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Why Nigerian Youths are Not Ready

Why Nigerian Youths are Not Ready

“We need a Youth as the Next President” is a dictum that has thrived as a topic of discussion on the social media and in public forums among Nigerians for a period of time now. This idea has gained a lot of enthusiasm as many people believe that it would be advantageous for the country’s socio-economic development. The need became even more stronger after patriotic Nigerian youths participated in the 2020 #EndSARS demonstrations to protest against police brutality and bad governance in the country.

It is quite understandable that there is a need for a vibrant, intelligent and young leader, but the rationale behind the need for (a) young individual(s) to be at the helm of affairs does not seem to be logical enough. The failure and incompetence of most of the country’s leaders who are aged is a poor justification on why a youth should emerge as the next president. The youths are not in anyway a distinct breed of people, but are a reflection of our current leaders. How some of our youths steer school politics should not come as a surprise as it shows to us they’re in no way different from our leaders. Take into cognizance the recent action of the excos of the Nassarawa State Students Association (NASSA). Ineptitude and immorality, which we perceived in our old leaders, can also be found in our youths. Financial corruption is also being consummated by our youths. This among other things are not given apparent reality to or seen as the a priori truth by Nigerians who agitate for a youth to be at the upper echelon of power.

I have had interactive sessions with some young individuals, and they feel no shamefacedness in revealing that if they ever become a minister, governor, senator or president, they would perform far more dreadfully than our extant crop of leaders in terms of corruption. Little wonder with reference to the statement of a former Senator, Dino Melaye who said “the problem of Nigeria is the population of Nigerians waiting to steal are far more than those already stealing in Nigeria”. You cannot have a youth with this sort of perspective as an upcoming political figurehead in our country.

Senator Dino Malaye

To encapsulate what I explained and ardently justified in my opinion article titled “Age and Nation Building”, Ideology and not Age should be paramount when opting for a prospective political office holder.

In the current Nigerian political climate, there is no vibrant and intelligent youth with an innovative mindset and character of a leader that has “declared his or her intention” to run for the position of the President at the 2023 Presidential Elections, and has been identified by majority of the country’s populace, or even a quarter of the populace. How then can a youth emerge as the president when the platform that would enable him reach millions of Nigerians is not available.

With the way Nigerian politics is being played, the hegemony and dominance of two major political parties (APC and PDP) and the crop of people enmeshed in it, a youth emerging as the president of the country would be hardly imaginable. Even if he or she decided to run for top political positions under these parties, he wouldn’t easily scale through the primaries due to the prominence of the aged politicians. Asides that, Nigeria cannot have a youth as a president now because those who are willing to have one are few. 

If the youths are ready, they surely wouldn’t support a corrupt and megalomaniac Atiku Abubakar to become the president of our country. Would we be having a group such as Northern Youths Advovate for Atiku (NOYAA). Would the North East Youths Movement for Good Governance back him up for the position of the President.

If the youths are ready, they surely wouldn’t back an inept and corrupt Yahaya Bello, who claims to be a youth (but is 47 years of age), to become the next president of the country. If the youths are indeed ready, we wouldn’t see youths from the six geopolitical zones of the country forming groups to support a man that has failed in state administration, and has been dubbed as one of the worst performing governors in the country. Would thousands of youths, under the aegis of Rescue Nigeria Mission (RenMiss) in the southwest region of the country storm Lagos State to urge people to support his presidential bid. If Bello had performed excellently well as a governor, there would have been hopes of him becoming the next president of the country, but he has proved otherwise.

Yahaya Bello

If the youths are ready, they surely wouldn’t back an ailing and senescent Asiwaju Bolaji Ahmed Tinubu to become the president of our country. Would the Coalition of Progressive Youths and Student Leaders back him up and tell Nigerians that he has what it takes to be Nigeria’s next president. Would Youths go on to form an Advocacy Group on his behalf.

If the youths are ready, they surely wouldn’t back a weak Yemi Osinbajo to become the President of our country. If the youths were indeed ready to have a young leader, would there have been a youth group identified as Osinbajo Youths Initiative of Nigeria (OYIN) located in the 36 states of the federation, backing him up to become the president of the country and describing him as the “FaceOfHope23”. Would there be a Political Organisation like Northern Youths Yearn For Osinbajo, mobilising millions of youths to support Osinbajo for the Presidency. Certainly, the youths are not ready.

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If the youths are ready, they surely wouldn’t back former governors like Peter Obi, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Bukola Saraki and the likes for the position of the President. Can’t you see the youths are not ready.

Peter Obi

If the youths are ready, they would not serve as political thugs for their political masters. They would not act like they were slaves to the old leaders that had failed them, and which they do not want to see despite its conspicuousness.

I see some young individuals pushing for the likes of Reno Omokri and Tope Fasua to contest in the presidential election. Is it the same Reno Omokri that described a corrupt, tired and retired Atiku as “Young, fit and trendy” and opted for him to become the next president of our country. Is it the same Tope Fasua, who wrote an opinion article in which he stated that for 2023, Tinubu was a worthy person to support.

No one is hindering a Youth from emerging as the next president of our dearly beloved country, but the youths themselves. Infact, President Muhammadu Buhari years back approved into law the “Not Too Young to Rule” bill to pave the way for the youths to hold and occupy top political positions/offices. It is the youths themselves who are not ready and willing to have a vibrant, energetic and innovative youth amongst themselves as the next leader of the country, and the current political climate, if not overhauled will not allow for the emergence of a youth as the president of the country.

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