• Opinion
  • Updated: March 17, 2023

How Nigerian Youths Can Harness The 2023 Political Voice They Gained

How Nigerian Youths Can Harness The 2023 Political Voice The

Nigerian Youths

The Obidient movement has become synonymous with the yearnings of ordinary Nigerian youths.

A push for political power that demonstrates inclusivity, compassion and empathy.

Having succeeded with carving a voice in 2023, how can Nigerian youths make their voices increasingly dominant? 

The political status quo of Nigeria was distorted. Nigerian youths took hold of their national destinies. 

They stood aggressively behind political Messiahs they believed in and put their bodies on the line to enthrone their political candidates.

What else sounds cooler than the readiness of Nigerian youths to forgo the weekend European footballing actions for standing waitingly in the scorching sun to exercise their voting rights?

The youths made a statement that would continue to be studied by political observers for many years to come.

But won't the statement be erased if the youths do not harness the powers they have marshalled well enough?

How can they make their industry and political doggedness count in the Nigerian political landscape?

They should line up behind youthful candidates subsequently

In the just concluded presidential election, the two leading political parties - the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) - have the oldest presidential candidates.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the APC is 70, and the PDP's Atiku Abubakar is 75.

The other candidates with a chance of winning the presidency were 61-year-old Peter Obi of the Labour Party and 66-year-old Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People's Party (NNPP).

The ages of the 14 other presidential candidates range from 38 to 68.

There are 18 candidates in all. Their average age is 57.4 (and their median age is 59).

The average age of their running mates is 51.7.

The votes of the youths were scattered among the four front-running candidates under the guise that none of them was actually youthful.

Subsequently, if Nigerian youths can endorse a candidate whose age falls between the established youth age brackets, they will redefine Nigerian democracy and take charge of governance. 

An experienced forty-year-old/forty-five-year-old presidential candidate with youth support could take Nigeria to the next phase. 

They should negotiate for power 

Occupying the youth leader position of a political party should not be sufficient for Nigerian youths. 

They should be ready to take the driving seats instead of being appeased with "peanuts" roles. 

Since they mattered so much in the 2023 election cycle, they should force their way into the national narratives and governance of the elected candidates. 

Despite their active political participation, politicians could continue to use them for political appeal.

They would exploit their emotions with dubious personality innocence before elections and dump them after the election cycles.

Having an older leader who would pretend to empathise with the youths should not be tolerated.

Instead, the youths should use their 2023 voting powers to lay claims to administrative positions occupied by the elderly.

The youths shouldn't be distracted 

Politicians are beginning to plot elements of disconnection among the youths throwing tribal, religious and sentimental cards. 

The youths should resist the temptation. Instead of using the social media voice for personality gaslighting, they should look into using the space to set an agenda for responsive governance. 

The youths shouldn't create a cult of rigidity and enmity but a constellation of stars built on the spreading of innovative ideas that would brighten the future of Nigeria. 

The youthfulness, agility and political voices of Nigerian youths could be useful to them if they stand as a force rather than as a bunch of distracted naysayers.

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