2019 election not for poor youths

When President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Not-Too-Young To Run bill into law, many Nigerian youths heaved a sigh of relief.
They saw it as an opportunity to actively participate or take a shot at the country’s fledgling democracy.
Since the return of democracy in 1999, Nigerian youths have been relegated to the background.
They have been prevented or not allowed to showcase their God given leadership talents.
These energetic and productive youths who constitute over 70% of the country’s population have what it takes to steer the country to the promising land.
Unfortunately, however, the ruling elite have refused to give them a chance.
Nigerian youths, from time immemorial, have been playing passive political roles.
They have been turned into political thugs by our political leaders.
They are only engaged or hired during elections.
They will be given dangerous weapons, hard drugs in order to help and rig the election in favour of their sponsors.
Sadly, after they coasted to victory, these politicians abandon the youths to their fate.
The passing of Not-Too-Young To Run bill has rekindled the hope that sooner than later, Nigerian youths would find themselves in positions of authority.
The forthcoming 2019 general election would serve as the litmus test for the law.
However, the spirit and enthusiasm or passion of Nigerian youths is being gradually killed by political parties.
The ongoing sale of nomination forms by various political parties has been greeted with hue and cries.
The exorbitant cost of the forms being charged by our political parties has become a matter of public discourse.
It is generally viewed as direct attack to the ambition of many promising and intelligent youths.
Even President Buhari could not hide his feelings about the cost of the form as he admitted he didn’t possess the N45million to purchase it.
At the end, it was a political group or association that footed the bill and obtained the form for him.
If the president could complain about the expensive cost of the form, what about the ordinary poor Nigerian youths who want to try their luck? From how things unfold, it seems the political parties in cahoots with the ruling elite are hell bent to deny the Nigerian youths their constitutional right to contest.
The political parties which served as the platform for leadership recruitment have failed to create a level playing field or conducive atmosphere for the Nigerian youths to excel in our democratic setting.
For the youths who can afford the price of the forms will be confronted with additional challenges of heavy financial war chest to settle the powerful party delegates.
Also, they need to become the preferred or anointed candidates of our emperor governors to win the party primaries.
These hurdles will inevitably discourage the youths from actively participating in politics.
With the global leadership shift which places emphasis on youths, many political observers thought Nigeria will toe the line of developed countries.
Emmanuel Macron became the president of France at young age.
In Nigeria, the old politicians whom I read their history in the early 1970s and late 1980s are still calling the shot.
The poser is: when are they vacating the political scene for the younger generation? The NoToo-Young To Run Act is charade and scam.
The law is working perfectly in other countries, but not in Nigeria where politics is commercialized beyond the reach of the average poor youths.
Ibrahim Mustapha, Pambegua, Kaduna state; 08169056963



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