Politics too expensive for Nigerian youths
WHEN President Muhammadu Buhari signed the not too young to run bill into law, many Nigerian youths heaved a sigh of relief. They saw it as an opportunity to actively participate or take a shot in the country’s fledgling democracy. Since the return of democracy, Nigerian youths have been relegated to the background; they have been prevented or not allowed to showcase their God-given leadership talents. These energetic and productive youths who constitute over 70 per cent of the country’s population have what it takes to steer the country to the promised land. Unfortunately, the ruling elite have refused to give them a chance. Nigerian youths, from time immemorial, have been playing passive political roles. They have been turned into political thugs by our political leaders. They are only engaged or hired during election, given dangerous weapons and hard drugs in order to help and rig the election in favour of their sponsors. Sadly, after they coast to victory, these politicians abandon the youths to their fate.
The passing of the not too young to run bill has rekindled the hope that sooner than later, Nigerian youths would find themselves in the positions of authority. The forthcoming 2019 general election would serve as the litmus test for the laws. However, the spirit and enthusiasm or passion of Nigerian youths is being gradually killed by political parties. The ongoing sales of nomination forms by various political parties have been greeted with hue and cry. The exorbitant costs of the forms being charged by our political parties have become a matter of public discourse. It is generally viewed as a direct attack to the ambition of many promising and intelligent youths.
From how things unfold, it seems the political parties, in cahoots with the ruling elite are hell bent to deny Nigerian youths their constitutional right to contest. The political parties which serve as the platform for leadership recruitment have failed to create a level playing field or a conducive atmosphere for the Nigerian youths to excel in our democratic setting.
For the youths who can afford the price of the forms, they will be confronted with additional challenges of heavy financial war chest to settle the powerful party delegates. Also, they need to become the preferred or anointed candidates of our emperor governors to win the party primaries. These huddles will inevitably discourage the youths from actively participating in politics.