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WHAT TO EXPECT BY YOUTHS ASPIRING TO POLITICAL LEADERSHIP POSITIONS

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Pastor Enoch Adeboye, in the Daily Devotional of the Redeemed Christian Church of God asserts that: ‘’We are in a world where instant riches, riotous living, exhibition of immorality and the pursuit of extreme pleasure have become attractive to people. ‘’Now, wealth and fame derived from participation in vices (such as corruption, gambling and drug-trafficking) are being celebrated, even among some so-called Christians. Some attributes that used to be highly valued in society, such as integrity, diligence, moral principle and godliness, have become things of the past and are now looked down on. The younger generation seems to have a warped idea of what success really means. Consequently, predators are using the weapon of deception to entice vulnerable individuals into evil deeds, such as sexual gratification in exchange for favours, drug-related businesses, human trafficking, organized crime, internet fraud, and many others, promising quick money, political appointments, business opportunities, rapid job promotions etc. Is anyone promising you something in exchange for “nothing”? Ensure that you do not fall for any deceptive proposal of the devil. ‘’The rich and powerful do not give away their favours for free. ‘’They always ask for something in return, and their demand is usually much greater than their initial investment. ‘’If care is not taken, you may lose your own soul in the process. Don’t be carried away by any “delicious” offer, because it is really nothing but deceitful food laden with poison. You’ve been warned!’’

Poverty and hunger are two strong factors that make youths resolute to find their own solutions to problems confronting them. The current global food crises, for instance, is a serious problem that needs to be addressed through reforms in order to further guarantee world peace and development. In the words of Chief Emeka Anyaoku, former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth; “There are, in absolute terms, more hungry people in the world today than ever before; and the numbers are increasing”. The gap between the rich North and the poor South is widening on current estimates, and there are little prospects of this trend being reversed”. (From: The Missing Headlines by Emeka Anyaoku). The global community is aware that the developing world, particularly Africa is still confronted with the problem of managing a plural community; plural in ethnicity, religion and culture, in the face of diminishing economic resources. This factor is evidently the source of growing tension and conflict that plague the stability of nations. And the rest of the world know that they cannot afford to sleep with two eyes closed in view of the implication of this dangerous development to the peace of the whole world.

PARENTAL & SOCIETAL RESPONSIBILITIES
Personality, described as the combined product of nature and nurture is another strong factor. Many of our values, norms and cultures are not in tune with the modern day realities. Next is the influence of Western culture that is fast impacting some segments of our society negatively. One can safely argue that while the merits of Western education and civilization are enormous, their dysfunctional roles are equally weighty. We have a culture of throwing wild social functions where affluence is arrogantly displayed at home and abroad. Class distinction has pushed this phenomenon to the front row while millions of people suffer various degrees of hunger and poverty. Thank God we are now waking up to the reality with some philanthropists embracing social welfare activities while firms are getting more involved in corporate social responsibility. The fact remains that we require attitudinal changes and redistribution of wealth. It would be a good idea for Babatunde Fowler to visit venues of those wild parties and functions on official visits. One heard that retd Lt. Gen. Donaldson Oladipo Diya indeed did so in Ogun State as Military Administrator in the 1980s, and ordered tax men to go round where celebrants reportedly tied goats to the chairs of invited guests as take home gifts! Though one wondered if the goats or rams would not pull guests seated down from their seats.

Having imbibed that culture, there is hardly any observer who is not worried about the social environment and Western negativities on the upbringing of our youth; and corrosive influence on adults too, these days of Globalization, which makes social vices and ills not to have any borders. In large measures, the society shares the collective rot in the social systems. Parents no longer pay the desirable/adequate attention to the development of the children and wards. Organizations that exist to build and shape character/personalities appear to be helpless; and are, in many cases, guilty of dereliction of duty.  In truth, the task of monitoring youth and societal development is the responsibility of all, including organizations and people charged with parental responsibilities. Available statistics reveal that 61 per cent of websites on the Internet are pornographic sites, which make them easily available to anyone.Nigeria must necessarily address this ugly development capable of eroding cultural heritage.The level of the involvement of youths in social and criminal vices is disturbing. This development is not peculiar to Nigeria alone but is a global phenomenon. It is perhaps appears to be more obvious in Nigeria because of the high moral standards put in place by the older generation which they hoped would be passed on to even generations yet to be born.

AS YOUTHS CLAMOUR TO TAKE OVER
Governance is about providing solutions to problems. But it goes beyond what government alone could handle without the involvement of the citizenry.TERRIFIC HEADLINES once pointed out that it would be unconstitutional for youths to ask the older generation to leave the political scene for them to take over.Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu once rightly asserted that ‘’Power is not served à la carte’’. You must work for it and devise the strategies of pushing out old people democratically. We submitted that for our country to be able to build a nation that is not subservient to others, we need the proper vision, thought and prioritization of ourprogrammes to develop our enormous resources. The onerous responsibility that devolves on leaders of various levels of governance is a clarion call on them to critically examine themselves and inculcate rich values and virtues of honesty, transparency and prudent management of resources. Let us encourage our youths by way of publishing names of Nigerians who were highly responsible, responsive and articulate in their relatively young ages.

  • Herbert Macaulay … Father of Nigeria’s nationalism. He was a nationalist, politician, engineer, architect, journalist, and musician who made impact at the age of about 50 years
  • Bode Thomas …. Western Nigeria’s first Minister of Transportation at the age of 32 yearsbecame the legal adviser of Egbe Omo Oduduwa
  • Obafemi Awolowo … One of the greatest Nigerians that ever lived. Needs no further introduction
  • Nnamdi Azikiwe … One of the greatest Nigerians that ever lived. Needs no further introduction
  • Abubakar Tafawa Balewa … One of the greatest Nigerians that ever lived. Needs no further introduction
  • Ahmadu Bello… One of the greatest Nigerians that ever lived. Needs no further introduction
  • Mallam Aminu Kano noted for his reformist ideas gained prominence on Nigeria’s political scene early in life
  • Anthony Enahoro … Became the first Nigerian to move the motion for Nigeria’s independence in the Federal parliament in 1953
  • Matthew Mbu … Became a Federal Minister at the age of 23 years
  • Adegoke Adelabu … Was Nigeria’s Minister of Natural Resources and Social Services at the

age of 36years

  • MbonuOjike … A Nigerian nationalist and writer, was Second Vice President NCNC and Deputy Mayor of Lagos at the age of 37 years and became Eastern Region Minister of Works four years later
  • Richard Akinjide .. Became a Federal Minister before the age of 30 years
  • Innocent AuduOgbeh … Emerged Deputy Speaker, Benue State House of Assembly at the age of 31 years and was Federal Minister of Communications at 35 years
  • LiyelImoke … Became a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at the age of 30 years
  • IyorchiaAyu… Elected President of the Senate, Federal Republic of Nigeria during the Nigerian Third Republic in 1992 at the age of 39 years
  • Yakubu Gowon Headed the Federal Government of Nigeria at the age of 31 years
  • Murtala Muhammed … Headed the Federal Government of Nigeria at the age of 38 years
  • Olusegun Obasanjo … Headed the Federal Government of Nigeria at the age of 39 years
  • AbduRaheem Adebayo Shittu… Became the youngest Member Old Oyo State House of Assembly at the age of 26 years.

WHAT TO EXPECT BY YOUTHS ASPIRING TO POLITICAL LEADERSHIP POSITIONS

STRATEGIC INFLUENCE OF NIGERIA AND ITS RESOURCES
One factor to note is that the political scene of the colonial era was not as congested as we have now. Many of those notable politicians could be said to be a little bit lucky as they were not exposed to the fierce opposition that marks today’s political arena. But they will be credited with great sense of patriotism and, honesty and showed great promise. Youths must have a clear understanding of what they would inherit, and what they plan to do before aspiring to leadership positions. Some would inherit not too bad economies at the three levels of government, while several others may inherit bashed economies if their ambitions are realized. Nobody will listen to the alibi of inheriting bad economies because you must have researched critically into what you are going into before venturing into political governance. Not many politicians of today engage in research, and development of policies and plans before aspiring to leadership positions. Obafemi Awolowo and Nnmadi Azikiwe were master strategists because they were prepared. They embraced the policy of visioning and long range planning. The fact that money bags are around is not an enough reason to be defeatist in your attempts. The best way for youths to emerge as leaders is to start their campaigns now and educate the citizenry on democratic conducts.

Emmanuel Macron, the French President is only 39 years old. Nigeria is the biggest economy in Africa. Nigeria is blessed with huge natural and material resources waiting to be tapped.  About 20 million Nigerians live outside the country as world-class professionals. Nigeria is desirous of attracting meaningful investments as a way of promoting economic development, and by implication, the living standard of the citizenry.   A critical appraisal of the present economic situation indicates the need to strengthen the small and medium scale industrial and agro-allied sectors in Nigeria. In the past few years, the Federal Government of Nigeria has accordingly introduced far-reaching reforms directed at sanitizing several sectors of the economy.  Indeed, Nigeria is a strategic country in Africa, the engine of the economy of West Africa, and the catalyst of African renaissance.  Nigeria plays a leading role in Africa that is widely regarded as the next frontier of the global economy; with emerging success stories, in spite of the huge challenges currently confronting the continent. Nigeria’s economy constitutes 76 per cent of the economy of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS. Nigeria also holds 30 per cent of the economy in sub-Saharan Africa and 21 per cent of Africa’s economy.’’ Nigeria is a middle income, mixed economy and emerging market, with expanding financial, service, communications technology, and entertainment sectors. It is also aims to become one of the 20 largest economies in the world by 2020.

TERRIFIC HEADLINESwishes all intending elective materials all the best; with a prayer that the best candidates would emerge

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