By Steve Oni, Ilorin
Former Sports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abudllahi haa joined the
Kwara state Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship race.
Abdullahi, who is also an ex-spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress (APC) made the declaration on Wednesday in Ilorin, the state capital at a well
attended event by PDP bigwigs and top government functionaries in the
He urged Kwarans to support his aspiration, describing himself as son of a tailor “who became somebody through God and Bukola Saraki.”
The former Minister decried the rate of youth’s disillusionment in the state, adding that “if we don’t solve the problems of the youth, the
youth will eventually consume us.”
He said that youths are the greatest asset as well as the challenge
the state has, over the years, been grappling with.
In his manifesto dubbed “Kwara 2019: Agenda for youth empowerment and
investment in people,” the governorship hopeful described Senate President Bukola Saraki’s tenure as governor as mandate one, current Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed as mandate two and his own mandate three.
Mallam Abdullahi said: “Mandate three will be defined by its commitment to youth development as well as its focus on health, education and social protection, especially for the poor and the vulnerable.
“Government’s priority will reflect the principle that the bulk of our
resources should be invested in the bulk of the population– the
children and the youths. Government will pursue an economic and social
agenda that prioritises youth empowerment through skills and capacity development, job creation and entrepreneurship.
“Kwara state has an estimated population of 3.2 million, occupying
36,000 square kilometres of landmass. This population is believed to increase at the rate of 3.49 percent each year, which is above the national average of 2.6 percent per year. If the current increase rate is maintained, the state’s population would be close to five million by 2029.
“Current demographic patterns indicate that 61 percent of the state’s population is of the age of 0-19. this severe population bulge of
children and young adults makes the present and future challenges
“Analysis of the state’s demography also indicates that about 30 percent of the population are in the 20-49 age category. As those in the upper end of the 0-19 join this category, the youth unemployment challenge would get even bigger and government would face even more severe pressure to provide jobs for close to a million of its population.”