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Friday, December 1, 2023

The Need for Active Youth Political Participation in Nigeria

The country requires fresh minds and an energetic set of people who are ready to work for the growth and development of the nation

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Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga
Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga
Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga is a graduate of Mass Communication and aspiring investigative journalist.

NIGERIA: Politics and youth are a heady mixture. The reasons why the youth is mostly not interested in politics is due to the constant bombardment of news, breaking news and further developments on cases which have been on trial for years. The main question is, “why is there such disconnect between the youth and politics?”

Nigerian youth and politics

The Nigeria bandwagon of referring to youth as “leaders of tomorrow” must not continue to prevail as this has significantly contributed to the weakening spirit of political participation among the Nigerian youth.

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Joyously, President Mohammadu Buhari’s assent to the law “NotTooYoungToRun” bill has seen several young people declare their intent to aspire for political office as the country is preparing for its general election coming 2023.

The current generation of Nigerian leaders has failed the nation in numerous ways. Additionally, they have also refused to show the sign of allowing the fresh batch of youth to come onboard and have a taste of leadership. 

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Now is the time for the Nigerian youth to stand for their future and demand what they deserve. The country requires fresh minds and an energetic set of people who are ready to work for the growth and development of the nation.

Even though Nigeria is often referred to as “lazy youth”, the country’s younger generation must refuse the framing as lazy youth and seek a mandate for leadership. This will in turn help the youth to thrive higher and also contribute immensely to the political and economic arena of the country.

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It is high time that they wake up and raise their voices as the leaders of tomorrow. If necessary steps aren’t taken, the older generation will continue to rule the country for eternity.

The need for solid leadership skills

Nigeria needs leaders with critical thinking, coupled with the problem-solving ability and above all physical strength to tackle its economic and political brouhaha to be able to attain its developmental strides.

Despite youth making up about 53.77% percent of the country’s population, there is not a single dedicated role designed for the growth and nurturing of the younger breeds for future experiences.

The continued attitude of marginalization of Nigerian youths by the leaders has done more harm than good to the youth as well as the society.

Youth are often used for minor and unacceptable tasks such as political thuggery, crime, drug trafficking, and other ill-fated activities.

Youth must also have it at the back of their minds that the mantle of leadership doesn’t fall from the above. Engaging yourself in grassroots political activities such as community association, school politics, and any youth-related activities will go a long way in helping in the process of nurturing the political development of oneself.

The time is now where the younger folks should look at politics from the angle of right and wrong rather than from the right to left.

Good news amid chaos

The recently concluded People’s Democratic Party (PDP) convention which saw a 25-year-old PRINCE Mohammed Kadade Suleiman as the National Youth Leader of the party is an achievement to reckon with.

This is a big step in the right direction for the Nigerian youth. In due time, the country is beginning to pave ways for the younger folks to come in to share their 21st-century political knowledge with Nigerians.

All Progressive Congress (APC) now needs to give the young generation more opportunities to lead the nation.

Importance of youth in politics

The old folks have over-stay in the political space of Nigeria and there is an urgent need for them to swap places with the younger lot to see a significant change in the country.

If youth are given the mandate, their presence will be finally felt.

Nigerian youth should be get involved in National Assembly, Senate, and other leadership positions. The younger generation should be trained to lead the country and become a better version of themselves.

Youths must as a matter of urgency not fail to take advantage of president Mohammadu Buhari’s #TheNoTooYoungToRun bill to actively participate in politics not only as an electorate but to be voted for.

There are many examples of successful young leaders around the world. The incumbent President of France, Emmanuel Macron became the youngest president in May 2017 at the age of 39. Other young and vibrant leaders doing great include; North Korea’s Kim Jong Un at 37, Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno of Chad 37 as well and the Mali President, Assimi Goita at 38.

Will Nigeria ever emulate these nations and allow the younger ones to lead? Time will tell.

Nigerian youth should finally stand up, look within, engage themselves in grassroots political activities. This will enable them to equip themselves with the required experience that will pave the way for bigger changes in the near future.

The younger generation must be used meaningfully, stop being used for political thuggery, agents of destruction and to perpetrate evil and the society.

Also Read: Niger Christian Youths Meet To Strategize


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