‘This Is The Best Time To Be A Young Nigerian,’ Says Osinbajo
According to the vice president, his office is filled with young, bright individuals.
By Omotayo Olutekunbi
According to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, there has never been a better time in Nigeria to be young and hippy.
The vice president stated at the presentation of a book on how politics works written by Babafemi Ojudu and Alex James, that a combination of youth and experience will alleviate some of Nigeria’s chronic problems or challenges.
“We mustn’t give up and we mustn’t keep looking back. The challenges of today are meant for those of us who are here and alive today, and they are meant to be solved by young people, and as I always say, there is no better time to be alive. This is the best time to be young. This is the best time in Nigeria to be young.
“Those who are young today have the best opportunity ever. In my own day when I was a professor, if I had to research to write an article, it will take me weeks. Today, if I just take my iPad, I can get on to any library anywhere in the world and get all the information and write my article in hours instead of weeks, months or years.
“It was Fareed Zakaria, who was saying that our smartphone which we carry today, carry a hundred times more computing power than the Apollo Space Rocket that took men to the moon.
“Our generational challenges have the generational solutions, let’s stop complaining, let’s just face the issues and solve them. Whether we are in government or planning to get into government, however we want to do it, let’s just get to the table and solve the problem,” Osinbajo says.
He also mentions that he has surrounded himself with young people throughout his administration.
“I have so many brilliant young people working with me and they are not intimidated, (I must tell you) by anybody older than them.
“So, the youngest person working with me was just 22 years old, she just came out from the university and was very brilliant, and very assertive, she knew her onions.
“And Ahmad who is 37 years old is Special Adviser on Infrastructure, I have a Special Adviser on Political Affairs who is 60 years old, or the Economic Adviser, Ambassador Dipeolu who is over 60.
“There are so many young people, Balkisu Saidu who is SSA Legal, she has an interesting history – she was married-off at the age of 13, had her first child at the age of 14. Through all of that, her mum made sure she had her education. And she is a professor today, ( Associate Prof. of law) and she is still under the age of 40, with her three grown children.
“The truth of the matter is that she comes to the job with a lot of experience that nobody else has. She comes to the job with a variety of ideas. There is Tola Johnson, (Presidential Assistant on MSMES) and many of those who are here.
“I think we must focus our minds, a little more on what people bring to the table. I don’t engage on the basis of age. I met Rauf Aregbesola for the first time when we were in the transition committee of Lagos State in 1999, he was barely 42 years old and I was just about the same age.
“He was campaign manager for Bola Ahmed Tinubu at that time, he was 42 but he ran all the campaign at the time, but he has been at it since then. I had been adviser to the Attorney General of the Federation when I was 31, so I had some experience coming into this,” he says.
Osinbajo goes on to say that his preferred politics are liberal, free enterprise, democracy, and individual liberty. The type of politics in which no one is discriminated against because of their age, gender, or political beliefs.
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