All critical assessment of the three major contenders in the forthcoming presidential election in Nigeria shows that Nigerians most especially the youths have to look beyond personal changes as the last solution to their present social-political, economic and cultural problems facing the country at hand.
There is no saint among them says Former president Olusegun Obasanjo in his new year letter to Nigeria youths, though with mixed reactions from different quarters across political divides and affiliations. Yet we could not deny the fact that there are variables he outlined to justify his preference for a particular candidate, which he opined to be the best among them. As an oriented youth in Nigeria politics and governance overtime, I stand to say that chief Obasanjo’s opinion is personal to himself and would have little influence on the choice of Nigeria youths, whose problems and challenges are common, but with diverse interests when it comes to the choice of leadership at all levels of government.
Though, it is natural for man to indulge in the illusion of hope especially when we are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth and listen to the song of that political siren that is almost transforming us into a political stateless beast. So to believe a political saint is coming to change the paradigm and existing order of corruption, leadership failure and general abuse of office come 2023 is nothing but an illusion that is far from reality.
My candid opinion and advice to my fellow Nigerian youths are that when you know what to do in any situation in terms of proffering possible solutions to the arrays of challenges and problems facing the youths and the nation at large, based on what you know and are capable of doing in your peculiar domain, do not be intimidated by the dissenting views and opinions of the older ones who have several opportunities to make a change but failed.
Though there must be a combination of wisdom, love, respect, and humility in dealing with the older generations, that must not be a deterrent to taking responsibility for our today and the future we desire and envisioned. If there is consistency in providing answers to problems that have defied solutions over time, it will not be long before there will be accorded respect from both the young and the old alike, it will also not be long before people to transfer leadership to you because you earn it.
On the choice of whom the youths should pitch their tent with come 2023, even with the diversities of our political interest, we need a leader who is not necessarily a political all-rounder or who try to exhibit expertise in every area of government, physical agility may not be the ultimate yardstick, but we need a leader that will create an enabling environment for individuals potentials, innovations, and capabilities to strive for effective productivity and national development.
In summation, Nigeria is bleeding, insecurity and unemployment are at its peak, there seems to be no hope for the common man, and even the leaders are cut into a web of confusion as to what to do. At the receiving end of it, all is the younger generation who seems not ready to live to the reality of not depending on the government to solve their current problems and also envision a better future for themselves. The 2023 general election will come and will go, but the heightened expectations of Nigerians from their elected officials may not be met.
It is time to focus on problem identification and proffering possible solutions, it is time to focus on self-development and innovations for better living.
Above all, I wish Nigerians a hitch-free, credible, free, and fair election come 2023.
– Tanimola Odunayo Emmanuel is a Kogi-based political analyst