Octagon Rooms

The Need for more Young People in Politics

Posted on: August 15th, 2016 by The Moderator No Comments

Banks: There should be no process of selection, if you are very active politically in your Ward, you will be a force to reckon with and they can’t just pass you over.

Ishan: I happened to be a part of the screening committee for senators in kano state in the last elections, under one of the political parties. And one thing that send shivers down my spine everytime I think About it, is…..The best WAEC results in that hall was all F’s and one P. And those who had P’s had it in either hausa or Islamic religious studies. These are the only people that stepped forward to be elected. I kept asking “where is the guy that got at least one C in the whole of kano?”.Why dont those kind of guys contest? They exist, so where are they?

Gbenga: I believe they do. They just don’t see the big picture. We need to enlighten them to see how it is all connected – The environment, politics, education, respect, ethics. But, we must first be willing to break some unwritten rules. Rules like, Artisans are always crooks or lowlifes. Like any lady who chooses to be a dancer or a singer must be of easy virtue. That wealth is a requirement for leadership. All these rules, must be deliberately removed from our societies.

Banks: My boss says one thing all the time. Politics is local, we must ask ourselves how many of the youths that want to lead will like to start as Ward chairmen or local government chairman in one rural village? Everyone wants to be commissioner of finance but nobody wants to lead community effort in the rural areas. We must make elections about service not about financial gain.

Kingsley: I agree at starting at the ward. Banks, may I ask what local government area or ward your boss started out in?

Banks: You are right, he didn’t start at the local level because his family was already playing the local politics but we are talking of a way of moving forward hence we must start to do things this way.

 

The Octagon: Do we think that young Nigerians understand the problems with their communities and have the ability to proffer solutions?

For those who are passionate about the future of Nigeria but don’t necessarily want to run for government offices, Is there a synergy that can be created? How can they support those who are committed to running.

 

Tega: Yes, we do. I imagine myself running for office one day. I don’t sit down and wait for me to be known as the young yoga that tips when he passes through at night or that dude that lives there. I make effort to know the influencers around my neighborhood, meet and support community efforts, be genuinely concerned about things that are happening around. These days, if decisions need to be taken concerning the area, they sound me out – not because of who I am or where I work or who I helped but because they believe I have the community’s interest at heart. We have some of the smartest and most driven young people anywhere. We need to identify problems, collaborate and find solutions together. If you want to run and need support, sell your vision and make sure it is backed by action.

Ishan: Everybody in this room should be their community influencer. You have no excuses. If u are genuinely interested in Nigeria and change, u guys need to start positioning yourselves.

Gbenga: Yes. Think tanks, economic teams etc are for guys like this. We have these in Kogi state. However, we are so in need of creative ideas that we need everyone board.

Tega: But how influential are they?

Gbenga: Well, a group like this helped to end the Kogi State House of Assembly crisis and the ASUU strike. So, influential enough. But, maybe we need re-institutionalize them, story for another day.

Tega: That’s Great.

Ishan: How influential you are, is down to your knowledge of what you are doing. We need a Nigerian solution for Nigeria and Nigerians. Cut and paste won’t work. Nigeria needs thinkers. REAL Engineering minds. People who see problems as a means to an end. Who embrace the problems because we need them to move forward. And proffer solutions rather than criticism.

Kingsley: Ishan, we have an implementation problem not a solution problem. Take the power sector, there have been many published papers on solutions to diversifying our energy mix which have collected dust. Our problems aren’t new and we aren’t special snowflakes.

Dare: Keyword is collaboration. We need a rally point after becoming influencers in our communities. We have thinkers, they are just quick to Quit. Look at Ransome, who led the formation of NERC . Amazing thinker but was weeded out by OBJ and he also quit on us when the heat was too much. He could have easily added another 10,000MW at the pace with which he started his job at NERC and FMOP.

Tega: I’d like to see a see a situation where the thinkers and the doers collaborate to push viable youth political platforms

Gbenga: Young people should just be unafraid to try new things. See how far Mr. Seun Onigbinde has come in a relatively short time. Government should find a way to reward and sustain creativity. Only way we can get out of the current economic and political problems we face.

Dare: We as the “youth” starting with US, need to continue to influence positive works and ideology in our locality, find ways to rally and collaborate with other influencers and thinkers to make up the numbers we need to make the actual change we desire and not the quack we are currently experiencing.

Banks: My take is wherever you find yourself make a mark that they will be forced to want to get more young people.  With God I was able to do that in 7th assembly which made it easy to get the go ahead to bring more young folks to bring innovative ideas into the 8th Senate. Folks that run the NGR Senate social media and the TV we will be launching soon are all under 25.

Tega: Well said. Change that happens on the keyboard (twitter change) without well grounded foot soldiers will only lead to nothing for us. Young people need to put in the hard work to become relevant in the political sphere. A shining light will always find a route of escape in the dark.

Banks: Great pleasure exchanging ideas with you guys.

Gbenga: Bless you all

Dare: Well Done. Great minds. Cheers.

Kingsley: It was a pleasure discussing with you all, I learned a great deal and we should continue to exchange ideas more frequently.

Ishan: It would make sense to me if this group didn’t die. If this group became the rallying point for youth all across the country and the diaspora. We need to get people to love Nigeria again. Nigeria never hurt anybody. Nigeria gave you all you have. And continues to give.  It’s a few people that have been bad to us. But let us not hate the entity, Nigeria. The land is still among the most fertile in the world. The motherland is still on our side. We need to harness what she has given us and ride that horse to prosperity.

Kingsley: I was about to suggest just that

Tega: Great exchange! Looking forward to working with some of you in the not-too-distant future.

 

The Octagon: Thank you for taking time out to be on the octagon. Brilliant conversation. We secretly don’t want it to end.

 

Tega: Haha. Pay us for another 30minutes.

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