By Chinedum Anayo
It’s Sunday, after a hectic week: The African Cup Of Nations (AFCON) is still in play at Cameroon. And it is so far so good for the Super Eagles. Also, there have been variants of killings in the Northern part of Nigeria and yet President Muhammadu Buhari and his crew have persisted that they have tackled the security challenges in the Nation successfully. We are now in a country where death of citizens have been politicized by our elites, this is really disheartening. And with all these occurrences, a group of Nigerians have either hinted or declared their interest to emerge in the 2023 presidential election.
Politics would be the main issue and topic throughout this year.
Occasionally, I was in a discourse with a citizen who shared his thoughts in this regard:
“What’s up brother? Are you seeing what’s happening? This men aren’t changing”.
“Changing? How do you mean?”.
“With all the hype about youthful governance, persons like Tinubu still have the nerve to declare his Presidential ambition. This country is not serious”.
“Oh, I understand you now, it is indeed interesting. I also thought more youths would throw their hats in the ring because I don’t think there’s anything that could hinder a youth from contesting for the position. Youths could actually mobilise to support a youth”.
“Haha. Is that what you think? There are various factors hindering youths from contesting. Just imagine a youth in his 30s governing Nigerians in their 40s, 50s, 60s or even 80s and I am not talking about a Governor or a Senator, I mean a President. Let’s face reality, it can’t happen in this country, at least not yet”.
“That’s an interesting school of thought right here, the restraints of African culture. But don’t you think we are past that? We are supposed to be in the 21st century”.
“21st century you say ? Brother in Nigeria, there’s nothing like that abeg. Did you hear about one Khadijah Lamidi, she’s one of the youths vying for the position but honestly I think her efforts would prove futile. And I know you’ve heard about Governor Yahaya Bello’s presidential ambition. The result is the same and I am sure he knows it”.
“Why do you say that ? I thought you wanted a youth and now you have two, you are still skeptical. If Governor Bello knows he wouldn’t win then I don’t think he would’ve declared to run”.
“I just gave you a reason why they wouldn’t win. You of all people know what I am talking about. Nigerian elders want to be elders forever”.
“I see your point now, although I have a different perspective but you are surprisingly correct. The younger generation should be given an opportunity to govern on a federal level.
God will help us in this country”.
“God won’t come down to help us my brother, we can change the narrative ourselves. It is time for a real change around here”.
“But if you believe a youth can’t win, how do we submit a change? The basis of our franchise would be jeopardised”.
“All I can say right now is, until our parents and the likes of them truly recognize our potentials as youths without citing age as a factor, Presidency is not for us. It is not about joining APC or PDP”.
“Are you saying that youths should run independently? I know it’s part of the Not too young to run law enacted by this administration”.
“What I mean is that, youths are subjugated in this country and it needs to change”.
“Well, change would come when it should because change is constant. We can change the narrative ourselves but it only takes one bold step and i am yet to see that. Culture is vital in every African society but we should also recognize that, Democracy is a system which represents people of different cultural dispensations and people from different age groups, in fact without democracy a multi-ethnic realm like Nigeria wouldn’t function. The most important criteria to be elected into any office is competence and character, not age.
I just hope this hype about the limitations of our culture would not haunt us in the end”.