President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, has assured young parliamentarians of inclusion in the affairs of the legislature.
A statement in Abuja on Tuesday by Mr Ezrel Tabiowo, his Special Assistant on Print Media said the president of the senate gave the assurance while inaugurating principal officers of the Young Parliamentarians Forum (YPF).
Lawan, who presided over the election of the principal officers, said the inauguration of the YPF was aimed at securing inclusion and participation of youths in the process of deepening Nigeria’s democracy.
He stated that the determination of the legislature to return Nigeria’s budget cycle to January-December timeline with the passage of the 2020 budget in record time was also part of plans by the National Assembly to build new momentum for good governance.
“The idea of the YPF is to give emphasis on the inclusion of young parliamentarians across the world, and particularly in the National Assembly.
“The young anywhere in the world provide new energy for development and they represent the future and the promise of any nation.
“The young are the hope of tomorrow and the group around which leadership would revolve,” Lawan said.
He added, “If you want to see the future of a nation, look at what it is doing with the young; that will tell you whether that country or society has a future.
“Our tomorrow is prepared today with our young parliamentarians.”
The president of the Senate noted that the forum, a body carved out of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, affirmed the importance of the young.
According to him, having an understanding of the youth is eventually made easier when a good number of them are in parliament.
He, therefore, tasked Nigerian youths to take advantage of the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Act to ensure representation every four years.
“The inauguration of the YPF of the ninth National Assembly is one big step.
“We are taking to sustain the forum through which young person across the nation have not only found a voice, but an instrument to be part of the decision-making process in the National Assembly.
“This is to make the voice of a young person at the grassroots to count.
“It is also to ensure that they are part of decisions that affects them today and in the future.
“I want to assure the forum that the senate is ready to provide the needed support to achieve the concept of inclusion across Nigeria.
“These roles of the YPF are indeed very timely. It is a fact that we need to stabilize our democracy. It is also a fact that democracy is a system, requiring involvement and participation of all.
“With these activities, we have built a new momentum, preparatory to delivering our mandate of good governance.
“With the imminent inauguration of the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) Young Parliamentarians Forum (YPF), we have also begun another phase”, Lawan said.
Earlier, members of the YPF of the ninth National Assembly, unanimously elected Hon. Kabiru Tukura (APC, Kebbi) as Chairman and Ibrahim Babajide Obanikoro (APC, Lagos), Deputy Chairman.
Both lawmakers who are serving members of the House of Representatives are aged 35 and 38 years.
Present at the election of the principal officers and inauguration of the YPF are, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Idris Wase, representing the Speaker and Clerk of National Assembly, Alhaji Mohammed Omolori among others