On Nige­rian youths and get­ting their pri­or­i­ties right

Sunday Trust - - VIEWPOINT - Ke­hinde Ogun­wale wrote from Abeokuta, Ogun State.

Iwas amazed with the way Nige­ri­ans, es­pe­cially youths ral­lied round those they wanted to win the Big Brother Nige­ria, which ended last week in South Africa. They cam­paigned so hard for their can­di­dates, just as they bought air­time to en­able them vote. They went all out to en­sure that their can­di­dates were not short-changed.

Watch­ing all that, I be­gan to won­der why af­ter ev­ery elec­tion, youths start com­plain­ing of marginal­i­sa­tion. They lament that only old peo­ple are given op­por­tu­ni­ties to hold po­si­tions in the coun­try. Each time I hear such com­plaints I won­der why this is so… are the youths not qual­i­fied to hold po­si­tions? But I have come to the re­al­i­sa­tion that the youths need to change their at­ti­tude to­wards gov­er­nance. It is not enough to go on so­cial media to con­demn the gov­ern­ment, they have to take ac­tion.

They have to take their des­tiny in their hands. The way they ral­lied round to en­sure that Efe won the Big Brother Nige­ria, they can rally round to en­sure that one of them be­comes pres­i­dent of the coun­try. In vot­ing for their pre­ferred can­di­date, the youths over­looked eth­nic­ity and religion; why can’t they do that in the gen­eral elec­tion, where they have some­thing at stake? It is time for the youths to get their pri­or­i­ties right. They must have a change of per­spec­tive. The next elec­tion will soon be here, now is the time for the youths to start warm­ing up and gar­ner­ing sup­port. They should en­sure that they have their vot­ers cards and be ready to queue up dur­ing the elec­tions. They must back their talk with ac­tion if they want a change in the way things are be­ing done in the coun­try. No­body will hand over lead­er­ship to the youths on a plat­ter of gold; they must be ready to work for it.

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