The Vice President of Nigeria Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday has said that age shouldn’t be a limiting factor for those who have the ambition to hold public offices in Nigeria.
He said that competence should be one of the main things that should be put into consideration notwithstanding the aspirant age.
According to a statement that was made by Mr. Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, to the Vice President said when he was obtaining a delegation of the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Group at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Yemi Osinbajo said that while it was essential for the youths to be able to run for government positions in the country, it was also more essential for them to possess the skills that are required would enable them to prepare for public service.
He said the youths need the required training to in order to hold public offices the same way they acquire training to become specialists in their various fields.
He enjoined them to develop their abilities and skills in various areas so as to contribute to issues of leadership, governance, national development, and the economy. Osinbajo said,
“I think that whatever age a person chooses to run for office should not matter at all; that for me is a fundamental principle, it really doesn’t matter, even if you are much younger or older in age
The more important issue, my worry always is so much about the preparedness of young people, the preparedness of anyone, young or old.
It is the same way that if you are going to be a pilot or medical doctor, you need to get some training, by devoting your time and resources to a call. Even football requires skills.
Practically in any field, you are required to show competence. And in our developing economy, there is need for us to set the bar much higher, not in terms of age, but in terms of competence. We need to set the bar because we are a developing economy, because we don’t have the time to waste on mediocrity.”
Osinbajo also gave himself as an example of how to be ready for public office.
He recalled that he had the opportunity of working in government at the age of 30. The Vice President added,
“I have many young people working with me in this office in different departments, and all of them are highly competent. I also had the opportunity of serving in government when I was 30 years old. I was adviser to the then Attorney General of the Federation and I was teaching at the university then.
When I became Attorney General about 12 years later in Lagos State, I was a trained Attorney General. So, I had working knowledge. We need competence in the same way that we take on issues in our different professions.”