Youth president: Between fantasy and reality

The #EndSARS movement birthed many sub-movements generally calling for an end to bad governance and maladministration in the country. It eventually led to the call for youths to take over political offices while some went as far as calling for a youthful president. Yes, a president from amongst the youths and drastic political retirement of the socalled old ones. A youth might not necessarily mean an individual within the age bracket of 18 – 35, though key, yet basically someone who is knowledgeable and advanced in all key areas including evolving technologies in the globe. Can’t an ‘old cargo’ have a youthful mind?

This is similar to the ‘Not too young to run’ notion that surfaced prior to the 2019 elections embraced by all, what turned out with it? Definitely, but the essentials are not put in place in years to come, the youth will keep swimming in their pool of fantasy in taking over the affairs of their fatherland.

The participation of youths in politics and electoral processes in Nigeria year in year out is very low compared to the so-called old people they are determined to excommunicate. The Nigerian constitution made no provision for independent candidates just as we have in other countries; it is incumbent on them especially the political aspirants, to pitch their tents under already existing political parties or take steps further in creating theirs. Even the few card carrying members are mostly not serious with the affairs and activities in the parties they belong.

Occupying political positions in whatever capacities either through elections or appointment requires many more things than just filling the positions. Active political participation, experience, expertise, grassroots connection and others are what are expected of any individual to field these positions. How will a president/governor for instance, appoint non-party members into offices where there are many of the ‘active’ party members to fill such positions?

A poll by NOIPolls clearly showed that out of the 51.11 per cent of registered youths; just 27 per cent have collected their cards leaving the remaining 73 per cent lying with INEC. Where are the owners of the cards if truly they are ready to bring their dream to reality?

In politics, especially in elections, figures are what matter they determine so much. How best can huge figures be realised when there is lack of coherence of interest among the youth. Efforts should be geared towards bringing together all necessary figures to add up for success. Selfish interest obviously was what marred the youth ambition at the 2019 presidential elections. Youth candidates emerged under numerous parties automatically splitting the expected figures. Efforts to bring them together were fruitless and the result at the polls said it all. If all could pull support for an agreed candidate with all resources, even if such individual did not emerge, the youth mark will have been significantly registered.

 

Waheed Shotonwa,

shotonwa.waheed@gmail.com.

 

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