Muslim students call for youth leadership, fault APC, PDP selection process

Deputy Director of Programmes, Voice of Nigeria (VON), Alhaji AbdurRasak Abdssalam (left); Amir (President) of MSSN Lagos State Area Unit, Alhaji (Dr) Saheed Ashafa and Professor of Sociology at the University of Lagos, Lai Olurode during 2018 Annual Conference of Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, Lagos State Area Unit at the University of Lagos.


The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, Lagos State Area Unit has called for the involvement of youth in leadership and governance of the country.During the organization Annual Conference, themed ‘Youth Leadership and Governance’.

The Amir (President) of MSSN Lagos, Dr. Saheed Ashafa, appealed to Nigeria youth to take front roles in youth leadership. “The recently signed #Not Too Young To Run Bill should motivate us to participate in governance. I believe that having occupied leadership position in MSSN, we have the capacity to lead and influence positively. As youths we must eschew all acts of violence and corruption tendencies whenever we are given any opportunity to lead. We must position ourselves to be good leadership models and ambassadors of good governance”, he said

He advocated that one of the ways to achieve youth leadership is the reviewing of Nigeria Constitution to define the age range of youth. That would help checkmate the political actors, who have in recent times, exploited the gap in the constitution.

“Youth leadership can be encouraged by making the participation in political process easy and pocket-friendly. A situation where one needs to possess millions of naira to purchase interest and nomination form is a way to discourage youth and it is worrisome. Being a leader in Nigeria should not be subjected to being rich. Good leaders are not necessarily rich personalities.

“It is advisable that there should be a clause defining the youth demography in the constitution. Youth engagement in leadership has great potential for facilitating national growth and development,” he added.

Ashafa reiterates, the need for Nigeria to broaden the space of democratic participation and provide equal opportunities. “Not encouraging youth leadership in Nigeria spells doom for our developing democracy. Youth engagement in leadership has great potential for facilitating national growth and development”, he said.He stressed the need to consider age productivity profiles as a vital importance in governance as an individual’s job performance is found to decrease from around 50 years of age. “Young people possess the innate skills, energy and intelligence required to addresses several socio-economic and political challenges in Nigeria.

Although, we can understand the fact that entrusting youths with leadership roles can be daunting task, if done with precision and thought, there will be astonishing results”, he said.

Ashafa urged, the present administration to create an enabling environment and unique opportunity for young people to engage in the democratic process.“The time has come for us to mark the eve of the long awaited tomorrow for the youths to realize their position of leadership in the society”.

Speakers at the event, The Chairman of university of Lagos Muslim Community, Prof. Lai Olurode urged political parties to make the #NotTooYoungToRun drive effective in the upcoming 2019 election.

The University Don lamented that majority of the aspiring Nigerian youth would not be able to afford the “huge amount of money” placed on nomination forms by leading political parties in Nigeria.He said: “Governance has nothing to do with age, everybody should aspire for it. Take for example the huge amount of money APC placed on nomination forms, I expect the president (Muhammadu Buhari) to condemn this act as it is not a good omen for the country.”

The Deputy Director of Programmes, Voice of Nigeria (VON), Alhaji AbdurRasak Abdssalam, urged youth in the country to gear up for leadership positions.He expressed concerns over the readiness of Nigerian youths to take up the challenges.

“The issue is that some of the youths of today are also corrupt to take up from the elders. They are ill-prepared to face the challenges, but going forward, Nigerian youth have to possess the quality in academic excellence, professional competence, hardworking and spiritual guidance to excel,” he said.

Executive Chairman Ode Olowo Ojuwoye LCDA, Hon. Rasak Ajala urged the youth to shun bribery and thuggery during election to ensure a free fair election. “Bribery and using the youth as thug are another cancan that has eaten deep into the electoral system. A lot of people are involve in collecting gratification from the politicians thereby selling their conscience and their votes due to endemic poverty in the society.He advised the youth to participate and vote credible and reliable candidate in the coming election.

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