For the seventh consecutive year, YNaija brings you its annual ranking of the most powerful young persons under the age of 40 who are getting things done in the political arena. From high powered legislators passing game-changing bills to presidential aspirants, these 10 aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.
Feminists may scoff at Eunice Atuejide but it takes some muscle to mobilise for and set up a political structure from ground up. Atuejide did that with the online dependent National Interest Party (NIP), surviving a coup that had her suspended for numerous ‘’gross misconducts’’ in the process of becoming the party’s flagbearer for next year’s presidential elections. Atuejide may be on the ballot but she may have a tough time mobilising core supporters to get behind her cause.
Before joining politics, Abdussamad Dasuki worked in the Dangote Group as a corporate sales executive. Nowadays, he spends his time representing the Kebbe/Tambuwal federal constituency of Sokoto at the House of Representatives. Dasuki, a former member of the Sokoto State House of Assembly, is chair of the house committee on Navy and his legislative interests include youth empowerment and rural development.
Daughter of the formidable Edo state businessman, Gabriel Igbinedion, Omosede has a Law degree from the University of Kent and a Masters in Diplomatic Studies from the University of Westminster. She represents Ovia Federal Constituency of Edo at the House of Representatives under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). She is deputy chairman, house services committee and a member of the local content, aviation, downstream petroleum, FCT, judiciary, rural development and women in parliament committees.
Damilola Emmanuel is the Managing Director of the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA). Since his appointment, Emmanuel has advocated for safer waterways through the curbing of illegal and unsafe jetties. He worked on the public-private partnership that delivered the “ultra-modern” Ferry Terminal and headquarters of the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) in Falomo. Emmanuel attended the University of Lagos.
Tony Nwulu hails from Mbaise in Imo, but represents Oshodi-Isolo II Federal Constituency of Lagos at the National Assembly. As if that were not maverick enough, Nwulu’s Not Too Young To Run bill, a landmark legislation that lowers the ages of qualification for running for President from 40 years to 35 years, governorship to 30 and House of Representatives and State Houses of Assembly to 25 years was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari. He recently dumped the PDP to join the Unity Progressive Party (UPP) as he seeks to become governor of his home state, Imo.
In Oyo, a 31-year-old Agronomist who graduated from Babcock University sent shockwaves when he was announced by INEC as the winner of the bye-election for the state House of Assembly election to represent Ibarapa East. Of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Ogundoyin polled a total of 6,277 votes to defeat his closest rival from the APC. His rival also happens to be the younger brother of the former Speaker of the state house of assembly, whose sudden demise opened up the vacancy.
A former majority leader of the Enugu state House of Assembly, Sunday Udeh-Okoye resigned his position as representative of the Agwu North constituency after he was elected national youth leader of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the party’s convention in December last year. Since his appointment Udeh-Okoye has gravitated towards members of the party’s youth wing, supporting their aspirations and making attempts to build a formidable youth bloc.
Aminu Abdullahi Shagali
A two-time legislator representing Sabon Gari constituency in the Kaduna state House of Assembly, Aminu Abdullahi Shagali was elected speaker in 2015. Shagali is one of the most experienced legislators in the assembly, having served as deputy minority leader, chairman, house committee on science and technology, deputy chairman, committee on Hajj and Islamic affairs, and deputy chairman, committee on economic planning at various times.
Born into a family prominent in local politics, Samaila Suleiman represents Kaduna North federal constituency at the House of Representatives. A former local government chairman, Suleiman is a member of the House committee on Drugs and Narcotics. He is the sponsor of a National Youth Development Commission bill which is structured around a youth development framework that focuses on providing opportunities ‘’for young people in Nigeria to enhance their interests, skills, and abilities.”
Abdul-Malik Bungudu Zubairu
Abdul-Malik began his political career in Zamfara as a branch chairman of the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) of Bungudu local government area. He is now an elected member of the Federal House of Representatives, representing Bungudu/Maru federal constituency of the state under the platform of All Progressive Congress (APC). Zubairu was involved in the Passport (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2017.