Matilda Orhewere: Call For Young Leaders To Step Out
The 2012 Democrats National Convention (DNC) currently taking place in Charlotte, North Carolina in the United States of America has showcased the amazing oratorical skills of the American first lady, Michelle Obama as well as the abundance of young delegates who have committed their time and energy and actively worked in their assigned areas for the campaigns of Barrack Obama. I was particularly amazed at the level of interest and commitment shown by the youngest delegate at the convention, Vibhav Kollu, a student of University of North Carolina. His profile shows that he is already clear about his vision and is vigorously pursuing his political interests and taking his friends along. There are many other young delegates who have discovered that they would like to be actively involved in politics.
The beauty of having such a vision is that these young people already have a fair idea of where they should not be seen, who they must not associate with and what social limits they must not exceed because of the goal they have set for themselves. This is a very effective way of helping the young ones to embrace responsibility and steer off crime, fraud and all anti-social behavior. In addition to education, eloquence, composure, etiquette and finesse, they must acquire international exposure and be sensitive to the peculiarities of other societies of the world. Many of these kids have already recognized that there is a lot more to be achieved in so short a time.
We cannot demand or expect the same of the Nigerian youth because of the peculiar nature of politics in Nigeria. The amount of violence, injustice and corruption displayed in politics in Nigeria does not allow room for the youth to feel encouraged to have an equal power of negotiation. The Nigerian youth participate according to the dictates of the established politicians who prefer to spread some amounts of cash to youth who cooperate with them in further paralyzing Nigeria. The money they are given is not enough for them to do anything constructive for themselves and faster than they have earned the money, it is all gone and they have to return to the corrupt leaders for the meager stipend.
The youth of Nigeria have come of age; they have attained the height where they can afford to form unions and political parties that will protect their interests. Successful young Nigerians are called upon to invest in the leadership aspirations of young Nigerians in their own interest and quit dancing to the tune that our old politicians danced to without anything to show for it. Nigerians have come to realize that the younger politicians who have been elected into office before now always succumb to the dictates of the old and ineffective politicians. All hope is now on the youth of Nigeria and since the old politicians will not give them the stage to perform; they must begin to consider the possibility of withholding their mandate from the old politicians and using the mandate for their own candidate.
Resources abound at the disposal of young Nigerians enough to constructively start working on effective youth unions and political parties or movement for the liberal youth of Nigeria and not the highly regulated youth body that currently exists in Nigeria. Many preachers in Nigeria have followership that is predominantly youth and they encourage their followers to take interest in politics; these preachers could also encourage their young followers to actively take a stand and not just be arm-chair politicians.
It is time young people take a critical appraisal of how they have fared with the old politicians; some of these young people acquired property and many more liabilities in the course of serving the old politicians but civilized societies have gone beyond the level of acquisition of property.
GOD bless Nigeria.