1993 - Babangida to the youth "You are the leaders of tomorrow"
2014 - Gen. Buhari contesting for Presidency of Nigeria...
My response: Abi tomorrow never reach?
I feel rather sad that a lot of young people - like myself - today are not politically aware. When I mention "young people", I refer to members of the Nigerian society between the ages of 18 and 35.
The few young people who are aware and active have submitted themselves to be stooges, mercenaries, thugs, sycophants and servants of the current political bloc.
The other day, a political commentator was discussing issues bordering on several gubernatorial polls as well as the 2015 general elections. It was interesting to note that, just as I had observed, that the bulk of the politicians who are currently in position or aspiring for position have been in government or on the periphery of government for the past 30 years.
Some have been Senators now aspiring governors; Governors now aspiring senators; Military Administrators, now aspiring Governors and Senators; some former Presidents and Heads of state vieing to reoccupy the seat they once held decades ago.
A large crop of the present political class are "elders" of yesteryears who have been recycled over and over in some cases, bringing back the same mentality, mindset and ideologies of the past that have only but kept Nigeria in the same state for the past 54 years.
A nursery rhyme we once sang as kids in nursery school comes to my mind...
"Parents listen to your children,
We are the leaders of tomorrow,
Try and pay our school fees,
And give us sound education"
We sang this chant heartily as kids, growing up with dreams that someday we would be leaders in the likes of Sir Ahmadu Bello, Chief Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, and Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Little did we know that our fathers had no plans of vacating the leadership positions for us young people to grow up to take over.
Perhaps that dream has been hijacked by the same men of yesteryears who have refused to step aside, to retire and to hand over to some proteges and going leaders who have been trained and raised to handle the responsibility of leadership of our great nation.
Why would an 85 year old man rather than enjoy his retirement with his family choose to run for office to lead a country of 170 million people of which over 60 percent are youth? Why would a 30-plus year old man be content to sit as stooge and servant to a politician in hopes of getting a piece of the pie of the nation's looted wealth? Why would a youth with a promising future and a good education debase himself to the level of a thug and foot-soldier for the good or a politician whose only interest is those of himself, family and closest kin?
The time has come for us the youth to quit playing "servant" and bootlicking the present political elite; to stop the sycophancy, throw away the under-dog tag and step up to the pedestal. When last did we see a President below 30...? That was over 50 years ago in Gen. Gowon's day. When last did we see a Senator in his early 30s...? That was over 20 years ago with the young Senator Liyel Imoke in parliament.
Today, those in political office want to remain there in perpetuity! That is why the governors retire to become senators and vice versa while some others just keep getting appointments and occupying positions like they were the only ones competent or from a particular geographical region who existed.
We have been robbed of our future by a generation who have no clue how to thrive and emerge in an evolving global economy. Who are stuck in an age, ideology, mindset and time-capsule that has long lost its relevance and sense of reasoning.
I have only started my case...
Written by Precious Nwanganga
Follow him on twitter @Pmoney_Talks
Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Image Credit: english.ahram.org.eg