The beauty of youth is in their strength. They are the future of a nation and a nation that does not make provisions for the youth, protect youth, value youth, sideline youth and mislead the youth will experience perilous time be it politically, economically and socially. Youth are innovative, curious in search of knowledge and creative in their analysis, views, perspective and they pilot development.
Why is our youth missing in the political and economic arena of Nigeria geographical entity? Is the youth missing in action? Albert Einstein quoted that “we can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
Youth in Nigeria constitute over 80 percent of the population, yet they are the most politically and economically marginalized. In recent years, the number of youth has increased. The number of policies and institutions tasked with fostering and ensuring the implementation of youth programmes has increased, their actual effectiveness in the field remains highly questionable.
Nigerians youths are horrified by the mind boggling reports on sabotage of the national economy by past government officials and present administration, one of the shocking recoveries made by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) involves forfeiture of N33.1 billion by former minister of petroleum allegedly stolen from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), $9.2 million and £750,000 seized in cash from a former General Managing Director of the NNPC.
Nigerian youths need political and economical reorientation, as against the sluggard style of leadership fatigue being experienced in the country where one man single handed looted billions of Naira in a country where the masses lives in abject poverty.
Leadership thinking has shifted from the classical theme of experience, age, maturity to the post-modern dynamic of innovation.
Given the architecture of modern societies, governments around the world are voting significant resources for securing the future of their youths, by building institutions, empowering their youth in all spheres of leadership acquisition.
The major drawbacks in achieving sustainable political leadership succession in Africa, including Nigeria, may stem from two major reasons: first, the stereotypical perception of age, as synonymous with experience and wisdom.
Again, the superstitious belief within African societies is that older persons should enjoy the eminence and rights to all forms of leadership, including political leadership. Political parties within their own peculiar internal democracies seem to welcome the idea of choosing older persons to bear the flag of the parties during elections.
The government since 1999 has perceived youth as an unprosperous group, fit only to be manipulated and used as political leverage during and after election period. The lack of insight within the leadership apparatus, coupled with rising poverty and unemployment.
Mediocrity which is apparent not only in the political life of the nation but in all spheres of national life, is as a result of nothing other than the sit-tight mentality of older political leaders, without them making deliberate, systematic plans to cede the political, technocratic leadership of the nation to the youths.
At this point, given the global shifts and trends, the growing complexities of the international community, development imperatives that rely heavily on technology and innovative leadership, a change in the leadership complexion of Nigeria is needed.
Very unfortunate that all our regulatory bodies are sleeping, bribery, corruption and selfishness are the order of the day. No light, no security. People they chooses as their leaders are sleeping or clueless they don’t know that electricity is bed rocks of industry. Those who entrenched and promoted the same values and national ethic bedeviling the nation are the same people often called upon to manage its destiny.
It’s a heartbreaking irony that Nigeria having the best human resources in Africa, many of whom are leading lights in important fields of learning, is right now crippled by a dearth of constructive, visionary and progressive leadership.
Nigeria is the world’s largest producer of cassava. We imported packaged jollof rice and egusi soup, imported Indian-packaged garri and toothpick was being sold in Nigeria etc youths must express their grievances to the government, that the sale of the imported goods that are produced in by the local, in Nigeria is an absurdity of monumental proportion and a shame.
Nigeria has been imperiled by conservative thinking which has made vigorous efforts to undermine the prospects of youths in the mainstream of Nigeria economic and political arena.
Now is the time for a change. The youths have the power and number to recalibrate the political thrust and tempo of the nation. The political elite found the youths in the past expendable political rockets, which they used and discarded after exploiting their brains or innate creativity to launch their political shuttle to the orbit of power.
Nigeria’s young men and women can afford to wrestle the destiny of this nation from the hands of the current political predators, by refusing to be seen and treated as cheap foils.
We can channel our energies and creative resources, like the animal community did in Gorge Orwell’s epic novel, Animal farm, to oust, the greedy, puerile and ethnocentric leaders who still sell the nation on the cheap.
We need not be violent but with our sheer energy and thinking power, shift the axis of power and swing it unto the path of progressive vision and true greatness.
We have to encourage the industrious nature of our youth to be focused and enterprising. The leadership can also start by establishing a synergy with the youths of the nation, bringing them under their wings, and facilitating the much needed transitional dream of handing the baton to the younger generation.
Nigerian government loves their citizens and watching out for them, youths express your potentials; talent is not our problem, but how to harness the talent. We need to be sincere if we genuinely want to return to our winning ways in all arena of our nation.
Truth is bitter. But we better open our mouths and swallow it. It is scary but we better face it. Must we continue to process and sell the shenanigans the same way our forefathers made it? Keep complaining while the rest of the world leaves you behind. A youth must be innovative.
In conclusion, it is very important that youth in Nigeria enjoy a conducive environment to participate in political and economic development efforts and are given a chance to raise their voices in decision making processes.