By Iyabo Adebisi

Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde says he will not support the candidature of Peoples Democratic Party member whose age is above 50 and 52 years in the 2027 general elections.

He stated this at the Adebo Ogundoyin legislative summit with the theme: Roles of Quality Legislation in Nation Building held at the International Conference Centre, U. I, Ibadan. 

Governor Makinde, while emphasizing the roles of youths in nation building, posited that Nigeria needed to catch the nation’s youths young to contribute their quota to the development of the state. 

He called on the youths to dream better and be interested in the governance of the nation. 

He said “I am here this afternoon the encourage the youths. If you go back to the history of Nigeria, after independence in 1960, in 1967, the person that became the maximum ruler was either 29 or 32 years of age, General Gowon. After him, during the Second Republic, former President Obasanjo retired as a general at the age of 39. 

“We should dream big. People have ruled this country at a very tender age. So, for us, don’t think at 29 or 30, you are too young to rule ad I am glad because this is almost like catching them early. You have the students here and in about three years, some of you will be out there to move on. If I were you, I won’t have to start looking for work but start doing my own thing at a very early age of 24 or 25. With the kind of energy you still have, you can pull down the kingdom of Satan. 

“For the Honorable Speaker himself, the opportunity came in 2018 to replace a former Speaker from his Constituency and, at that particular time, he came, I looked at him and felt he was a spoilt chid. That was why I did not support him initially. But, along the line, he became a member of the House of Assmebly. 

“From the data available to us, Oyo State people will give us the opportunity because they wanted to try something totally different. We were coming from a background of no-godfather and the people wanted a change. I told him that was their mood and he agreed with money. So, I predicted that he would win. The election came and turned out to be what we predicted and he became the Speaker. I can see that Osun State is following our footstep. Our people just want us to deliver for them. 

“I am glad that with Debo’s trajectory and this summit, we are moving towards the trajectory where young leaders are now thinking in terms of bridging the leadership vacuum in our country. 

“And also for the students, coming around, seeing young people they can relate with in a position if authority, I think that is enough motivation for them already. It is enough to let them know that they can be responsible. For the students in oyo State, I have signed all the documents that will allow your busary to paid. So, let us just keep pushing so as to ensure that they release the money and you have it physically or I your bank account. 

“The examples I gave about our leaders who led this country as Generals at the age of 29, they are still around up until this moment. But what we need to do is part of what the Honorable Speaker is doing with this type of Summit; bring leaders, look at topical issues and see how we can stimulate ad produce the next step of leaders. 

“So, I am eagerly looking out for the outcome of the Summit and supporting the entrenchment of this initiative so that Nigeria can be better in terms of leadership. If you go to advanced countries, they have a culture of how leaders evolve. 

“For us here, we have seen the common situation where ‘who is your father’ was the order of the day but we have been able to break that in Oyo State. My father was a nobody and the Oyo Stye people still gave me the opportunity to lead. 

“This may be an happenstance but how can we become deliberate in choosing leaders? It is by exposure. Now, the leaders are being exposed and talking to themselves. I made a promise and aired it on radio last December where I said that when I am leaving in 2027, God sparing my life, I will not support anybody that is above 50 – 52 years of age. I know people will fight me because they are being excluded right now. 

“We may not be able to prepare the future for the youths but we can prepare the youths for the future. So, please, don’t see this event as an opportunity to look at the issue of leadership in this country. And, in me, Seyi Makinde, the youths have an ally and we will prepare the leaders of the next generation amongst the youths. 

“We have tried it in Oyo State and it stabilized the House of Assembly and the government as a whole. So, take proper advantage of this kind of gathering and ge prepared for leadership.”

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