Whenever I interact with fellow youth, the question I ask myself repeatedly is, how many of us think of getting to the position of power to serve and not to be rich? Most of the time, sadly, we hallucinate the richness that comes with power in Nigeria than thinking of how to build strong society through the power.
I recall that, the moment one of us is appointed a particular position, the next thing he engages in is changing his material status. While performance according to his job description is tertiary. Fellow youth would make him their daily topic of discussion; not on account of what he was able to achieve in office, but on the kind of car he drives around town, the house he builds and the girls he courts. In every discussion of our state of affairs, we discuss the trivials but tune out the substance. This is the psychological dilemma of selfie generation. How we could get out of it remains a challenge.
We need to know that, even without bill, election and whatever politics there is, it’s natural we succeed this generation of leaders. But the question is, are we ready; how far can we fare behind the wheel? We need much more than bill and inclusive partisan politics to succeed as leaders. Bills such as #NotTooYoungToRule will only have less than one percent of the youth absorbed, leaving more than 99 percent struggling for space in the mainstream economy.
It has become clear therefore that, what we need from the elders isn’t paving way for us to become leaders through bill, law or election. What we need is capacity building through provision of quality education and other means like mentoring to enable us understand the dynamics of leadership, how the system generally works and roads to economic and social developments. For leadership is not about becoming president and governors through electoral processes, but about excelling in our chosen areas of human endeavour. This will make us aware of the consequences of the choices we might make when it’s our turn.
Since none of the above is coming our way, it’s time we begin to prepare ourselves by acquiring different leadership skills; equipping ourselves with various intellectual capacities that will enable us to propose new paradigm in governance, economy, politics and public administration. With this, we will be responsible leaders that could build strong and competitive society. Else, we will continue to be used as tools to achieving political ends. In the end, we make bad leaders.
Tsangayar Malan Dan Malan