Why Nigerian youths may not win presidency now, CSO

*As Ojeka cautions against voting parties

Ahead of the 2023 elections, Country Director, Plan International, Usie Emmamuzou, has blamed lack of planning and short-sightedness as reasons the youths cannot become President in Nigeria anytime soon.

Emmamuzou who spoke yesterday in Abuja at an event organised by Africado Foundation to celebrate this year’s International Youth Day, maintained that young persons in the country are too fixated on the office of the President and usually want instant indulgence without proper and adequate planning.

With the theme: “Inter-generational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages, he stressed that unless the youth change their attitude, the old may continue to lead the nation even after President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said: “One of the challenges with the Not Too Young To Run movement is that not many young Nigerians are aspiring for the office of the counsellor or local government chairmen, but they want to be President. It does not work like that; it takes planning and timing and it is all a gradual process.”

Adding: “The young ones are usually short-sighted with plans and want immediate gratification and it doesn’t always work like that. Though it may work for some people in the short term but if you study any successful organisation or individual, you will find out that none of them has shortened the process.”

Emmamuzou stressed the need for youth to be intentional in the area of politics and governance by joining political parties, adding that they must also learn to undergo tutelage and mentorship.

“There is a time when you need to learn and undergo tutelage and coaching. In the political space, the young ones are too fixated on the presidency whereas there is a lot going on at the state level. The kind of Nigeria we want won’t be instigated only from the presidency. Many of us live in states that don’t even get our acts right.

“We need young people in state Houses of Assembly, we need young people as counsellors and local government chairmen, that is how you take hold of a state and have a decent policy and over time, you begin to aspire for the presidency.

“Some of the politicians we see today who are aspiring for the presidency next year have had this ambition for the last 25 years consistently, but young people would want to have an ambition today and actualise it next year”, he stated.

Founder, Africado Foundation, Richardson Ojeka, in his remarks, advised Nigerians on the qualities to look out for before adopting or voting for any politician to become Nigeria’s next president.

According to Ojeka, youth should not vote along party lines but for candidates with influence and capabilities to deliver the dividends of democracy.

He stated that the youths have a very vital role to play in 2023.

“The youth are very important in any country, in any nation. We need to have one voice above and vote for someone with vision but vision is not enough.

“You need to have someone who also has influence. We need to vote for people who can go into communities in the interest of young people. That is the way I think youth need to vote. Not for a party, but the candidates regardless of any party, but the deciding factor for the youth should be, “is this person competent”?

He informed that the mission of the Foundation was to end unemployment in Nigeria using technology.

According to him, most of the challenges facing the country including insecurity were due to unemployment.

“So, we need to solve that problems and the best way is to use technology by giving technology to underserved, underprivileged people, and they will use it as tool for national transformation”, Ojeka stated.

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