Olorogun David Edevbie, the leading contender for the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party for the Governorship of Delta State, has said it is necessary to involve more young persons in government to groom future leaders for the state.
Promising to reserve a minimum 25% of political appointments for the youth segment when elected, Edevbie revealed his personal experience inspires him.
“I was privileged to have been appointed Commissioner of Finance by Chief Onanefe Ibori when I was 34. I had the opportunity to sit in the cabinet with the likes of Chief Ighoyota Amori, Senator James Manager, Professor Utuama, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa and other older and more experienced people, and I learnt so much from them.
“After serving as Commissioner of Finance twice under Chief Ibori, I was further appointed Principal Secretary by President Umaru Musa Yar’adua. After that, His Excellency, Sen Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, appointed me Commissioner of Finance again in his first tenure and Chief of Staff in his second tenure.
“This public sector experience, spanning 20 years, is invaluable, and that is why I can stand here with so much capability.
“I would like to offer the same opportunities to our youths just as it was done for me. With that, we can be sure to have many more youths with experience to sustain the state’s leadership. Enough of paying lip service to the saying that today’s youth are the leaders of tomorrow without actually equipping them for the responsibility.
“It must also be noted that Nigeria has one of the youngest populations in the world. Over 75% of our population are under 35, and a government should reflect the people it governs.
“Across the world today, we have presidents who are in their 30s. That is because they were exposed to governance early. We must therefore begin to groom our youths for effective governance.”
Edevbie also said his administration would reserve a minimum of 35% of appointive positions for women, pointing out that besides the vast number of highly educated and qualified women in Delta State, the female population is more than the men, and that should also be reflected in the composition of the government.
“This means that we will have at least nine commissioner positions for the women,” he said.