Institutionalising Youth’s inclusion in Governance, By Al-Amin M. El-Nasir
NEWS DIGEST – Frantz Fanon in his speech acknowledges the importance of taking the right step at the right time. A people with drenching hearts and tired boots will do everything possible to stay on the rubble. It is apparent that the anticipated dawn has come, as rural dwellers now sing about the compensation of democracy which is becoming apparent in the local communities where such were blurry in sight. This does not mean the representatives from previous years have been redundant in availing growth in these communities, after all, recent developments have been an offshoot of the foundation of those previously in charge.
Kwara State is one of the very first states in Nigeria, and it can not be excused from obvious infrastructural development as well as human capital growth which in recent years has been a “shuttle in a crypt”. Looking at the waves as well as reading the room clearly, the 2023 general election is proof that democracy has bought new robes for future generations to cover their nakedness.
The wave has revitalized the mends of the populace in their duty to choose a candidate that reflects their exuberance. Yes, in the past, we have had a group of young men and women who were elected or appointed into various political offices with much or little background in the political strength to foreground the befitting development or blueprint for the state, but with the support of the people and the coordination of focused leaders, they were able to deliver within their limited space. They certainly performed at their best and we saw a paradigm shift from mediocre in government to technocrats.
It appears history is repeating itself. We have new faces in the political scene of the state, several young minds are introduced to the system, regardless of their background or experience. This has eventually sprung up in numbers, the “woke generation” who might have given up on the participation of youths in governance since it is perceived to have been the only source of livelihood for the older generation or career politicians.
As it stands, a serious government will focus on youth inclusion, if they intend to perform at best. The name “Saraki” rings a bell when it comes to Youth inclusion in politics. Sen. Bukola Saraki MBBS; CON, ensured the bill “Not Too Young to Run Bill” was initiated and passed when he was the Senate President of the 8th Senate which later got the assent of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR. With the execution of such bill, individuals saw the need to break the ceiling glass and ride on the avant-garde made possible by previous administrations.
This does not mask the efforts and the attitude of the Kwara State Governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq, whose well-intended inclusion of youth and female representation has garnered him public admiration and acceptance. One must learn to strike when the rod is hot. It is the best time in Kwaran history to intensify the inclusion of youth accurately with several progressive youths who are seeking greener pastures in climes other than theirs. This to some extent, reenergizes a sense of hope, among the teaming youths who have given up on the political will of the country.
Kwara has been judged to be a conglomerate, a pathfinder, and equally a determinant for whoever gets the key to the Villa. It has also succeeded in producing the first female under 30 State House of Assembly, a 26-year Rukayyah Shittu, Member-Elect of Iwode/Onire State Constituency, whose ascension is described with total humility.
This is a wake-up call, a clarion call, and a total sense of inclusiveness, which should also be instrumental to facilitating her type who should become aware of self-worthiness, and they should begin to see themselves as achievers and not agents of “kitchen and the other room”. If the intention is to achieve greater development in the state, now is the time, since all components of the state appear to be adequately, represented.
There is nowhere in the world, where the heart that loves is not young. So, how do you lead a population of 56 percent youth, without their inclusion in governance? Any leader who failed to consciously subscribe to youth inclusion or gender equity at this present age is certainly not the government of the people and he or she should prepare for inescapable failure.
Although, it is not merely the inclusion of youths, but quality personalities who are tremendous in their line of duty. For instance, several Special Advisers, Personal Assistants, Commissioners, and Board Members, and others; who would end up being mere figureheads are not in this category of youths’ inclusiveness. The ones who have impacted lives positively, and avail the people dividends of democracy through their offices such as those House Speaker, House Members, Commissioners and heads of Agencies, and a host of others. The people sing their praises, simply because the policies implemented have been favorable to the masses.
This set of people have proven in their various quarters the efficiency of their fittings. These are Youths who have spoken about their performance through, the people, they have demonstrated beyond doubt the place of Youth in governance. Many will learn on the undertaking pending their mastery of such appointment, while some already have ample experiences to sail through their various duties.
The state must continue to engage the Youths. Kwara Youths are hardworking, relentless, and always seeking possibilities to contribute their ration to the development of the state. This is why one would find out that many Youths in Kwara are a member of a multitude of Non-Govermental Organisations, absolutely due to their sense of commitment. Give the youth, power, they will not abuse it because the future is their focus. The Nigerian Youths have out of obscured circumstances discovered themselves, and they are not ready to mar any given opportunities but to make it worthy.