Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has called on Africa’s youth to chase out the older generation from leadership positions.
Obasanjo urged young people to actively participate in the activities of political parties to take over the structure. Obasanjo made the statement on Wednesday by delivering a keynote address at an interactive session organized virtually to mark this year’s International Youth Day.
The program was organized by the Youth Development Centre, a branch of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, Nigeria.
Participants came from Nigeria, Mali, United States, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa. Unless older people are forced out of politics, he said, they will continue to occupy leadership positions to the detriment of young people.
“Unless you expel those who are in the office and those who want to remain in office forever, some after the age of 80, unless you expel them, they will not want to be removed. The kind of change I’m talking about, which I think we can all engage in, is to support the formation of political parties for young people, or if you like, you call it affirmative action for young people.”
“For example, if you say, in the constitution of a political party, no less than 50% of those who hold an executive position within the party will be under 40 years of age. You can go even further and say that at least 50% of the people who will be nominated will be under 40 years of age. That’s a positive action. It’s positive discrimination in favor of young people,” he said.
In September 2017, Obasanjo was the first great personality of the Continent to speak out directly on the crisis that was plaguing Togo at the time. In no uncertain terms, he argued that Togo must have a new constitution with a clear limit on the number of terms of office to be served while calling for the resignation of President Faure Gnassingbe.