The Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, yesterday assured the state a greater youths involvement and better representation in governance with a promise that youths will occupy about 30 percent of his cabinet if re-elected.

Thousands of youths in the state yesterday marched to pay a ‘thank you visit’ to the governor in commemoration of 2021 edition of the International Youth Day.

Oyetola, while receiving the Osun youths at his office after the 20-kilometre march, expressed delight in the youths’ reciprocal gestures, adding that his administration prioritisation of the concerns for the youths is rooted in his belief in the future of the state.

He also charged the youths to embrace peace and pursue developmental objectives in the interest of the state, adding that he didn’t want any life to be lost to political violence.

According to him, “This is not a rally staged by the government, and this is not a rented crowd. You decided to organise yourselves, and the outcome is this massive population of grateful youths.

“As you all know, this administration has prioritised the people’s welfare just as many of our socioeconomic interventions are centred on the people, particularly the youths.

“Please, don’t relent in your efforts. I want you to remain resolute in your support, don’t be distracted and don’t be deterred. We are committed to your cause, and to do more for you.

“As you all know, we have appointed capable youths among you and they are doing well. But by the grace of God, if I am re-elected, at least 30 percent of my cabinet will be for the youths.

“We are conscious of your future, and that is why most of our programmes and policies are focused on you. We have a lot to do, and we pray God to endow us with more resources. I am really happy for your large turnout.”

Speaking at the end of the march, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Student Affairs and Social Mobilisation, Kehinde Ayantunji, described the walk as a token of appreciation for Oyetola’s inclusiveness of youths in governance.

He said: “The International Youth Day affords us the opportunity to assess our challenges and successes across the globe. In Osun State, we have made a holistic review of facts and figures, and it is clear that the governor, in the history of the state, has included the highest number of youths in governance, particularly with the recent local government appointments.

“Out of 585 caretaker members across the state, the youths, who are below 40 years, are more than 300. This is highly unprecedented and that is why we felt there is need to commend the governor for ensuring youth inclusion in governance and for breaking the jinx of youth exclusion in politics in Nigeria.”