61 years after independence, and despite its abundance of human and material resources, Nigeria is still struggling with setting the country on the right path of political, economic, environmental, social, technological, educational and cultural greatness. The poor leadership of Nigeria, since 1960, has had a crippling effect on the country’s socio-political development. Our civil service reeks of corruption and the unemployment rate is as high as ever.
The irony of these tragedies is that the problems bedeviling the nation were created by the same crop and caliber of leaders who continue to dominate political affairs. To rebuild Nigeria, we the youths need to be a major part of the solution. Nigeria has a huge youth demography, which if properly managed and harnessed, will steer the country on a path of development. The problem, unfortunately, seems to be that many Nigerian youths are waiting for power to be handed over to them on a platter of gold without fighting or acquiring basic leadership skills that’ll prepare them for greater service to their land. We cannot be docile or comfortable being just social media advocates for good governance. We must aim for actual inclusion in mainstream and frontline governance.
Nigerian youths must avoid shifting the blame to the past leaders, and instead work on shaping the future. The future belongs to the youths, but the future is not tomorrow. It already began yesterday. Nigerian youths must not get stuck reliving the past or passing blame. The demographics of leadership in the world is getting younger, while we are still stuck with same old hands that milk the country of her resources and derail her journey on the path of sustainable development. Recently, the Not Too Young To Run Bill was passed, and as usual, the Nigerian youths are folding their hands and still waiting for those in government to create a springboard for them to participate in governance, forgetting that power is never freely given or relinquished. It is fought for.
It is time to take responsibility for the future, because it will not be inherited. It is time for us to end our blame game with our colonial history, our founding fathers, our present leaders, and every other obstacle to making our country, Nigeria, great. We are energetic youths, with innovativeness, ambition, ideas and a burning passion to succeed. We must be the greatest asset of our country. We must prove that we are not too young to participate and learn the ropes of politics and governance, neither are we too young to fight for the future we desire and surely deserve. It is time to make our way to relevance and shape the future of our collective dreams by joining a credible institution that has risen up to fill the vacuum in governance. An institution that is dedicated to achieving good governance by promoting a united Nigeria agenda and transparent political leadership and followership that eschews money-politics, violence, repression and corruption. Nigerian youths have been marginalized in too many sectors of the country’s socio-economic landscape, and there is need for greater participation in contributing to social justice and sustainable development. The real restructuring begins with our collective decision to graduate from being mere onlookers and bystanders to playing a leading role in politics and every other sector of the country’s existence. The time is more than right! The time is now!