Shina Peller and his political mentee, Ahmad Abubakar
Shina Peller and his political mentee, Ahmad Abubakar

Why are Nigerian youths still not properly represented in politics? Shina Peller, Ahmad Abubakar discuss

NEWS DIGEST – Nigerian youths are becoming more interested in politics. At least, on social media.

Each day tells the tale of a community of people who realise that they have the number and cohesion to force political narratives.

Ahmad Abubakar, the CEO of Limateef Group, says he strongly believes that the nation can become a thriving ecosystem again if youths can unite themselves because the future lies in their hands.

Despite this budding shift, youths are still poorly represented within the political network of the country. Some are unwilling to walk the extra steps beyond checks and balances such as activism. And a significant amount would rather settle for more technical disciplines.

This poses a considerable problem to the sustainability of the newfound youth movement on social media. Shina Peller and Ahmad Abubakar recognise this.

Both men say it has now become imperative to “create a system within the 36 states that will shift the minds of people [particularly youths] starting from the grassroots also to educate them more on politics, leadership and community building.”

One such platform is the @officialwe2geda campaign that is currently in use to push youthful, robust conversations.

This mission is the first, most crucial step, according to both men, in building a network that can promote youths’ voices through diplomatic channels.

Even though bits and pieces of this are already evident in society, they are largely driven by emotions, public demonstrations and the adrenaline of a coming election year rather than a distinct interest to drive societal changes by taking up leadership positions.

“Inclusive political participation is not only a fundamental political and democratic right but also is crucial to building stable and peaceful societies and developing policies that respond to the specific needs of younger generations,” they agreed in a meeting at Mr Shina Peller’s residence.

This will include teaching young Nigerians to embrace their rights. Also, to present them with knowledge on decision-making that can help them properly participate in political institutions in a meaningful way.

Even as this systemic shift runs its natural cycle, youth leader Shina Peller, who was a member of the 9th National Assembly, believes it is not so much the number of active youth participants in politics that is important but the responsibilities that youths can assume to instil changes in the process.

But the message cannot be any clearer: “In order to make a difference in the longer term, it is essential that young people have a say in formulating today’s and tomorrow’s politics,” Mr Abubakar adds.

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