The youths have gradually begun to position themselves as major stakeholders in the Political Industry. Gone are the days when youths were apolitical, gone are the days when political consciousness and participation among X & Y Generations was low or inexistent; gone are the days when countries witnesses parochial political culture, now we live in enlightened times.
We live in a world where a 17 year old teenager like Malala Yousafzai becomes a global voice, where young people begin to play dominant roles in politics. Let’s not quickly forget the Arab Spring.
Be it for you or the opposition, one thing that can’t be argued is the high participation of youths in the just concluded elections. From the campaign process to the actual voting to monitoring and protection of votes, the youths were at the fore front of matters. Some chanted ‘Change’ others ‘Transformation’. We walked, talked, argued, convinced, tweeted… Literarily did everything within our power to contribute our part.
Sir, we didn’t come out in mass to play our parts in this elections just because we believe it is our civil duty…NO. If that was the reason, can somebody please tell me why we’ve not had this type of massive youth involvement in politics in previous years. Sir, we came out in mass because we were and still are very much angry. We have been thrown away and seen as surplus to requirement. We have suffered to much to just sit back and watch successive governments play ‘chess’ with us. We are hurt, angry, pained and frustrated.
Sir, you see, this is what we have turned to and we don’t like it. We have become masters of fast money and get-rich-quuck schemes, running from one reality show to another, praying for big breaks and sudden money. Our future in Nigeria is being married off to old men, with pot bellies and wrinkled sexual organs, they are married off to become bed warmers to shameless paedophiles.
So many of our young boys and girls have become yahoo boys and call girls, as a result of sitting at home for so many years waiting to get into school with no avail. Our hopes are raised to the sky when we graduate from secondary schools; we dream of our futures, we set goals, map out plans. With smiles on our faces, we rush to buy UTME forms, write the exams, then those our raised hopes are left to fall back to the earth and shattered into a million pieces when we are told that there aren’t enough spaces.
SIR, WE ARE ANGRY…We want more than just a president, we want a President who understands us.
Firstly, Sir, its time to move from the days of absolute gerontocracy to having more young minds in the policy making process. We live in a country where age-old industrialists are still in charge, holding key positions. Even with terminal diseases ravaging their bodies, they still hold forth like Military Dictators. A country where virgin brains who graduated from various higher institutions of learning are made to open phone call centers in the name of entrepreneurship. Sir, youth inclusion in the political process cannot be overlooked.
Sir, your cabinet is made up of old men. Men that are being recycled for political use.
Sir, our higher institutions need fixing. Our school curriculum needs to be reviewed if we want to have youths that can stand shoulder to shoulder in the global economy, we have to understand that some courses and professions are becoming obsolete and emerging fields are springing up. Its time to upgrade our educational perspectives. From infrastructure to administration, there needs to be an upgrade.
Sir, still on education, we need your administration to treat our lecturers well. You see, if they are not happy, it will have a cyclic effect on us. We are being murdered by allowing hungry, unpaid, un-motivated lecturers teach us in our schools. There is no way on earth they will teach us passionately. How then do we now become sound and learned in our fields. Yet when we graduate, we are called ‘half baked’, ‘unlearned’, ‘uncultured’ and so many other funny names. Sir, something must be done in this aspect.
For those of us who believe in entrepreneurship, the need for constant electricity can’t be overemphasized. This will greatly save our operating costs.
Also, sir, we have seen that the only way to beat capitalism is to become a capitalist. Hence, we have become high innovative, starting up buaineaaes and churning out moneymaking ideas. We say, ‘we need heavy support’. Policies like tax-holiday for the initial few years of operation, Import Substitution Industrialization (which would reduce importation and help our local made products sell) and more should be formulated and implemented.
Sir, its time to create a new business elite. It’s time to deliberately begin to establish a new order of National Bourgeoisie. We should begin to see beyond the Dangotes, Otedolas, Dantatas..and begin to deliberately create young business dons and doyens by formulating policies that are aimed at helping these businesses grow. Sir, note that I said ‘deliberately’. It should be a conscious effort by the government to create a new order of National Bourgeoisie.
This is one way in which we can beat the world system of global dependency, business imperialism, and move from the rot of third world to the coveted circles of the countries that make the core. Sir, we need our own Mark Zukerberg.
Finally, Sir, we can’t move forward in this age and time without understanding the fact that technology holds the key to the future. We need stop reacting to the world and rather start setting hegemony. One way we can achieve this is to grasp technology and deploy it aggressively.
Hence Sir, I humbly suggest that we need IT Hub Centers. We need to have hotspots where massive technological activities are carried out. We need this quick and fast. It would speed up our development process in ways beyond imagination. The hub centers should be designed to combine a healthy mix of intellect, entertainment, geekiness, and a superb feeling of ultra-nationalism.
Sir, I know policy formulation is beyond simple talk, but one thing I know Sir, is that if the will is there, we can achieve anything. If Singapore, Malaysia, UAE and others could do it, we can do more.
Akan Imoh is a New Media Journalist on Socio-Political Issues.
He is very passionate about the Nigerian Youth and believes heavily in youth participation in politics.
He is @mrAkanImoh on twitter.