Gbajabiamila tasks political parties on youth mentorship
The Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila has urged political parties to invest in the training of youths to prepare them for their future role as Nigerian leaders.
Gbajabiamila said this at the opening of the 2nd Legislative Mentorship Initiative (LMI) Fellowship Programme for 45 youths on Monday in Abuja.
He said that the power of young people to secure the future of democracy in Nigeria can be harnessed through programs like the LMI.
“The LMI is designed to empower young people with the skills, capacity, and competence to participate effectively in Nigeria’s politics and governance,” he said.
The former speaker said that the LMI would enable youths to contribute to the growth, progress, and prosperity of Nigeria.
“We must provide avenues such as this to ensure that people who desire to be genuine public servants can develop the ability to serve creditably and meet the best expectations they have of themselves.
“However, programs like the LMI can not by themselves meet the yawning need for a new generation of capable leaders in the public sector.
“Other institutions must step up; our political parties, for example, have a role to play in this regard.
“Beyond serving as vehicles for acquiring political power, political parties can deploy resources to become incubators of policy and political talent through developing think tanks and research institutes and implementing specialized training programs and projects,” he said.
Gbajabiamila added:“This will significantly deepen our democracy and even serve to strengthen the political parties themselves and ensure their place in our democratic practice.”
He said that the LMI would raise a generation who understood that public service was not about titles or the transient pleasures of temporary power but about making a lasting impact on the lives of people you may never meet.
Gbajabiamila said that pathways that allow capable young people to access the arenas where decisions were made must be created.
He said that a system that enforced practices that kept young people out of the decision-making spaces or that made it difficult for women or people with disabilities to contribute to making decisions would be deficient by default.
In his remarks, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman the Director-General, National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) expressed confidence that the programme would continue to flourish and reach new heights.
He said that NILDS’ expertise, resources, and institutional framework would provide the LMI with the stability and support it needed to make an even greater impact on the future of Nigerian democracy.
“Moving forward, we envision the LMI becoming an annual mentorship program for emerging young people, attracting a larger and more diverse pool of participants from across the nation.
“This will not only broaden the pool of talented individuals involved in the program but also provide more opportunities for mentorship and personal growth.
“This annual cycle will ensure a continuous pipeline of talented and well-prepared individuals ready to assume leadership roles in our legislatures,” he said.
Suleman said that as part of commitment to the initiative, the best participants would be offered employment slots by NILDS.
He urged the participants to put in their best and consider the fellowship, a rare opportunity to take advantage of. (NAN)