From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin
Nigeria Youths have been urged to challenge elders in the country on elective and political positions as a measure to take their responsibilities from the adults.
A Labour leader, Comrade Matin a Egbanubi stated this during a day’s seminar, organised by a Non-Governmental Organisation(NGO), The Young Democrats of Nigeria, in Ilorin at the weekend.
Egbanusi, in his paper entitled: “Youth and democracy: The changing face of political engagement’, noted that it was high time the future leaders take responsibilities from those that have been ruling the nation for many decades.
“Historically speaking, the struggle for independence from colonialism was essentially and dominantly youth-led. Even if that struggle was eventually short circuited and truncates, with the co-optation, and coercion of the emergent post independence elites and the global architecture of dependence, slavery led by the dominant powers of the global market economy.
“The Ahmadu Bellos,the Nnambi Azikwes,the Obafemi Awolowos,the Mokwugo Okoyes,the Tafawa Balewas,the Joseph Tarkas and Aminu Kanos all began their political careers in their youth.
“They founded the organisations which negotiated with the colonial regime while they were youths, and assumed leadership of this country while still in their forties”.
Egbanusi who work with Michael Imodu National Labour Institute, Ilorin, said the era of youth violence has gone and Nigeria elders in power should realised that the future leaders are fully ripe to take over intellectually.
The former student’s unionist, who disclosed that the former President of Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Shagari became a federal legislator at the age of 30 and a Minister at the age of 35, stressed that others like Maitama Sule, Yakubu Gowon and Richard Akinjide became Ministers at the youth age.
“The common saying that ‘youths are the leaders of tomorrow’ has being an albatross to the development of the youth over the years in Nigeria when compared with their counterparts in other parts of the world, who indeed are leaders in many respect.
Earlier, the state coordinator of the organisation, Comrade Taiye Isma’il, in his remark, said the seminal was organised to bring the people of the same mind together to discuss how to move the state and Nigeria forward.