A concerned Delta youth, Dio Oghale Emeka Rex, has expressed displeasure over the process leading to the selection of the members that constituted the Delta Youth Parliament. He told Emerald News that one of the faults was a compromise of the age bracket.
He said it was publicised that the age bracket would be between 18 and 26 years but some members of the youth parliament are above 28 years. He added that the youth parliament that was established by the ministry of youth development has been hijacked and politicised by politicians in Delta state.
He said: “The basis of selection was not on merit rather it was given as slots to members of the Delta State House of Assembly after teeming young Deltans have shown interest and participated in the examination and screening process.” He alleged that the youths who participated in the selection examination were sidelined in preference for those loyal to political godfathers.
He called on Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to call the commissioner for youth development, Ifeanyi Egwunyenga, to order, saying no youth in Delta is more Delta than others. He said: “The whole process of the formation of the youths assembly is not the true picture of the Delta youths.”
He said: “We the youths are the voice of the society and as leaders of tomorrow all we need is a strong representation not a puppet or a political stooge.
“It is high time the appointees of the government and house members understood that politics must not be played in every thing, you cannot give us a representative rather we should vote for ourselves who will represent us.”
He said the commissioner failed the entire Delta youths, just as he called on the governor to review the process “as we demand to see a transparent process and scores of those who participated in the examination.”
He added that if the commissioner fails to address these identified flaws in the constitution of the Delta youth assembly, “teeming Delta youths who do not have political godfathers will not hesitate to demand for the removal of the commissioner for youth development and also create a parallel youth parliament.”
But commissioner for youths development, Ifeanyi Egwunyenga, would not agree with the submission of Oghale Rex Emeka. He gave a run down of how the selection of the members of the youth parliament was carried out.
He said people will definitely have their different ways of seeing actions of people. He told Emerald News on phone that entry was called and the age bracket was put at between 18 and 26. He said the data of the youths were collected. They were invited for both oral and written examinations where some failed and were screened out.
He said on the part of House of Assembly members having influence in the selection, he did not deny but said some may have had their way. He, however, said standard was not compromised in the selection process, despite the influence of assembly members.
According to him, those who emerged definitely will have experience under the mentorship of members of the House of Assembly. He said: “They need to learn under the tutelage of the assembly members. They need experience from them.”
The commissioner said the procedure for their emergence was followed, however, it is natural for some persons to feel unhappy over the process for not being qualified and shortlisted.