A young Nigerian and newcomer won't emerge Nigeria's president in 2019. It's time to begin mobilizing for 2023.
Not Omoyele Sowore, not Adamu Garba, not Fela Durotoye, not Donald Duke not Kingsley Moghalu. The 2019 presidency belongs to the old order-- the establishment. The same chaps who have been running this country since 1960. And that leaves me very sad and disappointed. But it’s the cold truth.
And by young in this piece, I refer to the baby boomers (people born around 1964) and millennials (folks born from 1980 to this day).
In previous essays, I have posited that anyone who wants to win the 2019 presidential contest as a newcomer, ought to have been doing his homework as soon as Buhari got inaugurated in 2015. There are no miracles to this thing. Only hardwork and a slice of luck.
It is why chaps like Chris Okotie and other mushroom candidates from mushroom political parties have been falling short since 1999. A solid ground game or grassroot mobilization campaign is badly needed to win a presidential election in Nigeria. You don't wake up one morning and say you want to be president of a nation of some 180 million people.
A newcomer who wants to be president also ought to have a financial war-chest to call upon. 'Fine boy' and big grammar aren’t enough to win you votes in this country.
There is no reason why a fresh face or someone who isn’t from the establishment; who is under 60, shouldn’t win a presidential contest in Nigeria. Look at the nation’s population and the youth demography should hold all the aces.
The problem is that the youth hardly organise for power. They may organise for parties, clubbing and music concerts, rant on the Internet all day long; but when it comes to the brass tacks of winning an election that would decide how their country is run, they just don’t show up.
Having now accepted that we stand no chance in 2019, young people should start organising and mobilizing behind a fresh face for 2023. This would mean crowd sourcing and crowd funding for this candidate. Since we know that plenty of money is needed to win an election in Nigeria, why don’t we begin to support young candidates from States to the federal level, with our financial contributions?
If we identify a candidate(s) who can be our best foot forward and open Gofundme accounts for these persons ahead of 2023, the establishment political parties will cede their grassroot platforms to us and we’ll take over because we have the numbers. Why can't we pull our resources behind that one person and watch that one person become the game changer?
That may sound quixotic, simplistic and impracticable but it’s precisely that mindset of ‘it can’t be done’ that has kept us here. I'm an ardent believer in the power of the youth if they set their minds to achieving a goal.
So, yes, 2019 isn’t for us but if we keep our eyes on the ball, 2023 could be that year when we break free from the shackles of the class of 1960.