Omo-Agege: I Want Youths In Govt, Not At Lekki Tollgate Protesting

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Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has said he’s more interested in getting more young Nigerians to actively participate in the governance of their country rather than leave them to take to the streets to protest against the government.

Omo-Agege said this while speaking on Thursday in an interview with Channels TV.

Omo-Agege, who spoke on the need to encourage youths to be more involved in the decision making process in Nigeria, said to this effect, he is sponsoring a bill that will set aside 30 percent of positions in federal and state executive councils for persons aged between 25 and 30 years.

“It is very feasible. If I may just correct you, it is not 30 to 35 years, it is 2 to 30 years. We want to capture the very essence of our youth.

“The reason we are doing that is we have this belief that arising from the #EndSARS protest, I have taken the position that I would rather have this youths sit down in the federal executive council and sit down in the state executive councils in various states than having them go protest at the Lekki tollgate.

“I do not see why we should keep these youths away from government, and these are people that constitute about 70 percent of our population today.

“They own this country. It is my belief that they are better off participating in decision making on matters affecting the well-being of the country. It is their country.

“The earlier we expose them to these positions, the better. They can make their mistakes; they are just 30 percent of the cabinet.”

The New Diplomat had reported that Omo-Agege, while reacting to the recent calls by Nigerians for a brand new constitution, stated that the National Assembly lacks such powers.

The Delta Central Senator, who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Constitution Review in his words said: “Frankly, this very issue has become topical of late. For some of us, we have the responsibility to educate the people who don’t know, but it a little bit perplexing and annoying to hear those who know and indeed who do know that we do not have the power to rewrite a new constitution. The only power we have is to alter the constitution. That is what is provided under the section 9 of the constitution.”

“What section 9 of the constitution says is that we can alter any provision of the constitution, it doesn’t say we can alter all of the provisions of the constitution. It also proceeds to set out the methodology and the mode to do just that. For you to be able to do a rewrite of the constitution you need to amend the section 9 of the constitution, and for you for amend the section 9 of the constitution you require ⅘ votes in the Senate, which is about 88 senators out of the 109, and you require about 288 members of House of Rep out of 360, just to amend section 9 by itself,” Omo-Agege added.

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'Dotun Akintomide's journalism works intersect business, environment, politics and developmental issues. Among a number of local and international publications, his work has appeared in the New York Times. He's a winner of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Award. Currently, the Online Editor at The New Diplomat, Akintomide has produced reports that uniquely spoke to Nigeria's experience on Climate Change issues. When Akintomide is not writing, volunteering or working on a media project, you can find him seeing beautiful sites like the sandy beaches that bedecked the Lagos coastline.

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