#nottooyoungtorun: TWO SIDES OF A COIN
Just as the Jewish people saw youth as a barrier to leadership ever since David slew Goliath; The old Leaders have also seen the Nigerian youth as an obstacle to their selfishness and corrupt doings which is why youth leadership in Nigeria seems like a mirage. They knew we were not too young to run so they made us seem unfit to run by making the system so bad that a political post in Nigeria looks like the head of an elephant to the Youth.
A Yoruba adage says ‘Atari Ajanaku kii se eru omode’ which means “The head of an Elephant is not a child’s load.” It could further be translated to imply that “The position of valour is not for childish minds.”
To the happiness of most Nigerian youths, the #nottooyoungtorun bill was signed on Thursday, 31st of May 2018 which gave the youths a chance to contest for the highest political office in the country: The Presidency. However, there is much to see beyond the eyes.
The post of the Nigerian president is too big a load and too much a burden for youths to clamour for because when it comes to governing a country as big as Nigeria, intellectualism is not only the ingredient needed, some others include Spirituality, maturity and lastly moral uprightness.
According to a major international study, “the 2010 cogito study”, it was revealed that older people’s productivity in politics is far more productive, rewarding and consistent than amongst youths. The study included tests of cognitive abilities, experience, episodic memory and historical knowledge. Diversity, corruption, unemployment, inconsistency and a host of other ‘ailments’ are ways which the elders have succeeded in making us seem unfit to run. It is therefore pertinent upon us to release ourselves from these shackles and set things right.
However, Rome wasn’t built in a day, which implies that the youth need to start their not too young to run ambition from the grass root. Then after repeated success in different spheres, they can dream of going for the presidency seat. The level of experience is needed. The youths need to get more involved in politics before clamouring for offices.
United we stand divided we fall. We can’t dream of the youths taking over the mantle of leadership from the old cargo if we aren’t united. We need to ally, have the same mindset, work towards achieving a common goal and be consistent on it. We can’t preach the same gospel and operate from different sources.
” 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 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. ”
On the other hand, we shouldn’t expect different results if we do the same thing repeatedly without a change of pattern. The youngest president Nigeria ever had since becoming a democracy in 1999 was Goodluck Jonathan who was 54 years old when he was sworn in as president in May 2011. It’s high time the youths are allowed to come into the setting easily. Since 1999 older people have been at the helms of affairs in the Presidency, Senate and House of Assembly.
The regime of Dimeji Bankole as the Speaker of the House of representatives is an attestation to the fact that youths can perform well when given the chance at leadership. As the ninth(9th) and youngest speaker in the history of the Nigerian house of assembly at 35 years, his tenure saw about 800 billion Naira allegedly embezzled by his predecessor, Patricia Etteh meant for funds for government ministries returned. Under him, the house of Representatives accepted 328 motions, approved 282 resolutions and passed 136 bills into Act. In 2011, he was tried by Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency but later cleared.
An adage says “A ritual not performed in the presence of the children is bound to cease to exist as soon as the death of the parents” this implies that sooner or later, these set of leaders would one day be too old to govern and then the thirst for fresh brains and energetic minds would arise; Only then would they realize the consequences of having not let the youth take hold of certain political offices.
In conclusion, ‘not too young to run’ can be likened to Two sides of a coin because where the youths are not fully ready to run on one side of the coin by being made unfit, the elders are also not ready to let go of power on the other side of the coin. Whichever side surfaces; we can only continue to hope for better leadership and a better Nigeria.
There has never been a time in history when youths are needed to drive the needed change that our country so much requires. If we are young and wrong, then the elders are right to look down on our youthful ignorance but if we are young and right, why does age matter? This is a time for bold measures, this is the country and the youth are the generation.