The 2019 Imo governorship election has opened a unique opportunity for youths in Imo State to occupy Douglas House, Owerri for the first time.
Since the advent of democracy in 1999, Imo State has elected three State Governors namely Achike Udenwa, Ikedi Ohakim and Rochas Okorocha. They were never elected as Governors in their youth.
However, ongoing trend in the globe has shown that youths have become more proactive and are echoing the need to be part of governance at all levels in Nigeria. Across the globe, youths have risen to eminent positions of authority as witnessed in France where Emmanuel Macron was elected French President at the age of 34.
In Bostwana, a 30 year old lady was appointed a Minister. The list is endless.
It is a good development that Imo State is keying into this trend and the inherent gains will significantly improve the socio economic condition of the State plagued by irresponsible governance for a long time.
Since the Not Too Young To Run Act was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, youths nationwide especially in Imo State have shown a renewed determination to be part of leadership and governance.
Hon. Tony Nwulu, a youth and an Imolite has the enviable record of initiating the Not Too Young To Run bill on the floor of the House of Representatives which has been applauded even beyond the shores of Nigeria.
Nwulu understood the ignoble role youths were subjected to play on issues bordering on governance and this became his motivational factor that made him go full hog in ensuring that the bill was not only passed on the floor of the House of Representatives but also got Presidential assent.
He understood the fact that youths have been used electoral “vices” such as rigging elections. Changing the erroneous perception of the youths by the elites was also another chief factor that made the 39 year old Federal Lawmaker to push for the assent of the Bill.
Nwulu’s Not Too Young To Run Act has indeed changed the perception of Nigerian elites on the youths. Youths are now considered as indispensable components in the search of national cohesion and nation building and considered for serious tasks and responsibilities.
This has motivated Nwulu, one of the youngest federal lawmakers in the country to take advantage of the gains of the Act to lead Imo youths to Government House, Owerri in 2019. At the moment, he has garnered the massive backing of Imo youths for the Imo governorship race having being called upon by youths in the 27 local Governments of the State to join the contest.
At the event attended by thousands of Imo youths, he was not only called upon to serve the State but urged to replicate those fine values that compelled the yorubas in Lagos State to consider him good enough to represent Oshodi/Isolo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.
Undoubtedly, Imo youths have always played the second fiddle when it comes to issues bordering on governance in the State. But the Eziudo Ezinihitee Mbaise born lawmaker has proved to be a formidable bridge that will convey Imo youths to the Promised Land when elected as Governor of Imo State.
Already and in clear demonstration of his commitment to connect Imo youths to the economic gains of a globe that is embracing youths in governance, Nwulu engaged in talks with the European Parliament (EU) who have promised to invest in the State especially on youth development when he is elected Governor in 2019.
At several forums, Nwulu has not hidden his desire to ensure that youths take their destiny in their hands and preside over issues that will affect them. He has promised that his cabinet when elected Imo State Governor will be made up of youths who will unleash their latent potentials for the overall development of the State.
Political analysts therefore contend that Tony Nwulu’s governorship aspiration is the finest opportunity for Imo youths to make serious input and in road into governance.
In a state governance has been run by a recycled set of political leaders and politicians, the man who defied all odds and won a Federal Seat in Lagos State certainly posses those fine attributes that will aid Imo youths rediscover their lost voice and make them partakers rather than onlookers on issues affecting them.