2023: Nigerian youths short-sighted, says CSO

Nigerian youths cannot become President anytime soon because of planning and short-sightedness, a global human rights organisation, Plan International, said on Friday.

The organisation maintained that young persons in the country were too fixated on the office of the President and usually want instant gratification without proper planning.

The Country Director of PI, Usie Emmamuzou, stated these in Abuja at an event organised by Africado Foundation to commemorate the International Youth Day with the theme: ‘Intergenerational solidarity: Creating a world for all ages’, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

According to him, old leaders would continue to lead the nation after the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), unless the youth change their attitude towards governance.

Emmamuzou said a country that had been functional do not depend on the dictates and wishes of just one president, adding Nigeria is bigger than one human being.

He said, “One of the challenges with the Not Too Young To Run movement is that how many young Nigerians are aspiring for counselor and local government chairman, but young people want to be president, it doesn’t work like that, it takes planning and timing and it’s all a gradual process.

“The young ones are usually short sighted with plans and want immediate gratification and it doesn’t always work like that. Though, it may work for some people in the short term but if you study any successful organisation or individual, you’ll find out that none of them have shorten the process.

“If you look at rich and prosperous countries, you’ll know that they went through a process and a phase, many young people in my opinion do not want to pay that price.”

He stressed the need for youth to be intentional in the area of politics and governance by joining political parties, adding that they must also learn to undergo tutelage and mentorship.

“There’s a time when you need to learn and undergo tutelage and undergo coaching, in the political space the young ones are too fixated on the presidency whereas there’s a lot going on at the state, the kind of Nigeria we want won’t be instigated only from the presidency, many of us live in states that don’t even get their acts right.

“We need young people in state houses of assembly, we need young people as counselors and local government chairmen, that’s how you take hold of a state and have a decent policy and overtime you now begin to aspire for presidency.

“Some of the politicians we see today who are aspiring for presidency next year have had this ambition for the last 25 years consistently, but young people would want to have an ambition today and actualise it next year”.

The Founder of Africado, Richardson Ojeka, advised Nigerians on the qualities to look out for before adopting or voting for any politician to become Nigeria’s next president.

According to him, youth should not vote along party lines but for candidates with influence and capabilities to deliver the dividends of democracy.

He said, “I think that the youth have a very vital role to play in 2023. The youth are very important in any country, in any nation. We need to have one voice above and vote for someone with vision but vision is not enough.

“You need to have someone who also has influence. We need to vote for people who can go into communities in interests for young people. That is the way I think youth need to vote. Not for party, but the candidates regardless of any party, but the deciding factor for the youth should be is this person competent.”

Ojeka said the mission of the organisation was to end unemployment in Nigeria using technology.

Most of the major challenges facing the country ranging from insecurities, banditry, cybercrime, he said, were due to unemployment.

“So we need to solve that problems and the best way is to use technology by giving technology to underserved, underprivileged people, and they will have it and can be a tool for national transformation,” Ojeka said.

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