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Youth Presidency. Tomorrow Might Never Come

Each time I hear the older generation frequently say to today’s youths ‘you are the leaders of tomorrow’, I feel its an unconscious ploy by the older generation to continue steering the wheels of leadership today, thereby making the younger generation continue to live in a state of oblivion of a tomorrow which might never come. Thus; a popular saying ” today is a tomorrow that we thought about yesterday. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Take care of today and tomorrow will do itself”.

Nigeria’s historical march to freedom from colonial rule were driven and championed by youths who were politically – enlightened, patriotic, nationalistic and goal – driven. Leaders of such repute are Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Anthony Enahoro etc. Sadly, the political class of Nigerian’s independence is still running the country and handpicking it’s own to man leadership across the federation.

I consider it an aberration each time the younger generation of today, full of life, technocratic in nature, in tune with modern trends of globalization, erudite and youths who know their onion in their respective fields say they are not interested in politics, believing it’s a dirty and amoral game, thereby choosing to stay apolitical. The world was agog when a 39 years old Emmanuel Macron became the youngest President of France in their history, Macedonian Prime Minister, Emil Dimitireu, 38 years of age, Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Australia, 45 years old, Sebastian Kurz, Prime Minister of Austria, 31 years old and several others. These were youths who got involved in the process, joined political movements and emerged victorious, thereby changing their country’s narrative of ‘youths are the leaders of tomorrow to youths are today’s leaders’.

The signing of the “Not Too Young To Run” bill into law by President Muhammadu Buhari is a step in the right direction to galvanize the youths that tomorrow’s leadership has been placed in our hands today. However, leadership is not a right offered on a platter of gold, it is earned. The older generation must be convinced that the younger generation has all it takes to drive the nation to it’s glory land. Evident in the words of President Buhari after signing the bill, He said “you can aspire for President but please postpone your campaign till after 2019 election”. My worry about the comment of the President is that, if the President is reelected and finishes his 2nd term in office come 2023, what is the guarantee that the youths will be given an opportunity to produce the next President of Nigeria? Still re-echoing my earlier sentiment of ” youths are the leaders of tomorrow; A tomorrow which might never come “.

The youths should not only use their social media platform to always complain about the sorry state of the country plundered by the older generation but should instead break the jinx of grabbing the mantle of leadership and effect the desired change it so desires. According to the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, ‘youths have a challenge in their hands for the future of our country; so I advice you not to sit down and fold your hands and be lamenting over bad leadership or politicians. Get down to business, organize and do something to become elected political youths….Tomorrow we are talking of is now’.

Finally, let me borrow a quote from Alvin Toffler (1928 – 2016), as saying: ” the secret message communicated to most young people today by the society around them is that they are not needed, that the society will run itself quite nicely until they – at some distant point in future – will take over the reigns. Yet the fact is that the society is not running itself nicely…..because the rest of us need all the energy, brains, imagination and talent that young people can bring to bear down on our difficulties. For society to attempt to solve its desperate problems without the full participation of even very young people is imbecile “. I believe the tomorrow’s leaders are no more, but today’s leaders. I urge all Nigerian Youths to stand up and let’s paint our today in bold colours, set today’s rhythm and create our today for our better tomorrow.


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