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Mr. President, carry the youths along

After several failed attempts to reach my president, I have felt helpless but not hopeless. Like the blind man in the Bible who did not…

After several failed attempts to reach my president, I have felt helpless but not hopeless. Like the blind man in the Bible who did not relent despite the opposition to his resolve to meet Jesus.
Please, let me to address you here as the Lincoln of Africa as enshrined and titled in one of my poems written long ago even before APC presidential primaries. Your victory attracted diverse expressions from my friends and neighbours: ‘Your man don win ooh!’ ‘APC don give you appointment?’ ‘Buhari don call you?’
That’s how I identified with you. Kindly accept my congratulations.
A man once approached Jesus hailing and applauding him as a righteous man. However, Jesus surprisingly rebuked him, saying that no man is righteous! This points to the fact that nobody is perfect. It also connotes the need to be at alert when people sing praises of you. It could be that such people are sycophants, aspiring to be members of your kitchen cabinet and perceiving a need to neglect any aspect of you that they feel you do not want highlighted. Or maybe they are plotting your downfall.
Regard the position canvassed here as a youth presenting a youths agenda.
Some people have described you as being slow in governance, but your pace derives support from the adage that slow and steady wins the race.
Terrorism & kidnapping may have refused to go entirely, but insecurity is a global challenge and you have demonstrated enough pragmatic and patriotic leadership in tackling the Nigerian situation so far as the chief security officer (CSO) of Nigeria.
The anti-corruption war thus far is a proclamation of who you are. Your approach to it rekindles public trust in you and points to the fact that you know Nigeria’s problem although it (corruption) appears to be endemic. Nigerians are anxiously waiting to see how recovered money will be used. Anyhow, the blocking of public fund leakages with the Single Treasury Account (STA) is a vital step to bring back Nigeria on the right track.
I must say, however, that the non-inclusion of youths in your cabinet is not well advised. A youth in Nigerian democracy has come to be defined as a young adult below age 40. Their abilities are enormous, and they represent about 60% of the total population as statistics have shown. This neglect of youth predated your coming to office. Federal and some youth ministries; associations and party youth wings have often been manned by the ruling elderly folks.
By such tradition, Nigeria has been practicing gerontocracy and not democracy. We reject it and demand our rights. Give us a youths ministry headed by a youth and party youth leadership position, manned by a youth who can speak and represent the constituency of the youths of this country.
Youths have led this country before and proved that young people have the dynamism to govern well; which is why we disown some Nigerian youths who had opportunities but did not give impressive accounts of themselves.
Justifying the importance of youths’ inclusion in leadership is the privilege I enjoy in the Catholic Church where the men, women and the youths all constitute the Pastoral Council, being the ruling body of the church, in which the youths are duly included in the administration of the church.
An implication of failure to include youths in leadership is that very soon, the ruling elders will leave the scene and their potential successors (the youths) will lack the experience to take over from them.
Karl Max once asserted that the continuous and high level of oppression of the poor by the ruling class would develop a class consciousness among the oppressed (youths in this case) and trigger a revolt.To avoid a rebellion against the ruling elders, you must include youths in your government.
Rebellion comes in many forms, but whatever form it takes, youths’ large numbers will count for them. My hands may, for instance, be tied to the option of establishing a political party, which could be called National Youth Liberation Party (NYLP), which could dethrone the ruling elders in a youth-dominated population like Nigeria.
The youths of Nigeria who are agents of the change mantra are looking forward to their civic responsibilities.
Your Excellency, we support the fight against corruption and terrorism; the probe of past public officers and political leaders alike, Single Treasury Account, and so on but we unequivocally challenge the non-inclusion of the youth in your government. We strongly ask for our right to rule.
We also recommend that you look deeply into youth unemployment. Diversify our economy to stop the over-reliance on crude oil. Nigerian youths want a future built on a strong multi-product economy that will guaranty quality life for them and the rest of humanity.
 Samuel of [email protected], is a youth rights activist based in Abuja

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