The profile of Nigerian politicians from the president to lawmakers, from ministers to ambassadors, heads of federal and state agencies bear an uncomfortable resemblance to gerontocracy. Nigeria has been a captive of an octogenarian rule with failings that come with senility and close-mindedness.
The Buharis and Atikus of the world have nothing to offer to the teeming unemployed Nigerian youths. Last year, at the inauguration of a skills acquisition center built in Agosasa, Ipokia Local Government Area of Ogun State by a former member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Abraham Akinlade, the Director-General, Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI), Professor Danladi Matawal said over 30 million Nigerian youths were unemployed and do not have means of livelihood.
Unemployment is the cause why the country’s young men invade streets and high ways as armed robbers, kidnappers, abductors, and for our young women to seek livelihood from prostitution. Thirty million unemployed youths is an unacceptable reality in a country with such impressive pool of youth talent and creativity. Youth unemployment is a ticking time bomb which now appears close to exploding in form of election revenge. In 2019, the ballot will not boast of the usual cast of octogenarians.
The octogenarians warming up for 2019 have serious health and medical issues related to senility and dementia. Age is a factor in some of their cloudy thinking. As demonstrated time and time again, they seemed confused, lost, distant, disoriented, incoherent, indecisive, immobile and exhausted. Yes, the experience is a virtue, but the memory of the octogenarians is not as acute as they want us to believe. They are prone to increased risk for trouble in memory and cognition.
For 58 years our youths have been shortchanged. They have been sidelined, ignored, rejected, and written off as the lost generation. They have been denied any viable notion of morality and personal and social responsibility. They have been polluted, corrupted, miseducated, misinformed, and co-opted. Our youths no longer imbibe critical thinking, civic courage, and are not critically engaged citizens. They have become robots and zombies. They can no longer speak truth to power and hold power accountable.
Our youths are lost as it were in transit. They have been rendered grounded, powerless, hopeless, useless, impoverished by the same old backward-looking group that has ruled Nigeria since independence. They have been nurtured and nourished in the culture of immediacy, corruption, dishonesty, and fraud. Our youths have been consigned into a dark cave of civic and intellectual depravity. They have been taught by the morally bankrupt ruling class that greed is a national virtue. Social justice and political vision fall prey to a preying and spectating leadership. Ethical imagination has come under assault. Honesty, honor, respect, and compassion have been erased from our social and political culture. Advocates of such virtues and values have been muzzled and punished. Buharis and Atikus will continue with the same bullshit if by default they are returned to power.
President Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar as candidates for 2019 are on political life support. They are DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) candidates. They are too old to be part of Nigeria’s future. They are political relics that have no place in the new Nigeria waiting to be birthed. They are behind the times. The 2019 government of youths, by youths, and for youths will be a Candlelight Revolution. It will represent a light in the darkness. It’s going to be a strong movement for democracy, peace, progress, and prosperity for all. This is beyond APC or PDP or any political party for that matter. It’s a movement for sanity. A movement that will sanitize Nigeria and Nigerians. It’s a collective determination to fight and uproot a system in which only the corrupt wealthy and the well-connected advance and prosper.
Whenever any form of government becomes insensitive, corrupt, inept, destructive, and wicked, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and institute new government that will protect, preserve, and provides for the safety and happiness of the people. For 2019, Nigeria needs a president who will look into a troubled situation, discern the problem, then do what it takes to correct the problem. In other words, Nigeria needs a troubleshooting president. We need a president who will equip youths to maximize and use their talents and gifts. A president who must always accompany authority with responsibility. A president who will raise the bar and call Nigerians to a higher standard. A president who will celebrate our diversity and work for our unity. A president who will avoid living in denial but define reality. President Buhari and Atiku lack these prerequisites.