February 25 is around the corner and it is a day eligible Nigerian voters are expected to come out in droves to speak with their votes.
Considering what the youths want is eminently necessary.
Young Nigerians have been cleared to vote. The federal government has closed all institutions to allow students to return to their base and cast their votes.
Research shows that 52.2 million people are between 18-35.
The figure outnumbers the total population of world power, Spain, 47.42 million (in 2021) and not far from that of France,67.75 million (2021).
In Africa, the young Nigerian population is greater than Ghana and Benin Republic’s population.
But it is beginning to look like the numbers are not symmetrical to Nigeria’s development.
Therefore, some youths have seen the forthcoming election as their significant shot.
Judging by the harsh economic realities, national insecurity and other inexcusable structural failures, one cannot blame Nigerian youths who want the following:
To an average young Nigerian, food should be available and secure.
Economic friendliness that will make feeding seamless is paramount to young people.
Not only that, but the next president must also see to food-related challenges, such as the effects of climate action, including flooding and drought.
As a matter of urgency, the next president will lessen the food availability burden and mitigate feeding risks.
The government must also condense the deepening clashes between herders/farmers and subdue the self-government agitation stopping the youths in the southeast from proceeding with their daily businesses.
Economic opportunities for millions of graduates and a friendly business environment for startups will put food on the table for many youths in no time.
The APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, was right when he said at the Nigerian Economic Summit Group debate last week that one cannot eradicate corruption completely.
But the young people and the generality of Nigerians voted in his party on the corruption eradication mantra, which has yet to come to fruition.
Despite the huff and puff of the present administration, the country still ranks 150 out of 180 countries on the Corruption Perceptions Index.
Holistically, the next president must be ready to tackle the menace without complacency in every facet of Nigerian sectors.
The young people want an accountable government that will foster an independent judiciary and a sharp legal system that can haunt, name, shame and jail any culprits of administrative mismanagement.
Young Nigerian people want to say what they feel when they wish.
They want to be free from media censorship and detest the incoming government if it bans any social network like President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration banned Twitter.
They want a system that allows mainstream, digital and online media to discharge their duties with zero fear.
Instead of being punished by law, young Nigerian people want a media sector that must be protected by law and the government’s friendly digital rights.
Some Nigerian youths are frustrated and disinterested in the system. The next president needs to restore national peace in the country immediately.
Worse still, the 2023 general election has spewed a lot of national division and undue competition.
The next president needs to equip himself with the armoury of national unity and regional inclusion.
He should also solve the prevalence of police brutality and the loss of public trust and respect for the security system.
The EndSARS protests of 2020 were an expression of discontent with the Special Anti-Robbery Squad accused of harassing, brutalising and extorting young people.
It should be a priority for the next grand commander of the federal republic to exhibit a national body language that identifies with the yearnings of young people regarding national peace, law and order.
The next Nigerian president must be prepared to bring the young people on board during his administration.
From women to technocrats and people living with disabilities need to be part of the country’s administrative structure from 2023 onwards.
Equity and merit should be the watchword of the next leader. No political elite must hold undue influence on the leadership and governance of the next president of Nigeria.
Young Nigerian people want the word “cabal”, which they see as an impediment to national transparency and openness in government to disappear from the presidency.
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