Youths, take up the mantle of leadership!

By Rohey Jadama

The Activista National Coordinator Muhammed Lamin Saidykhan, said at a press conference held by the NYC that young people should take up the mantle of leadership.

“Young people   have proven to the whole world that we can do and we have lead change in this country and the president said the victory that the Gambia is enjoying have being made possible by the young people and social media as well and the drivers of social media are young people”, he said.

He said   young people should sit in places where it matters most and where the national cake is shared. He said it is sad to say, hear or read in papers that in the country youth people constitute more than 60% and yet they are given 3% of the national cake.

“That cake is divided at the national assembly.  So if we don’t have very sober, outspoken, intelligent young people who will   drive the agenda of young people they will not represent us and they have not been representing us that’s why young people say is enough and is time for us to act and select competent, outspoken, brave, courageous young people who can sit on those tables and fit in that space and then contribute to the democratization process of this country”, he said.

He said the national assembly is very important because they enact policies  and the country needs a lot of reforms. He said young people should be there to decide about the future.

He stressed the need for not only participating in politics but taking up leadership positions as well and development matters of our nation.

He said  NYC as part of its responsibility  is to provide the technical support needed to have the processes.

Mr. Jarju made those remarks yesterday   15 February, 2016  at the press conference  of a  youth movement dubbed ‘Not too young to run’. This is a campaign set up to support young people to contest for the National Assembly elections.

The NYC’s   Programme Manager of the National Youth Council (NYC), said NYC as part of its responsibility providing technical support needs to have the process. He said part of the broad policy objectives of the revised national youth policy 2015-2018 is to promote youth  participation in the democratization  processes and  as well as leadership, community and civic decision making processes   and development programmes.

According to Mr. Jarju, the   policy has mandated the council to support young people to fully participate in this country’s democratization process, cautioning that participating in the democratization process   does not have to be being behind the scene ie providing the numbers and clapping.

“We want to be well represented   at the assembly, this is where decisions are taken and is important we are there. When we are there, our views can be heard and of course we should be able to represent our fellow youths that form the majority of this country. The process is quite important and the NYC will provide the much needed support   and guidance throughout the process”, he said.

He stressed that young people should be in political positions, but they want   experienced   and competent people who will represent the interest of young people. He stressed that numbers do not matter, pointing out that there can be a hundred young people but if they don’t represent their interest it doesn’t make any difference.

He continued “We need to have the right caliber of young people, we need to profile people that are interested and make sure they are people that understand youth agenda   and they can represent us well even if it is five of them they can make a greater impact than when we have 30 of them  and they do not understand the culture of young people and the needs  and agenda of young people and can drive that agenda at the highest decision making body of this country”.

Mr. Alagie Jarju, the Programme Manager of National Youth Council(NYC) has said  part of the broad policy objectives of the revised national youth policy 2015-2018 is to promote youth  participation in the democratization  processes and  as well as leadership, community and civic decision making processes   and development programmes.

Delivering the press statement Ms. Mbassey Manneh a member of the committee of ‘Not too young to run’, said the objective of the campaign is to raise the awareness of the general public on the state of youth in public office by creating a knowledge platform of national statistic concerning youth and politics to advocate for the rights of young people running for public offices and for increased participation of young people in politics and government.