Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Youth in Politics

Note to the Youth
I am excited, more so proud, that we rallied ourselves to fight for representation in the leadership decisions that determine our future. We succeeded in pressuring the National Assembly to pass the "Not too Young to Run" bill, and in a country like ours, it cannot be "overemphasized" how laudable a feat that is.
The arguments posed by the older generation to prevent us from being eligible from taking those positions that we ought to occupy  are inexperience bordering on youthful exuberance especially with the way we might carry ourselves and speak in public if given the chance. They would not be wrong as most youth aspiring for leadership positions, particularly in my community, lack the eloquence, comportment and even more importantly the finesse to even garner the support of their immediate community.
I have a sweet and sour feeling with the recent clamour amongst Youth to oust the older generation and the reasons are clear.
There seems to be no change to the discourse, most youth are complaining of disenfranchisement from governance instead of being focused on bring issues like dilapidated infrastructure, poor educational systems, power outages, poor health care system, poor youth empowerment schemes that are the bane of the development of our country. It seems to me the Youth are simply clamoring for the opportunity to take part in the 'status quo' of corruption that has riddled our country.
I suggest to all Youth that are eligible to vote  to support people that have the track record of representing and supporting their communities through positive Programmes and not merely based on monetary support. I also use this opportunity to urge patriotic Nigerians that have the zeal to fight for the citizens to do so and not sit back and watch Nigerians that have selfish interests interests take up political positions and pilfer our common wealth.
My fellow Youth, I feel that we need to be overjoyed that we have been given the opportunity to take the reins of the country and be part of the decision making process for the future of our dear nation and the only way we can begin to truly push for the collective progress of Nigeria would be through personal and collective capacity development.
We need to develop ourselves first, by knowing what the roles our local government chairmen, state and federal lawmakers, governors and Presidents play towards the development of our country as stipulated in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
We should also develop ourselves by learning and  understanding what our rights are as the citizens of Nigeria and we can only achieve this by owning and studying the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and if you ask me, we should all have a copy of this as a duty to our nation.
We should also work on developing ourselves towards our goals,  I mean, you can't be a successful lawmaker if you don't know the basics of drafting legal documents like bill proposals that you would have to present to the Senate or Reps if given the opportunity . It doesn't work that way. If you haven't led programmes to support traders or students or the elderly in your community, how do you think you would do it if you were in the position of a local government chairman or governor. There ought to be a track record.
We should also talk about capacity building. Beyond our university degrees a lot of us Youth have not made effort to develop ourselves through professional development programs, leadership training, civic responsibility projects, conferences and events , conflict resolution seminars amidst many other opportunities to develop, aid and enable us to be well-equipped for different leadership roles in the near future.
Even in secondary school, the head boy/girl position isn't given to the lowest performing or the most rebellious student in the senior class, rather it is earned by one who has distinguished himself/herself in character and in learning . You have to show that you are worthy in character  before leadership is earned.
Thanks for reading!
Best regards,
Muna Ejieji

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