Thirty Percent or Nothing; By Presley Akhigbe
Thee call for youth involvement and participation in the governance of Nigeria has been greeted with mixed reactions. Lots of people mostly youths have condemned the call regarding it as an orchestrated scheme by the PDP to co-opt the youths and then use them for personal purpose. Others say some youths are championing the course in order to project themselves and sell themselves. Lots of other youths too have condemned the project on arrival, calling it an unrealistic ambitious, juvenile and irresponsible project. All those issues are not the focus here
The #30%ornothing project should be adopted on lots of ground among which is that it will put an end to the mediocrity pervading every facet of governance in Nigeria. The is the revolution we have been yearning for. In my last article, “The revolution we need”, I mentioned that the time for the youth is now. What we are saying is a minimum of 30% of youths to be represented in government, it could be more, but a minimum of 30% representation.
The important thing now is that all youths must intensify the awareness of this call. It is a noble and righteous call on everyone, especially the elderly ones to allow the youths to flourish. I read last week and someone say the 30% or nothing is a mirage. Well, this type of hurdles are inevitable, but lets not be discouraged, on a daily basis, we should sustain the awareness of the project, that’s the first step. Let everybody feel the pulse of the call for 30% no matter the negativity. However, it will be better for those casting aspersion to be indifferent instead of condemnation. Whatever the intentions of the brains behind the project might have the fact remains the project has gone beyond a group of youths trying to hijack the scheme for personal gains.
30% or nothing is growing daily and will be charted to favor the youths and youths alone by directing their focus towards political participation with the ultimate goal of infecting new breed of politicians to achieve positive development.
After the awareness comes participation. I am not here to discuss political parties, no, not at all. Before I elaborate on participation I want us to imagine the senate of Nigeria. We have former governors, retired generals, retired permanent secretaries, former ministers and even all present governors who are nearing tenure end are going to senate. It is a devlish circle that does not encourage the youths. The ministers are contesting for governor, the ex governors, ex presidents and ex this, ex that are, re-contesting for president, With this trend, its logical to say no hope for the youths In Nigeria. I would have suggested that youths under the platform of #30%ornothing should adopt a neutral party nationwide so that all and sundry will know that there is a youth party, by so doing it will be easier to vote for all youths in the party, but that seems a long shot. The most important thing now is youths on all social media and everyone should register now with parties, INEC and form various formidable groups to present themselves for election. It will be useless if youths do not commence mass registration as we speak, hence #30%ornothing becomes futile. Just as we tweet 30% or nothing, we should add, ‘’#YouthsRegisterNow’’. All youths should start registration immediately. Similarly, it is imperative that even youths contesting under other political parties should identify with #30%ornothing and together with other youths champion the cause. No harm is done as long as it involves the youths.
Outside participation, let it be known by all youths, that they shall support only youths during voting. Youths for youths alone. For the avoidance of doubt, the youths we are calling upon for participation and support are those whose age bracket falls between 18-40 years of age. No more, no less
Now to some small issues. lots of people, especially the youths tend to not have faith in fellow youths. They condemn youths and other associations like NANS, SUGS and other student run bodies, they criticize and label these youth bodies as corrupt. That argument is not for this discourse, the call here is that all youths including the NANS, SUG and others should embrace the #30%ornothing call as it can further assist every youth to achieve political participation. Also we want all Nigerians in diaspora especially the youths to come and participate in this noble course; it’s a great opportunity we must embrace. The awareness has started and in few months time the whole country will know that the youths are in contention for various posts and fellow youths will support all youths participating
There is the issue of credibility too that youths are not credible, but are the elderly ones we vote for every time anymore credible than the youths? Kudos to all the youths in the entertainment industry, they are shaping the new face of Africa. #30%ornothing is the change we have been yearning for.
In conclusion, this to let all youths come together on the platform of social media, to chart the path the #30%ornothing will follow. In my opinion the stages involve are:
- Awareness (where we are now)
- Registration and Organisation (next stage)
- Participation and electioneering
As for me, I will only vote for any youth contesting in my region. All youth associations in churches, mosques, schools, clubs and everywhere should endeavor to participate in this noble call.
God bless Nigeria youth
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