In the months that have elapsed and the one coming to a gradual close, there have been instances of political clamour and rancour among several partisans. Some of these differences were eventually resolved while others were simply calmed by deeply-rooted stakeholders and kingmakers within the political arena. Conclusively, the foremost political parties in Nigeria have selected their choice aspirants and the time when Nigerians will decide or anoint those who would lead us by mid-2015 is at hand.
The preliminary electoral process which mainly involved the selection of political aspirants in diverse parties were closely observed by young persons around our beloved country. In previous times, young persons were predominantly known to participate in electioneering processes as useable political vices such as violent thugs and aggressive vagabonds. But that story is experiencing a gradual change. It is interesting to note that many youth, particularly from the entertainment industry, made efforts to vie for government positions on the platform of various parties. This action shows that the youth in Nigeria have increased their awareness of civic responsibilities and are ready to gradually receive the baton of leadership. Asides the fact that the youth now constitute the vast majority of the working class or workforce in Nigeria, they are the most unemployed and underemployed Nigerians. Yet, they stand out as a key portion of the electorates. Therefore, any strategic aspirant who truly desires election or re-election in 2015 must have youth issues both in agenda and at heart.
It is a joyous thing to know that Nigerians are eager to get to the polling booths and vote during the 2015 elections. However, the responsibility of government through its agencies and regulators must help them fulfil that desire. Elections should be free, fair and safe. Citizens should be able to arrive at voting centres and fully enjoy the right to vote and be voted for. Observers must be available at polling booths to assess the standard of actual electoral activities and accompanying events. Already, it is being said that young Nigerians are biased about the outcome of the primaries conducted at various parties. This is because many young aspirants were unable to get the party ticket that should grant them the opportunity to be elected into their desired offices. For instance, the two biggest parties in Nigeria have more politically renowned aspirants representing them at the legislative and executive arms. Even at the gubernatorial level, only a few young aspirants or candidates preferred by the youth have been able to receive nomination tickets.
While it is our ultimate desire to see our nation prosper with visible evidences at the grassroots, the youth want younger persons to take up responsibility at the gubernatorial and legislative arms of government. In fact, they would really like to see a situation where a female vice president would emerge and definitely long to see a time when a president that is aged 45 years or less would lead Nigeria. It has happened in other countries and continents, and Nigeria being the big brother in Africa can create this paradigm shift. The essence here is not to imply that the quality of leadership is proportional to the actual age of leaders. Rather, it is to remind leaders that the children who were informed that they are the leaders of tomorrow have grown up. The children of yesterday are seeking for the manifestation of unfulfilled promises. They want to know if things in the coffers of leadership are actually as they hear or not. They want to practically understand why things are the way they are. They want to see how they can help solve some of the existing challenges. They are not in a haste to lead Nigeria but they are thirsty to start leading. Haste implies overthrowing leadership but thirst means transfer of baton.
But leaders must be reminded that lack of voice is not the same as the absence of potential. It is only because the voice of reason is still calming their hearts that the voice of courage has not spoken with corresponding action. But when the youth are pushed beyond their limits, no amount of call for consensus would be able to restore what it may cost their leaders. So, the ultimate consensus here is to alert the two biggest political parties that matter that young people want to matter. They want to see the change that APC is proclaiming and what to experience the Transformation that the incumbent Mr President is using as his campaign theme. If you really care, show us that you care.