Youth are very active participants in a society whose resilience and diversity stand them out.
In Nigeria, the youth have become a force to be reckoned with in terms of innovations, political leadership, business acumen, and other areas.
In this article, African Leadership Organisation brings to you some of Nigeria’s celebrated youth leaders whose passion, commitment, and activities towards the development of the youth population and the nation at large have been exemplary.
1. Dayo Israel
The vibrant and articulate Dayo Israel currently holds the position of National Youth Leader of Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressive Congress, APC.
As a motivational speaker and active participant in politics, Dayo is an advocate for spreading greatness among Nigerian youths, and this he does with a passion that has seen so many grow under his tutelage.
His advocacies have won him several recognitions, both at home and internationally.
2. Muhammed Kadade Suleiman
Muhammed is an active political player and is the National Youth Leader of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), a position he was elected into in 2021 at the age of 25.
His affiliation with the political class above his age has built a connection for him to politics, which he has used as an instrument to reawaken the interest of Nigerian youths in politics while still advocating good governance.
3. Sukobo Sara-Igbe Sukobo
Sukobo is the national president of the National Youth Council of Nigeria.
He is a visionary leader whose style of leadership has brought about notable socio-economic empowerment of youths through his innovative approaches, which have helped bridge the gap between the government and the private sector to build sustainable initiatives for the youth.
With a track record in youth activism, Sukobo remains a definition of strength and courage for Nigerian youths.
4. Samson Itodo
Samson Itodo is the founder of Yiaga Africa, a non-profit organisation dedicated to effecting social change and promoting democratic governance and civic engagement in Africa.
For over a decade, Itodo has worked across Nigeria to promote active participation and the inclusion of young people in politics. He was the convener of the #NotTooYoungToRun campaign, which was targeted at reducing the age at which one can run for elective office in Nigeria.
Due to his passion for change and youth inclusiveness in politics, Samson has over the years played a key role in Nigeria’s political terrain, especially before elections, through various awareness programmes and initiatives aimed at bridging the gap between the governed and the government as well as getting as many youths as possible involved.
To say Samson is driven by a passion for change is evident in his aspiration to become the Chairperson of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to ‘work’ the change he has always advocated for.
Oladele is a politician and serves as the Vice President of West Africa of the Pan-African Youth Union, the umbrella body for youth organisations in Africa.
Before his current portfolio, Oladele had held various positions at both state and national levels in the country, as well as on the continental level.
Among his many youth-inclined activities, Oladele in 2015 founded the Youth Initiative Against Unlawful Emigration (YINAGUE), which focuses on advocating for education to guard against the risk and loss of lives that are associated with illegal migration among youths.
His leadership skills and empathy for humanity have distinguished him from others in the past decade of his service to improving the lives of Nigerian and African youths.
6. Tony Nwulu
A former Federal House of Representatives member, Tony Nwulu is an astute politician who has continued to promote policies and projects that improve the interests of Nigerian youth.
Tony was the sponsor of the famous #NotTooYoungToRun bill, which encourages youth development in political leadership and was later signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
7. Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli
She is the founder and chief executive officer of Leap Africa, a youth-oriented leadership development organisation that seeks to encourage and support a credible crop of leaders.
Ndidi has, to her credit, over two decades of development experience in youth-inclined development programmes and activities.
8. Rinsola Abiola
A certified public relations practitioner, Rinsola Abiola is also into politics and is an advocate for inclusion for women and young people.
She has held various positions as a member of the All Progressive Congress (APC)over the past few years, which have given her the strength to pursue the cause of advocating for women and youths.
She vied for the post of her party’s national youth leader in 2022 before withdrawing to support the current holder. Despite that, Rinsola has continued to use her position and influence to advance the cause of youth in Nigeria.
9. Taibat Hussain
Taibat is a development youth activist, and researcher with a good track record of conducting comprehensive research on challenges in society to form informed policy decisions that will drive change and allow youths to tap into available opportunities.
She is a UNICEF Generation Unlimited Youth Board member.
10. Temilade Salami
Temilade is a Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Youth Leader. She is the founder and executive director of EcoChampions, a large network of young environmentalists dedicated to changing their environment through climate education and other advocacy programmes.
The 25-yyear-old has been very active in the environment sector over the past five years, which has seen her design and develop climate change initiatives not just in Nigeria but across Africa.
11. Umar Barambu
Umar Barambu is the President of the National Association of Nigerian Students and an undergraduate at the Federal University, Dutse, Jigawa State, in Northern Nigeria.
As a new dispensation opens up in Nigeria with the arrival of a new federal administration, these youths and many others are expected to bring their wealth of experience and profitable enthusiasm to the fore for the collective nation-building exercise tasked upon every Nigerian.