Youth And Nigerian Politics; The Intercepts - Alabi Aderonke
Agreeably, Nigeria is a great, if not the greatest African nation, though with a generation of youth that seems to show less-promising potentials. A former colony of the British, Nigeria eventually became independent after many years of nationalist protests. I would not like to bore you with the history of our independence, but it’s important to pinpoint some facts that has kept our dear country in deep, troubled political waters.
The Nigerian nation has experienced, over time, eras of different political parties. Nigeria is currently in a political dispensation that seems as the ideal model of democracy, but really it is a situation of politicians just arriving at agreements on mutual benefits at the masses detriment. History may have suggested the same to have been in play as far back as the military rule, with the leading figures in each coup alleged to have already concluded on how large their shares of the country’s treasury would be on successful execution of their taking-over plans.
Fast forward to the current era, the youths have evolved to hold key potentials in the nation’s politics. A good case study is tertiary institution politics. Students are being given opportunities to practice politics and by implication a democratic set-up in institutions all around the country. However, it is necessary to state that this special privilege has been continuously misused by these young politicians. It has provided them a platform to become unnecessarily overambitious, power-driven, callous and vision less; all in contrary to the potentials expected of ideal student politicians. These ones have gone to the extent of perpetrating attacks physically, intellectually and even on personalities. This situation had sometimes escalated into violence and chaos during campaigns and elections.
It is of great concern to note that these young office-holders when eventually elected doesn’t deliver on their campaign promises. Half-done projects and funds mismanagement are the only evidences of their stay in office. Perhaps, they are caught in these act; such situations are prematurely swept under the carpets for different flimsy reasons – peace and unity being the most common – with the aid of their political godfathers.
Apparently, if these young politicians could do so badly at the nursery stage of their development, you will agree that these ones cannot improve the deteriorating political situation of the nation when they eventually graduate to the field. Consequently, one may be forced to ask; where is the Messiah coming from to save Nigeria from this state of political catastrophe? Is it among this set of half-baked youth politicians or from another world? Only time would tell.
(Alabi Aderonke Victoria is a student of the English Department, Obafemi Awolowo University and a member of the OAU Peeps Team)