Former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo has advised African youth to come together and use their electoral power to kick out the older generation from all leadership positions.
Speaking at an interactive session held virtually to mark this year’s International Youth Day on Wednesday, August 12, the former President said unless old people are forced out of the political stage, they will continue to occupy the leadership positions which is a disservice to the youth in Africa.
“Unless you squeeze out those who are in 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 youth or if you like it you call it affirmative action in favour of youth.
“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 youth,” he said.
Chief Olusegun Matthew Okikiola Aremu Obasanjo, GCFR, is a Nigerian military and political leader who served as military head of state from 1976 to 1979 and later as President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007. Ideologically a Nigerian nationalist, he was a member of the People’s Democratic Party.