Address Of The National Youth Leader On The Inauguration Of The PDP Youth Restructuring Committee
Gentlemen and Ladies,
Today, we are taking the boldest step yet in the history of our party towards advancing our long time goal for youth mainstreaming and expanding the space for young people in party affairs and activities.
Subsequently, a team of young and bright minds will be mandated to review and examine all youth related issues and propose a strategic template for more robust and constructive youth involvement. I have no doubt, based on your pedigrees, loyalty, commitment to this party and your individual capacities to undertake this historic responsibility and make our generation proud in the necessary pursuit of reforming our party.
The fact is this: young people not only require but also deserve and demand greater roles in the affairs of our party. The future is not about the old and retiring; it is about the young and emerging. The future of this party is and should be more about preparing the next generation of leaders for our party and country.
As a generation, there is a strong desire by young people for statutory representation decision making organs of this party especially the National / State Executive Committee, the National / State Caucus. There is also wide appreciation for the reform of the Board of Trustees; that is constitutionally exclusive for members above the age of 50, to include young people. These present day operational circumstances is definitely not in tune with prevailing and future political realities and it is certainly inimical to our party’s future political prospects.
This fundamental gap in representative democracy will definitely hinder political transition, leadership identification, tutorship and recruitment.
Among others, it is my responsibility to promote sound measures that will guarantee and deepen the roles, involvement and place of young people within the party.
From our last electoral convention in August 2013, it was all about the 2015 general elections. Now the elections have come and gone and unfortunately we lost. But fortunately, it affords us the opportunity to right the wrongs, to fill the gaps and to concretely plan the future pathway for our party.
I share the belief and strongly support the call by us all – young people generally; that for our party to grow – we must undertake both structural and institutional reforms. These include youth, women, administrative, candidate selection, leadership recruitment and organizational reform. Reform within the party is now both a political necessity and a pivotal survival measure. Without it, the future may be founded in the past and certainly we will not base our future on lost precedence.
The 2015 election losses delivers for us a rare opportunity to prepare for the future. It is in this spirit and wisdom that this PDP Youth Restructuring Committee is being inaugurated.
Your selection and acceptance to serve in this historic assignment is highly commendable and appreciated. This Committee is not to dwell into matters of the last election – that already is being handled by the Post Election Assessment Committee.
This Youth Committee is about the future; our future. Its terms reference clear and unambiguous and its recommendations will be forwarded to the National Working Committee for appropriate action.
Our quest for youth mainstreaming in the party may require constitutional amendments, it might require the consideration of NEC and possibly the attention of a convention. Therefore, the road will be long and daunting but we are commencing today with our youthful audacity.
Under the guidance of God Almighty, in full exercise of the Oath I am sworn and that which I will keep, with the full support of members of the National Working Committee of our party, I now have the privilege to invite the Acting National Chairman of our party to inaugurate this Committee for the benefit and future of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Thank you for coming and God Bless.
Abdullahi H. MaiBasira
National Youth Leader,
Tuesday, 8 September 2015