Following the recent campaign of youths with the slogan, #NotTooYoungToRun, Nigerian youths, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Cybercrime, Senator Abdulfatai Buhari, on Monday lamblast the Nigerian youth, accusing them of lacking focus, coordination and political will to challenge the elders to hold political positions or public offices.
Buhari spoke while delivering a lecture titled: ‘Not Too Young to Rule Movement: Issues, Challenges and Prospects in View,’ at a public lecture organised by the Federation of Oyo State Students’ Union (FOSSU), held at the Assembly Hall of The Polytechnic Ibadan.
The event was in commemoration of the 57th independence anniversary of Nigeria.
It could be recalled that both the Upper and Lower Houses of the National Assembly had recently passed into law the, ‘Not Too Young To Run Bill’ meant to amend the age requirements to run for public offices.
His words: “Researches have shown that apart from obsession of African leaders to power, African and most especially Nigerian youths are their own worst enemy. Looking at their percentage and their numerical strength, they ought to be dictating who gets what, when and how in our political space and even in the country at large.
“But it is quite unfortunate they are not coordinated and lacks the political will to challenge the elders. According to the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics 70 per cent of the Nigerian population are youthful and United Nations estimated nearly 50 per cent of the developing world population to be youths and children.”
He however, challenged Nigerian youth that the time has finally come for them “to swing to action and break the jinx of the long awaited tomorrow which may never come and start leading from today.
He added, “The emergence of Vanessa D’Ambrosio (29 years) in San Marino, Kim Jong –un (32 years) in North Korea, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (35 years) in Qatar, Charles Michel (38 years) in Belgium, Emmanuel Macron (39 years) in France and Justin Trudeu 42 years in Canada to mention few marks the gradual revolution of the younger generation of the leaders around the globe in the last couple of years. Even United States of America gave Barrack Obama a chance at the age of 47 years.
According to the lawmaker who is representing Oyo North at the Upper Legislative House, there are fears over readiness of the youth to take over from the elders as there are questions over whether they have political sagacity to challenge the elders and whether they possess the experience or the wherewithal to deliver.
“In contrast today Nigerian youths have lost focus and been relegated to ordinary internet warriors, e – rats, fraudsters and political thugs arguing subjectively, illogically and irrationally in support of their pay masters, ethnic and religious colouration. Instead of using internet as strength, they have turned it to triviality and use it to blackmail, defraud and all sort of immoralities. As chairman of senate committee on ICT & cybercrime I know the report I receive on daily basis,” he said.
Buhari, however, suggested 10 ways the Nigerian youths and the leadership of the country should consider for the betterment of all and sundry, saying the government should holistically tackle the issue of poverty and youth empowerment in order to get the youths engaged and make them shun thuggery and other vices.
He continued: “Government should set up leadership training institute or include compulsory leadership courses in the curriculum of schools starting from secondary schools. This will prepare future identified or interested talents in leadership know how and qualities. Government policies and programmes on politics should be directed towards encouraging the youth and they should be carried along in policies that will directly affect them.
“The Nigeria youths must shun apathy and actively participate and involve in politics at all levels. This will allow them contest party primaries and increase their chances of emerging.
“Political parties must encourage the Nigerian youths to participate in politics by involving them in decision making and stop imposition and selection of candidates by fiat. They need to encourage open, free and fair party primaries for popular candidates to emerge.
“In order to attain leadership position Nigeria youths must put aside religious and ethnic sentiments and see the development of the country as their project and ideology. They are advised to unite, speak with one voice and work as a team if they want to attain the leadership position in our beloved country.
“They also need to equip themselves intellectually through training and retraining because leadership position requires sound education and a lot of experience. Nigeria youth are also advised to take more and meaningful advantage of the internet and social media other than their present arrogance, uncoordinated and unproductive usage. Therefore they should use their power and knowledge of ICT as a strength to develop our democracy.
“Also the Nigerian youths must not stand akimbo, they should show the leadership qualities in them. In most developed countries they head hunt talents. Obama, Macron and other young leaders were headhunted in their respective countries.”