Independence Day: It’s time for Youths to join politics massively —Major Dee

Another Independence Day Celebration: A Time For Youths To Play Pivotal Role In Governance In Nigeria Again

As we celebrate the 61st Independence of our dear country today, October 1st, a memorable day that officially marks our freedom from colonialism (United Kingdom), there is need to evaluate how we have faired as a country so far and what we need to do differently going forward, reminding ourselves of how we have forgotten the freedom and liberty that comes with both our dejure and de-facto sovereignty when we gained Independence on this day in 1960, was majorly as a result of resilience and selflessness of committed youths, that devoted their youthful age to the fight against imperialism in Nigeria.

On a more serious note, if there is any stereotype that has antithetical manifestation in our reality as a nation today, it is the cliché “youths are the leaders of tomorrow,” it is often used to cajole than to motivate youths these days, “tomorrow” seemed more imaginary than a reality, it is more like a mere verbal rendition that ironically signifies hopelessness or deliberate innuendo.

This narrative has a huge implication on our well-being as a nation, especially when recycled leadership is now a common language in our political lexicology. It is now conspicuous governance in Nigeria is often bereaved of the resilience and mettle to deliver essential services to the masses, more because those who are within the most energetic stages of human cycle, most informed, skillful and creative (youths) are often sidelined from holding major political portfolios, ludicrous enough at a time the world is going fully digital.

It was never like this during the golden era, when we were the real hope of all African countries and proudly referred to as the giant of Africa, evident and exhibited by our robust economy, because youths in those days were given the chance to play pivotal role in governance.

History they say is the best guardian, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who is today described by many as the brain behind the intellectual journey towards Nigeria’s Independence was in his early 20’s when he started playing active role in Nation building.

The National Youth Movement (NYM) founded in 1934, is not only pivotal to the Independence we enjoy today, the founding members were all youths between their late 20’s and mid 30’s, the likes of H.O Davies, Samuel Akinsanya, Eyo Ita, Adeyemo Alakija, Ernest Ikoli, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo and Samuel Ladoke Akintola among others.

This youth movement played a lead role in terms of indigenous representation in present day Southern Nigeria during the colonial era, starting from the 1938 elections and later gave birth to formal political parties such as National Council for Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC) in 1944; the Action Group (AG) in 1950.

Similar youth movements in the Northern part of Nigeria led by the likes of Aminu Kano, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Tafa Balewa, later metamorphosed into the Northern People’s Congress (NPC) in 1949 and the Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU) in 1950.
This attests to the fact that formal political party in Nigeria was birthed by vibrant, energetic, selfless and conscious youths.

Also, the first person to move the motion for self government in Nigeria was Anthony Enahoro, and he did at the age of 30, it is also on record that virtually all the military personnel that took part in both the first military coup and the (3) three years civil war in Nigeria were below 35 years of age.

The longest serving military leader in the history of Nigeria, General Yakubu Gowon, was also in his early 30’s when he became the Head of State, he saw Nigeria through the fierce war between 1967 – 1970 and made audacious decisions towards reconciliation of the nation thereafter.

Let us take a walk from history to today’s reality, Nigeria is presently plagued with so many challenges in need of modern approaches and solutions, these problems such as unemployment, low power generation and distribution, grave insecurity, infrastructural decadence and many more, can only be solved when intelligent youths are given access to the minstrel’s seat, to pilot the affairs of our nation according to modern realities and requites.

As a matter fact, it is completely illogical to keep using analogue approach to solve digital problems at all time, more like pouring an old wine inside a new bottle and expecting a different taste.

It is necessary to give few apposite illustrations. At this point, many countries of the world are exploring the abundance of nature to generate power, we keep investing huge sum of money in building gas power plants, while countries of the world are making the best use of solar and other cost friendly mediums of renewable energy to generate power.

We are carelessly contributing to the depletion of ozone layer at the same time complaining of Global Warming, besides, no other source of power generation is cheaper in the long run, especially in Sub-Sahara Africa notable for sunny weather.

Obviously, the youths are more familiar with these new sources of power generation compared to the older generation, most importantly when it comes to running around to get these things fixed, some are too old to cover miles for these projects in person, a valid reason growth in certain areas can only be achieved at snail speed, not to talk about needless bureaucracy too primitive for this dispensation that should be abolished to hasten infrastructural growth and quality delivery.

It will also take young minds to explore the abundance in the lucrative world of ICT to create employment for looming unemployed graduates, same as curbing the problem of insecurity which has become hydra-headed monster with latest technological measures and facilities, as seen in other countries.

As a matter of urgency, It is high time every political party began to give serious attention to youths and entrust those capable with leadership positions, instead of the usual culture of repudiating and procrastinating the glaring need for youth to start holding pivotal portfolios, the world is leaving is behind.

I am using this rare occasion of our 61st Independence Celebration, to call on our youths also to start participating in politics, identify those who are worthy role models with good experience for necessary mentorship, It is time to take our destiny into our own hands and make Nigeria great again.

Happy Independence Day Celebration…!!!

Adewole Ayodeji (Major Dee) Writes From Abuja
Email: Majordee7@yahoo.com

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