Over time, it has become a cliché which is passed down the generation that youths are the leaders of tomorrow but this has become a mirage as that tomorrow has either not arrived or has refused to come.
In every space where deviance is going on, youths are the leading figures; gambling, drug abuse, violence, thuggery, cultism, internet fraud, armed robbery and banditry are majorly found amidst youths who have turned these vices to a norm. But today, youths that are supposed to be at the forefront of advocating change and campaigning against the menace are the agents that propagate it.
I was excited when I learnt that President Muhammadu Buhari, spoke about the “Not too Young to Rule” bill in his Youth Day Speech. It’s indeed a great thing and joyful development to witness such a moment that youths are given the opportunity to fully engage in politics, not as machinery for violence but as people who have a role to play in leadership in order to play their part in nation-building.
Although, the president addressed so many issues that have to do with youths including numerous intervention programmes initiated by his administration in order to assist youths in the area of job creation in the speech, my greatest concern is the issue of “Not too Young to run” because it is the issue that has to do with the nation at large.
It is the major way of getting youths into leadership and decision making that affects society.
However, the question that people continue to ask in spite of the bill is while Nigerians especially the youths are eager to commence the steps that will see them take over the driver seat of the affairs of the country, will they really be given the chance?
My point of observation and contention is the high cost of political seat form by almost all the political parties, which pragmatically is unbearable to the majority of youth politicians. So, without any a drastic change to the cost of party forms and mandatory regulation of campaign funds that are to be sourced from parties’ fundraising committees, that bill may be dead on arrival.
My fear is that youths are still going to be bench warmers, puppets, errand boys, political thugs and dreamers with an unknown fate in this political dispensation. As I earlier stated, a lot of Nigerian youths are craving to join politics, but the only handful of them are in a sound financial position to acquire the forms without the helping hands of family, friends and well-wishers.
In my opinion, in order to actualise this dream, the next struggle the president should assist the youth to actualise before the end of his term is to formulate and make into law a bill of “Not Too Poor To Rule.” This is the only way there can be the desired change.
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