By Tijani Abdulkabeer
“Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace. If, however, they are left on society’s margins, all of us will be impoverished. Let us ensure that all young people have every opportunity to participate fully in the lives of their societies.”
— Kofi Annan
I must start by congratulating you all having summon that boldness and alacrity to seek for leadership post in a country that only uphold prebendalism theory. Indeed, it is a welcome development in our polity which I think would elevate the status of our political arena.
Unsurprisingly, Over the years Nigeria’s political system has been characterized by lots of abnormalities ranging from bribery and corruption, chaotic transport system, poor standard of living, poor infrastructures, among others, which since independence have not been addressed. Yet,we periodically do the change of government by direct election whereas the dividend of democracy is yet to be enjoyed.
In this vein, politics has now become the profession of the opportunists, sycophants, bootlickers, demagogues and hypocrites.They now loot the nation and ignore the infrastructural development and incontrovertibly, our political sphere has been left in the hands of some few political pythons who think they are too powerful to be dealt with if they fail in their responsibility.
They keep on riding the country’s resources overseas while they fail to invest in their land and as a result, the land has been subjected to sabotage, rancour and constant killings of the commoners.
Inconsequentially, this problems keep compounding on daily basis as those at the helm of affairs have abandoned the most important for the less important. Their cruel heart never felt pity for this great nation because all they care about is what falls into their pocket at the expense of public service. They pretend to be a politician in the afternoon whereas they are thieves in the night.
Furthermore, In recent times there have been lots of agitations on revamping the leadership mantra most especially from the youths since the passage of the #Not-too-young-to-run bill. While I do not condemn their aspiration and sagacity, it is pertinent to inform them that we don’t place the cart before the horse instead, the cart comes after the horse. If truly a change is going to be made to our political system the grassroot is to be tackled first.I can’t imagine youth candidacy vieing for posts at the federal level without tracing their steps back to the average Nigerians on the street who are not on social media platforms.
They should seek for posts at the lowest level, because envisaging the problems militating against democracy in this country, it would be a daunting task for someone without experience to mantle the leadership of this great nation.
In addition, these young aspirants such as Omoyele Sowore,Professor Kingsley Moghalu,Fela Durotoye,Funmilayo Adesanya Davies to mention but few must agree within themselves and present a consensus candidate who would challenge the incumbent president because it is believe that youths have the highest voting population. We must then be guided with a onerous motive so as to challenge the status quo.
Again, youth candidacy must make use of this great opportunity to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors, identify the challenges, brainstorm on the way forward because as it is, none of them has presented to the populace an outstanding manifesto that can address the problems bedevilling this nation apart from the popular #Take it back which I still perceive to be visionless and needs to be revisited.
In the last analysis, campaigns should be taken back to the ordinary men on the street. It is paramount to sensitize, orientate and elevate our fellow compatriots especially the youths, the sage, marketwomen, bus conductors, vulcanizers, motorcyclists, etc to obtain their permanent voters card and lecture them on political education.We form the majority of the electorates and the power to sack those tired legs in power lies in our hands.
We must revolt and disengage ourselves from being used as instruments of destruction during the electioneering process. Also, we must stop being deceived by worldly frivolities from politicians while aspiring for political posts because we tend to suffer the most thereafter.
Meanwhile, our votes must be based on merit, competence and constitutional backing. We must scrap out prebendal politics from our political arena.
In the very end, as we approach another historic moment in our polity which would then re-shapen our lives for the next four years, manifestos must be taken beyond social media.
Again, our fate is in our hands and as a people, we need to work together not as a divided people that we are now. We need to think, plan, act and stop speaking in staccato voice because if truly this nation is going to be great again all the abnormalities must be attended to without exemption.
Tijani Abdulkabeer writes from Ibadan and can be reached via: Kabeertijani78@gmail.com