April 19, 2024

Edo 2024 Guber: YEEI Calls For Equality, Inclusive Leadership, Advocates For Generational Diversity In Candidate Selection

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By Simeon OSAJIE

The Youth for Equity and Empowerment Initiative (YEEI) has emphasized that the process of selecting candidates plays a pivotal role in comprehending power dynamics within political parties.

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While noting that this selection process not only influences the performance of parties but also significantly contributes to the quality and direction of democratization within the parties. “This impact is particularly notable concerning values such as participation, competition, responsiveness, and representation.

YEEI is a registered incorporated trustee under the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria, established in December 2013. Its primary mandate is to encourage and support more young individuals, including women, to actively participate in political offices and positions across Nigeria.

The9JaTREND reports that a political analyst and representative of YEEI, Onaivi Ojo-Ashipa in a statement made available to newsmen said, a comprehensive study indicates that individuals from the 1950s generation have consistently been prominent contenders for the positions of State Governor and Deputy Governor in Edo State, and that the trend is expected to continue in the upcoming Edo 2024 gubernatorial election.

YEEI noted that over the past 24 years, the governorship and deputy governorship roles in Edo State have predominantly been occupied by individuals from the 1950s generation. “They have successfully held these positions while in their 40s through 50s, and there is a prevailing momentum for their continuation for another eight years.

According to the group, a retrospective look at the roster of governorship, deputy governorship and governorship candidates in the last 24 years reveals a pattern of representation from The Baby Boomer Generation (1946-1964), as stated below:

“Governor Lucky Igbinedion born in 1957 became governor at the age of 42, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe born in 1955 became deputy governor at 44 years, Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor born in 1951 was elected as governor of Edo State at the age of 56, Mr. Lucky Imasuen born in 1960 was deputy governor at the age of 50.

“Senator Adams Aliu Oshiomole born in 1952 became governor of Edo State at the age of 56, Dr. Pius Odubu born in 1957 became deputy governor at the age of 51, Mr. Godwin Obaseki born in 1957 became governor at the age of 59, Senator Roland Owie born in 1945 was governorship candidate at the age of 58, Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (Rtd) born in 1954 was governorship candidate at the age of 58 while Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu born in 1962 was governorship candidate at the age of 54.

“The upcoming party primaries indicate a significant number of aspirants from the Golden Age Generation of the 1950s competing for the gubernatorial position.”

While acknowledging their active participation, YEEI advocates for equality, diversity and representation spanning across different generations. 

“The initiative proposes the consideration of younger generations or a blend of both older and younger generations as flag bearers and running mates in the forthcoming Edo 2024 Governorship Election,” YEEI added. 

YEEI, through its spokesperson Onaivi Ojo-Ashipa, emphasized that this proposition is not an act of resistance or revolution against the 1950s golden age generation but rather a modest plea for a commitment from political leaders in Edo State to actively embrace and practice inclusive leadership.

The organization urged political party leaders, stakeholders, and influencers to use demographic insights provided as a basis for planning and decision-making during the selection of flag bearers in the upcoming party primaries, also stating that this approach takes into account the sensitivity of Edo citizens’ voting behavior and responsiveness, as observed in the recent general elections.

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