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Doctrines & Morals
 
 
Civic Rights …

YOUTH AS KEY CHANGE AGENTS

THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT ALMOST all Nigerians want change, and the mood for change is evident from small villages to big cities where poverty, disease, lack of social infrastructure and most significantly lack of hope is everyday reality for millions of Nigerians. Nigeria seems to be a shadow of its glorious past where job recruiters from governmental establishments transversed university campuses in search of prospective employees, even before they graduated. Today, the story is different as our youth, even those who have reached the highest academic echelon, are hopeless, helpless, jobless and at times homeless.

The incandescence and pride of being a Nigerian youth many years ago is somehow obliterated by the perpetuation of evils by our very own elders, some of whom have extolled themselves as elder statesmen. Young men and women across Nigeria have been bequeathed with a sense of social, political and economic insecurity by these same people, and many of us have been indoctrinated into a mirage of hope in an attempt to fight, sometimes violently, the selfish cause of the political elites at the polling booths and beyond. Our unquestionable allegiance to these same elders that have destroyed our land in itself raises concern that change in the political landscape of Nigeria is far from remote.  We need to transform our virtual ideas into sustainable reality. Our problems in Nigeria will not be solved by secession; waving spears and arrows; our problem in Nigeria can only be solved when Nigerians at all social strata embrace the humanity of one another; when Nigerians embrace the spirit of "Live and let live"; the true spirit of egalitarianism. The youth have enormous responsibility in chatting a new cause for Nigeria.

The only way Nigeria can solve its many problems is by giving the youth more opportunities to participate in the government, economy, and society. Young people are the prime beneficiaries of school improvement, and the percentage of youth in higher learning institutions is currently very high. If young people were in charge, the educational system in Nigeria would not be in its current state, and unemployment would be reduced. At the same time, young people shouldn't wait for good things to come to them, but need to take individual initiative. Youth empowerment and initiative will improve life for all Nigerians. Nigerian government officials and other elites need to share power with the country's youth and listen to young peoples' ideas for how to better  the  country. The young men and women of  Nigeria  are  tomorrow's elders and, if included, could transform Nigeria. Without the energy of youth, society will decay and perish.

Additionally, there is a disjuncture between the old, the middle aged and the youth, in the sense of lack of appropriate and serious platforms for solidarity, engagement and dialogue. It hasn't always been this bad. The marginalization of youth and their disempowerment cannot be adequately addressed unless and until more and more young people, both men and women, become engaged in the political, legislative as well as policy and governance processes. We must, therefore, reconnect with the youth, empower them, mentor them responsibly, give them responsible leadership roles and enable them become the key change agents for Nigeria's stability, unity, progress and development. Young people cannot afford to be apolitical, apathetic and indifferent to what is happening in governance and in the larger political economy. They need to get engaged and involved. Effective mechanisms and platforms  need to be  established  to  nurture and  mobilize  youth  engagement  in the wider  political  and  policy-making processes. Credible youth leaders must necessarily help to organize and pilot such platforms of engagement.

We must work hard in all respects to empower our youth in the Nigerian political economy. We have to work hard, with government leading the way, and other stakeholders providing critical support, to create better opportunities for our young people  so  that they can explore their potentials in education, in employment, in entrepreneurship, and especially in politics and governance, and in global competitiveness as well, in all facets of life.  Nigeria needs to adopt a "positive youth development  approach,"  which  recognises youth as active participants in societal development, and not merely as passive recipients   of   doled  out  goods  and  services. Effort   should  be  targeted  at  the  systematic removal  of  all  barriers  to  effective  youth participation in the Nigerian political economy. 

The argument has always been that young people are not matured nor experienced enough to handle a complex country as Nigeria, you know, this sort of assumption is a calculated attempt to blackmail the young people into accepting that they are incapable by those who gained powers at their very young age but never plan to relinquish or quit the stage for others to come in, they rather prefer to fill in their own children and relatives. Nigerian youths are brilliant in all aspects of life, they are resourceful, genuinely skillful and can handle any task given to them, but here, the political dealers are thinking otherwise, they see youths as mere objects of voting, instruments, and the roles the old people have confined these young people to are to continue to use them as political thugs, errand boys and girls in the names of Personal Assistants, Senior Special Assistant on this and that. It is only in Nigeria you are eligible to vote when you are 18 years but you cannot aspire to contest for leadership unless you are 30 or 35 years old, even at 30 or 35 there are offices you cannot aspire for, is this not ridiculous?  Why is politics so different in Nigeria? To my knowledge, the old politicians who are all same and friends irrespective of which political party they belong do not only use age as barrier to prevent our young people from aspiring for leadership, they invented all kinds of tactics such as ethnicity divide, Religious divide, political violence, Money politics, rigging, diabolical means among others, which ordinarily will scare and put fears in our young people who have not mustered enough courage to toe their line of do or die politics, I am not encouraging any young person to take after them, please.

Young people can change Nigeria easily in my own opinion because of their prowesses and power of innovations; they are in tunes with what is happening in and around our world. Nigeria has remained the same for long because they prefer to keep electing uninspiring, non-innovative leaders that lack the new ideas that can take the country out of poverty and economic doldrums but only parade big names and wealth and are of the old ideas, many young people flock with them because of the little crumbs but the real change Nigeria needs lies in the hands of the youths. If the Nigerian youths can put aside all their differences for the first time and form a majority power bloc, a new and prosperous Nigeria can spring up, a Nigeria where innovative ways of acquiring education, healthcare, agriculture, polity, policy, politics and wealth for all can be made possible. The youths should not just come together for coming together sake but choose a think tank that will be responsible for drawing up policies, programmes, development map, campaign manifestos, charters and how to scale all the barriers the old men have set for them. 

 

 


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