Nigerian Politics Why it is time for young Nigerians to step forward

It is time for young people in Nigeria to stop complaining about politics and start to change things.

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Nigerian youth play

Nigerian youth

(afriheritage)
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Young Nigerians might feel jaded about politics in the country and for good reason. The average young Nigerian feels disconnected to what is happening in this country.

Unlike the previous generation that witnessed Nigeria's independence and the golden years of the 70s, this generation born in the 80s, and 90s only know a country that has never lived up to its potential.

 

Our parents witnessed the glory and splendour of Rome. We were born at a time when the eternal city was being sacked by Visigoths. All we have seen is ruin and waste.

President Barack Obama was 47 years old when he became the 44th US President play

President Barack Obama was 47 years old when he became the 44th US President

(Wikipedia )

 

Usually, election season comes and goes with young Nigerians not really concerned about ballot boxes and voter cards. The last election which took place in 2015, witnessed a turning point as many young people trooped out to determine who Nigeria's next leader will be. Many were optimistic that the country that had hardly done anything for them will finally make them a priority.

ALSO READ: PDP youths ask President Buhari to reshuffle his cabinet

Unfortunately, this has not been the outcome. The new administration has proven that is made up of the same old tricks. Now in a recession, and a humanitarian crisis in Borno, young people are questioning if it was ever worth it. The optimism felt last year has shredded faster than the Naira losing its value.

President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari as a military ruler play

President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari as a military ruler

(Corbis)

 

Since the return of democratic rule in 1999, two out of four of Nigeria's Presidents has ruled this country before; Olusegun Obasanjo in 1976 and Muhammadu Buhari in 1983. One of the reasons why young Nigerians are fed up with the political system is because it is more or less a revolving door of the same people that led Nigeria to this mess in the first place.

 

With the turn of events within the last year, there is hardly any difference between the two main parties in the country. This doesn't create any form hope the young.

Mark Okoye at 30 was sworn in by the Anambra state governor as the commissioner of Economic Planing and Budget Development. He is Nigeria's youngest commissioner. play

Mark Okoye at 30 was sworn in by the Anambra state governor as the commissioner of Economic Planing and Budget Development. He is Nigeria's youngest commissioner.

(nigerianmonitor)

 

According to Christian history when Saint Peter was fleeing Rome due to persecution, he met Jesus on a road outside the city. Peter asked Jesus, 'Quo Vadis? (where are you going?') and the Messiah's answer made Peter turn back and go to Rome where he preached till he was martyred.

Just like Peter, young Nigerians have to go back to a place they have no interest in and play an active role- politics. Millions of Nigerian youths do not belong to a political party. At best we are observers of the fools comedy known as Nigerian politics.

Sitting on the fence is pretty but it is not a way to determine how your life plays out. When we were kids, power supply was a big issue. Ashamedly, it is a big issue till today. The sad part of this is our kids are being born into the same conditions of a poor power supply, bad roads, a dead education system, and no health care.

Shamma AlMazrui, the 22-year old UAE Minister of Youth play

Shamma AlMazrui, the 22-year old UAE Minister of Youth

(natashanotables)

 

The quality of life we live in the next 30 years depends on us and not old politicians who bring up the same excuses as to why things never get done. We can't change the way things are by merely tweeting and ranting online. The Nigerian youth has to enter the system to change it from the inside in.

The first step is to register with a political party, and then actively participate in the party's gatherings, meetings and events. It is from this level that young people can try to change the status quo. For those who are not impressed with the political parties we have now, they can go ahead and create a new political party, even though that option is way harder.

The key is to do something. Our voices need to be heard and a movement should be created. The young need to establish an active force that will challenge the corrupt and tribalistic thinking of our politicians.

30 years from now, it will be a shame if our kids and grand kids have to beg for funds for a kidney operation or have to stay at home for months because lecturers are on strike. We are the ones we have been waiting for. The time is now.

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