Are Nigerian Youths Truly The Leaders Of Tomorrow?
At times when I look at our youths I get confused. They want to become leaders of tomorrow but they do not want to work towards it. In life,for any feat to be achieved ,it requires determination against all odds. When Honourable Patricia Ette made history by becoming the first Nigerian female speaker, some women in the House of Representatives worked against her which resulted in her unceremonious removal from the office. Having disgraced her out of the office, do you think it will be easy for another woman to occupy that position?
The answer is simple,women have sold their political birthright in that office over differences in political ideologies and tribal sentiments hence Nigerian women who want to occupy such post in future will suffer perpetually for it.
Also,when the PDP zoning arrangement shifted the position of the president of the senate to southeast,some Igbos were used against their own brothers hence within a space of time,all the five states in the region had a shot at the office of the president of the senate. In fact,it got to a point that an applicant was asked in a job interview to name the then senate president,he replied as thus,'Sir,for about one week ,I have not listened to news but as at last week,the senate president was Chuba Okadigbo.' The summary is that the job applicant got the job even when he did not know the current name of the president of the Nigerian senate then because as at the time of the interview ,it was Pius Anyim that was there as the senate president. He got the job because he was able to convince the interviewer that he had been following the news of instability in the office of the senate president then until a week before the interview.
The above scenario shows how the office of the president of the senate was unstable under the leadership of the Igbos .It was when I read MY WATCH written by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo that I understood the real power politics behind the lability of the office of the president of the senate under the leadership of the Igbos in that political dispensation . I was among the few privileged Nigerians that read the book before the court banned it. In that book, Obasanjo showed that the lability of the office of the president of the senate under the Igbos was as a result of the cold war that existed between him and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar,his then vice president. Obasanjo alleged that Atiku wanted to unseat him through the House of the Senate hence Obasanjo kept on engineering the removal of any senate president loyal to Atiku.
In view of the above,this cold war between the then Nigerian president and his vice culminated in portraying the Igbos as being incompetent of handling leadership positions at the federal level. Igbos betrayed their fellow brothers in the process of reading out the script written by either the then Nigerian president or his vice. A female lecturer once told me how her fellow women in the medical college of the university fought against her when she contested for the post of a provost in the college thereby making it impossible for any woman to occupy such post in such a male dominated area. That was exactly the same problem that the former female speaker suffered in the Federal House of Representatives .
As Nigerians go to the polls few days from now,the youths should be aware that if we must achieve that maxim that says that the youths are the leaders of tomorrow,we must start working towards it. We must vote in youthful candidates. Anybody that is older than the civil service age should not be voted in .For clarity,the federal government retirement age according to the new gazette coded 020810 is 60 years or 35 years of service,whichever that comes first though there are considerations for judicial,university and some medical workers such that the retirement age ranges from 65 to 70 years. The question my reader will ask is,is Nigerian presidency a civil service ? No,it is a political post but let us analyse why civil servants are retired at 60,65 and 70 years of age. The planners of our civil service were aware that advanced age is synonymous with senility hence it was not surprising that some of the aged and senile presidential candidates could not give the full meaning of INEC and the correct name of their vice presidential aspirant. The question is,if they could have such memory loss when relaxed ,what would happen when they are overwhelmed by the pressure in the presidency?
If Nigerian youths should vote in a man more than 70 years ,let them not come back to shout that Nigeria is running gerontocracy . If we can apply federal character as is enshrined in s.13(3) of our constitution where somebody who scored 2 can get admission by merit where a colleague who scored 138 cannot get admitted in the same school just because of the federal character ,then the youths should vote in a youthful president irrespective of whether he has performed well in order to pave way for our own leadership. If we make a mistake and 'resurrect' those that were there when we were wearing pampers,what it means is that we have sold our leadership birthright as youths. The illustrations I have given above are enough to guide us in ensuring that we vote in youthful candidates .
One thing I have learnt among unscrupulous politicians is the use of political gimmicks and that was why Napoleon advised: Place your iron hand inside a velvet glove. They told us that they would stabilise the price of oil in the international market .Expectedly ,some of us accepted that trash because of the high level of illiteracy among the citizens .If a country in the international market can stabilise the price of oil,what then is the work of OPEC? The international prices of crude oil are they not determined by the forces of demand and supply and the presence of other competitors in the international market? Also they told us that they would make one dollar equal to one naira. Is that a difficult thing ? This is why anybody that wants to become a Nigerian president should as a matter of fact have at least SSCE but some of them that want to fight corruption have failed to clear themselves of their certificate saga. Owing to the fact that they don't have SSCE ,they do not know the difference between devaluation and depreciation of currency.
How will they know,When they don't know where their original SSCE certificate is kept? To keep the record straight, depreciation of a currency is a deliberate act whereby the CBN of any country reduces the value of her money in comparison to other currencies in the international market. It is different from depreciation of a currency ,which is not a deliberate act and is determined by IMF. Our government through CBN can easily make one dollar equal to 0.5 naira hence the naira will be higher than the USA dollars then. What will be the economic effect? When naira is greater than the USA dollar, import is encouraged while export is discouraged. What will happen to our monolithic economy when exportation of crude oil is discouraged ? I know some half-baked youths will say,government will use quota system to control importation in order to have a positive Balance of Trade .That will create scarcity of the commodity which will lead to inflation. I don't need to say what will happen to both our Balance of trade and Balance of Payments if Import is greater than export,the economists are there to tell us if we care to know.
These people with questionable SSCE certificates do not want to know the economic effects of equating a dollar to naira in a country where the total government revenue depends mainly on the export of crude oil in the international market with no adequate import-substituting companies to cushion such economic effect . This is why the Nobel laureate ,Prof Wole Soyinka ,illustrated the ignorance and illiteracy of some of our African leaders,in one of his plays. In that play,a head of state asked the CBN governor to print more money so that the head of state could use it to finance a project and when the CBN governor refused,he was dealt with. This is exactly what is playing out here,they want to 'change' us back to our primitive life of 1980s where with their one-dollar-equal-to-0.8 naira- exchange rate, many Nigerian were living in a state of squalor,foreign investors refused to come in and Nigerians were unable to buy colour televisions and own other household gadgets.
Today,with our devalued currency,students in nursery school own handsets and people can now communicate through all the social media in the comfort of their bedrooms. The first time I was duped in my life was when I accepted to transact business with a man whose selling price was below the prevailing cost price for the commodity then, he collected my money and disappeared . It was painful but I learnt a lot from it, never belief in anything that is not practically feasible .How can somebody tell us that if he becomes our president,insurgency will stop that very day. How many years did it take America to locate and kill the mastermind of the bombing of the World trade center ? Did the delay in finding Osama Bin Ladin cost president George Bush his re-election? After killing Osama Bin Ladin , Saddam Hussein and American invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, has terrorism against America or any other country stopped? What of the recent Boston bombing and other terrorist bombings/activities in London,France etc ? Why should America agree to negotiate with terrorists for the release of the captured American soldiers recently? Well,we should tell these unscrupulous politicians that the only way they can end Boko Haram immediately on assumption of office as the president is if they are the sponsors of Boko Haram just like the man that duped me since the only way he could have sold the commodity to me at a selling price lower than the prevailing cost price was if he had stolen the commodity.
My dear youths,it will be very painful if after the colonial masters used their 'powerful' brains to deceive our ancestors ,we now allow our own black men with sugar-coated tongues to introduce gerontocracy with the deceit of coming to fight corruption .If they want to fight corruption ,let them support a youthful president now so that they can be appointed as EFCC and ICPC chairmen . Our future is in our hands, use your PVC wisely and vote in youthful leaders and tell our elders to relax and take good care of themselves so that we can redefine the country the way it will be for our own future.
Dr. Paul John
Port Harcourt ,