20th September, 2019
By Abdulrazaq Hamzat
At the age of 22, Shamma Al-Mazrui was appointed as a Minister at the United Arabs Emirate (UAE) in Feb. 2016, making her the youngest member of the UAE Cabinet. Today, Shamma is 25years old and one of the most active ministers in the UAE.
Joana Kolo, appointed commissioner nominee by the Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, is by comparison with Shamma, 26 years old.
In Australia the youngest minister ever appointed is Wyatt Roy, who was 25years old, when he was appointed.
Unlike Shama, who is currently serving in a youth-focused ministry as minister of youth in UAE, Roy, on the other hand, is heading one of the most powerful ministries in Australia, as the minister of innovation.
These are examples of young people without experience, doing greatly when given leadership responsibility.
A few days ago, the progressive Governor of Kwara State, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq also nominated a 26year-old lady, Joana Kolo as a commissioner, throwing young people across into jubilation.
Many are excited and are celebrating, because, for the first time in a long time, Kwara State now has a governor who not only values young people genuinely but will also fulfil all promises made to them during the electioneering campaign.
By nominating Joana to serve as a commissioner in Kwara State, Governor Abdulrahman is simply fulfilling his promise of making his administration youth-driven.
During the electioneering, Governor Abdulrahman repeatedly promised the young people of Kwara State that his government would give priority to youths and even after assuming office as governor on May 29, he repeatedly re-echoed the promise, signifying his determination to fulfil it.
Like a man, whose words can be taken to the bank for cash, Governor Abdulrahman has fulfilled another of his promises by nominating a youth, in the real sense of it as a commissioner.
However, there are people who are not happy with this development.
It has been observed that some political players in the state are raising concerns about the nomination of this young lady as a commissioner. Their argument is that, she is too young and too inexperienced to bring any value to the government.
While their concerns are worthy of note, I think it is not appropriate to conclude on a person, before knowing the person.
The real question we should be asking is that what is wrong with nominating a 26 year-old as a commissioner? Is there really anything wrong with that? Does she not meet the required academic qualification? Is there any law that has been violated as a result of her nomination? So, what exactly is wrong with her nomination?
I am of the view that, those who have already marked Joana’s script, even before she enters the exam hall are doing so for their own reasons, not necessarily out of concern for the state.
Their opinion about her is of no value because the governor who nominated her knows the value she is bringing to his government.
Whether or not, she can perform, will only be tested after she has been given a chance, which the governor has rightly given her.
It is also important to note that, the will of a man, will always make a way for him.
The determination to succeed supersedes all ages and experiences and Joana’s young age, and perceived inexperience are not a minus if she’s prepared to succeed.
So, let me conclude that, if Jean Claude Duvalier can become the president of Haiti at the age of 19 and succeed, if Valentine Strasser can become the president of Sierra Leone at the age of 25 and succeed, if Michel Micombero can lead Burundi successfully at the age of 25, certainly, Joana Kolo can as well succeed as a commissioner in Kwara, if given the required support.
*Abdulrazaq Hamzat is the Convener of Kwara Must Change.*