Al-Makura: Putting Young People On The Driver’s Seat, By Azige Machue
Posted On Mar 27, 2018
Following the emergence of young people as leaders of Canada, France and other powerful nation’s of the West, there has been an increased agitation for the involvement of young people in the allocation of resources in Nigeria. It is widely believed that young people in Nigeria are not given enough opportunities to contribute to governance and acquire the required experience and resources needed to administer the country. This led to the passage of the NOT TOO YOUNG TO RUN bill in July 2017 by Nigeria’s National Assembly.
Young people have undoubtedly played significant roles in the emergence of successive governments in Nasarawa State. They lead in the electoral processes and are actively involved in mobilization of support for electoral victory. However, their involvement in the distribution of state resources has been limited for many reasons; including manipulation by the older generation.
Young people played active role in the movement that led to the election of Umaru Tanko Al-Makura in 2011 as Governor in spite of resistance on the part of the older generation- including many Traditional Rulers who preferred to sustain the status quo. Young people vigorously mobilized support for him, and ensured that he emerged victorious.
This explains why since Al-Makura constituted his government, he has deliberately given many young people the opportunity to participate in the administration of the state as either members of the State Executive Council, Chairmen and Members of State Boards and Parastatals, Personal Aides, Heads of Local Government/Development Areas or Councilors among others.
Some of these young people empowered with experience and resources by Al-Makura have moved on to be elected as lawmakers in the State’s 5th Assembly while others have picked up other appointments with the Federal Government and other International Organizations.
Al-Makura has also appointed many young people as Heads of Local Governments and Development Areas as well as Councilors in the state. The Interim Management Committee Chairmen and Overseers of Akwanga, Keana, Lafia, Nasarawa, Jenkwe, Rinze and others too numerous to mention are all young people with prospects of taking over the mantle of leadership in the state.
Most recently, Governor Al-Makura appointed a very young person as Chairman of Nasarawa State Independent Electoral Commission to conduct elections into the third tier of government in 2018. Henry Omaku and other Commissioners appointed into the Commission are very young and represent the future of the state. Their experience in this Commission will arm them with the required experience and opportunity to make a difference in the state.
To further give many young people the opportunity to contribute to the administration of the state, two young people, were appointed Chairman and Member (Ahmed Mohammed and Ali Mohammed) of the Nasarawa State Board of Internal Revenue. These positions were before now, traditionally occupied by older men but Al-Makura is giving young people the opportunity to gain experience and contribute to governance.
It is very clear that Governor Al-Makura holds young people in very high regards and has made conscious effort to prepare them for higher responsibilities for the progress of Nasarawa State and Nigeria as a whole. By this, Nasarawa State is not lacking in the number of young people actively involved in the politics of the state. It is left for them to use the experience and resources they have to make a difference in the state.
AZIGE LOUIS MACHUE