Mallam Kashifu-Inuwa-Abdullahi, DG, National Information Technology And Development Agency, NITDA
Mallam Kashifu-Inuwa-Abdullahi, DG, National Information Technology And Development Agency, NITDA

Kashifu: A Timely Appointment for Digital Transformation of Youth Engagement in Politics
By Hashim Suleiman

TECHDIGEST – The basic reason that dragged me into the political terrain in 2013 was my becoming worried about the state of the youth especially those from my creed.

I had a desire to see the youth imbibing my understanding of life which had largely paid up for me at that time till today and I thought it was possible for every other person to do so but with the possession of certain principles which must be consistent.

The most important of such characters was Openness to acquire network and skills.

Consequently, my NGO named ‘One Heart Initiative for Equity and Good Leadership’ birthed the #30PercentOrNothing which aimed to speak to the youth to acquire the needed skills for self-survival as well as to encourage the government and private sector to utilise the youths to solve current problems, this however came with a caveat on the fact that the recruitment of such youth must be objective enough to ensure the appropriate skills requisite for the assignment were sufficiently available.

I was also part of the speakers at Aisha Buhari’s ‘Just the Beginning’ programme alongside Festus Keyamo and co. which was held at the Banquet Hall of the State House in 2015 to engage youths and celebrate President Buhari’s ascendence to presidency.

At the event, I told the youths present to cease from antagonism of the Jonathan presidency and utilise their social media handles in propagating the policies of government which their followers could key into and eventually culminate into them feeling inclusivity and benefaction of the government. The rest is history.

Against such backdrop, I supported and wrote different articles on issues I saw which had conformed to the narrative above.

Just recently on Thursday the 26th August, 2021, the All Progressive Congress party inaugurated a committee that will see to the Digitalization of the party processes and that caught my eyes. It was not the digitalisation attempt that caught my attention because the People’s Democratic Party had initiated the digital registration of members in recent times. It was the recruitment of the individuals to manage the process by the APC that moved me because it indeed sat exactly with our ideals.

Let me refer you to my article titled ‘Kashifu as a Vindication of Youth Excellence in Governance’ which I was published on the 20th August 2020 in Premium Times.

In the article I highlighted how important it was that Dr. Pantami had ensured that his recruitment process for the job was right and Mr. Kashifu had equally vindicated such choice. Our belief and commitment to such ideals was borne out of practical engagements and experiences and we do not have an iota of doubts that anyone who means business and patronises such recruitment process will eventually succeed.

Nigeria has got some of the finest young men full of critical skills. Any young man reading this by any means may choose to understand the importance of skill acquisition and imbibe same.

Mr. Azibaola Robert of Mangrovetech Construction and Engineering Ltd. was also a beneficiary of such ideals when in 2010 he chooses to publish a public advert for the recruitment of professionals to help in executing the provision of engineering infrastructure at Maitama Extension District project in the FCT, Abuja, a project which was the first of its kind to be awarded to an indigenous company in the FCT.

He succeeded in recruiting just 16 of us after a rigorous process and kudos must also go to Mr. Obinna Oleribe whose company oversaw the recruitment process. The rest about the success of the project can be found with the FCDA but it indeed showcased how far objective recruitment can go in the successes of ventures.

Therefore, the idea of the recruitment of Mr. Kashifu to head such a critical committee with its mandate including the formulation of strategy for the 2023 election leaves a lot of commendation for the Mai Mala Buni led caretaker committee which itself have been performing wonderfully well through the advancement of the membership of the party by porting so many opposition bigwigs.

I will encourage them to ensure more inclusivity going forward to the convention in order that the party becomes well entrenched in the Nigerian polity.

With the Digitalization committee and the recruitment of its chairmanship however, it does appear they are ready for such and I am confident they’ll surely succeed.

From the mandates of the committee, the APC has created a formidable mechanism to communicate with the youth which make up over 70% of the voting population. Only the youth understand the language of their constituency and one thing that I know Kashifu will do going by his antecedents is to make the assignment an all inclusive one for a united Nigeria and equally ensure his recruitment of those to drive the matter is objective enough to attract the requisite skills.

Our initial movement of 2014 was unsung to a large extent because of the absence of resources and a formidable platform but now that the APC has through critical leadership and reasoning offered itself for the actualisation of the 21st century rejuvenation by ensuring it stuck to appropriate recruitment at that, the party has positioned itself for entrenchment in the Nigerian polity for a long time to come.

All of us at One Heart Initiative for Equity and Good Leadership identify with this lofty idea and are open to provide any needed support because we believe strongly that the development of the Nigerian youth could lead to the cessation of many of the problems currently bedevilling our dear nation.

Hashim Suleiman
[email protected]

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