chieftain of the party, Alhaji Mohammed Ibrahim Ajia, as their consensus governorship candidate.
The youths who held a one day summit in Ilorin, the state capital under the aegis of Kwara Youth Stakeholders Forum said in a communiqué that they settled for Ajia, a former police officer after closely studying his credentials among others.
The communique signed by the forum’s President, Comrade Charles Olufemi Folayan, advocated that youths this time around should be allowed to vie for elective positions in Kwara State including the governorship seat.
It said the passage of Not Too Young to Run Bill in the National Assembly was instructive and lent credence to the ongoing campaign to provide enabling environment for youths to take their rightful places in governance.
The communique also kicked against what it called leadership recycling in the state among only the old ones and urged party stakeholders to support the aspirations of the younger generations in the build up to 2019.
“We noted with sadness that ever since the country’s return to democratic rule in 1999, the leadership space in Kwara has continued to revolve round the same circle of people.
“It is more worrisome that inspite of the huge income that has been available to Kwara State through federal allocations, internally generated revenue, local and foreign (loans) there is no concomitant benefits to the masses, especially youths.
“Our situation is still defined by abject poverty, unemployment, poor quality education and health institutions, collapsed infrastructure, among others
“…As we are gearing up for the 2019 elections the youths must put forward their best candidates to represent us as we emphatically say No to leadership recycling in Kwara state henceforth.
“On this note, having studied closely the credentials of one of the major contenders for the governorship race in the state in line with his antecedents and passion for a new Kwara in person of Alhaji Mohammed Ibrahim Ajia, we hereby unanimously endorse him as the choice youth candidate for the 2019 gubernatorial election”, the communique said.
The summit however called on the state government to declare a state of emergency in the education sector saying, the current education policy was not capable of producing critical human capital required to drive economic growth.
“It was observed that our educational system as presently designed and run is incapable of producing the required critical human capital needed to drive economic growth, productivity and prosperity for the people of Kwara.”