OPINION: Katsina State 30th Anniversary and challenges on Youths of the State – By Gaddafi Umar Mahuta
I have been following the events happening in Katsina State though not closely with regards to the state’s celebration of 30 years’ anniversary and there have been interesting developments which should be addressed at all levels. I wish to start by congratulating my dear state for a successful existence and one of the most developed states since creation. Despite some political and social challenges, the state’s atmosphere has relatively been peaceful and has an outstanding record of hospitality, successes and an average infrastructural development.
It is not a new revelation to know that the future of our dear state is in the hands of the state’s youths whose participation in the state’s related affairs have been very low despite having about 70% representation in the state’s population index. It will be quite interesting if our respectable youths of the state rise up to overcome the enormous challenges which have not been gapped for quite a long time. For instance, the youths have not been engaged in politics by involvement in direct governance or key profiled position in the Federal Government according to available records.
Just like so many youths in Nigeria, Katsina State youths are used for political reasons to achieve what is wanted and dumped at the end. Some of the elite youths are mostly forced to be opportunists to favour their own personal interest instead of the institution that produced them or which they represent. However, in most cases where there is no clear mission and vision defined in movements, the top politicians take advantage of the loop holes to their own advantage. It is sad that some political godfathers deliberately assist a system that creates poverty and unfriendly atmosphere for any youth movement to achieve its full potential for some feared reasons. The unfortunate mischief has however forced so many youths into search of social security and attainment.
As a youth, I wish to challenge any political movement or activism to hold on to their institutional values and objectives for which they are created. The youth have to prove their preparedness to take over leadership of our esteemed state from our supposedly retired fathers. With the available youth resources in the state, there should not be any political office holder of more than 60 years of age. Our state of assembly representation should be between 25 to 35 years, House of Representatives 30 to 45 years and Senate 40 to 55 years. For Governorship seat, it will be great and commendable if Governor Aminu Bello Masari hands over power to someone within the age of 35 to 45 years. Lagos and Gombe States have done it (Fashola & Dankwambo) and records of their performance are there. These types of leaders were able record their achievements because they have a future to build for themselves and the people and not in any way preparing themselves for retirement.
Most of our aged fathers having tasted the sweet side of leadership will not easily give up their positions to the youths as they hold on to power in fulfilment of self-secured financial living and numerous privileges which they enjoy while in office. At this moment, they should let go their aspirations and ambitions as no one plans a better future for another. The future belongs to the youths and should plan and structure the future by themselves. I believe Katsina State has such potential people who will transform and govern the state effectively and efficiently. This is a smart revolution which we must all embrace.
Corruption among youths is already making its way in the system because of some of the reasons mentioned. Most of the old aged politicians will not give up because they will never have enough of our resources. In some administration(s), we have seen situations where youths were used to facilitate corruption for cover up reasons. Some of these corrupt politicians only give opportunity to youths that are willing to succumb to corrupt acts or those that are on the same page with them so as to avoid exposure whenever they leave office. This is sad and must be addressed by all stakeholders. The youths must understand that they have a long distanced future ahead unlike the much aged politicians. Unlawful accumulation of wealth must be tackled at all levels.
It is obviously heart trembling to brand most youths of our time as corrupt elements in so many instances even when they have so much good to offer. The reason cannot be dissociated from some youths whom have been tried and have failed to meet or exceed expectations required of them, rather engaged in corrupt practices. It is time to reflect, re-strategize, say no to corruption and engage in politics and governance in full scale.
Long Live Youths of Katsina State!
Long Live Katsina State!!
Long Live Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!