The phrase “leaders of tomorrow” has been a subject of criticism by Nigerian Youths: this phrase has been perceived as a fallacy by many, judging from the unrealistic position of that statement and it’s inability to speak for itself. You can’t blame the youths mostly when the statement is been uttered by “Political Ancestors” who have hijacked the Political Arena and have subjected us all to ransom. More often than not, youths in Nigeria have been stationed in a disadvantaged position, mostly when it comes to the exhibition of their political prowess. Youths in the Nigerian political arena are at best underdogs.The few who have found themselves in political positions have done so licking the bones thrown to them from the tables of their godfathers Whether this predicament is self inflicted or imposed is still a subject of debate.
Now, a question that lingers on my mind is, who is an UNDERDOG?
An underdog is defined as someone who is placed in a disadvanteged position and is expected to lose.
Does this defination synonymously compliments a typical Nigerian youth?
It strongly appears to be that in Nigeria, there is a reflection of the monopoly of the more advanced in age. People from 60 to 79years have occupied both elective and appointed positions in Government since the emergence of our fragile democracy in 1999.More pathetic is the infiltration of people from 31 to 40 years in Youth wings.These youth wings in most cases have become covert agencies for those in power and a platform for them to receive a salary.This is laughable just like seeing a widower in a Widows council.
I personally don’t believe that a responsible youth is incapable of handling the political occupation. Allow me to emphasize the term “responsible youth.”
Taking Anambra State for example, Governor Willie Obiano appointed a 30 year old commissioner known as Mark Okoye, which according to my source (nigerianmonitor.com) was among the 55% of the political appointments made by the Governor with more inclusion of Youths.
In Plateau State, i was glad when Governor Simon Bako Lalong appointed some selected Youths as Special Advisers, precisely between the ages 18 to 28 years.
This shows that youths are gradually taken their place in the political arena, and their instrumental impact is being politically noticed; Hence the onus of responsibility and burden of excellence has shifted on the Youths.However, as youths,we must not settle for less.
So I’ll let you with the following posers. As a Youth, what type of Youth are you? Are you only fascinated with election violence rather than the preservation of peace? Who will appoint you an Adviser after discovering your violent tendencies? When you are given packages meant for the public, do you outrageously take out your share? Do you play the role of Gehazi? Who will appoint you knowing your siphoning tendencies?
Do you anticipate blunders made by politicians just so you can have something to laugh about? What do you delight in? Is your passion channelled towards public interest?
The World is changing, Nigerian Governors are in a competition as to who does more for the youths. The position of youths is beginning to take a positive effect.
Live a life worthy of emulation in your youthful days, and you shall reap the benefits of good composure and focus. Being a hero is not about at what age you achieve, but how much of your impact speaks for itself.
Dedicated to Sen GNS Pwajok and Emmanuel Nanle of blessed memory.
Written by Mr. Tokma Raphael From Pankshin.