One of the concepts of the “#NOT TOO YOUNG TO RUN” project is to encourage young people in Nigeria to take over the various political leadership roles in the country through a robust and effective electoral processes and stop complaining about accidental leaders.
There is no doubt our current democratic processes are expensive for young Nigerians to participate but then they should not be discouraged to seek for for political leadership positions through a democratic process.
However, it was also discovered that some of these young Nigerians sell their chances either through monetary inducement or political bargain even if they are imminently qualified and eligible. This act should be discouraged and stopped especially during electioneering period.
In recent time, we have had few young leaders that have failed in one way or the other in their cause of steering state affairs in political positions, it should not be a yardstick for measuring leadership acumen of the young people in Nigeria.
For the purpose of this piece and to encourage some of the young people in Nigeria that are currently making us proud in either the political or business arena, I want to center on prominent young Nigerians across the 36 states that are doing very well and to appeal to them to seek for leadership and elective positions in order to add value to humanity.
As a young Nigerian, I have traversed through the length and breadth of this country. The aim of these trips are to actualize the concept of our project, “#NOT TOO YOUNG TO RUN”. It also afforded me the opportunity to identify some young Nigerians who are doing well in their private lives and have the capacity to change the face of our political system. The trip amongst other things is to encourage our eligible young Nigerians who have negative perception about our Nigerian politics due to its volatile nature.
Furthermore, I will share my findings and observations about some few young Nigerians whom I identified and should be encouraged to seek political office through democratic process. I will not be able to put all names here as this write up shall be continuous either in series or Parts. I will start with Nasarawa state incidentally where I hail from. Nasarawa is blessed with alot of promising young political leaders that should be encouraged. One Mohammed Musa Maikaya is an example. This young man has empowered several youth through his foundation. I believe he will impact positively on the youth and society if encouraged to seek elective political office.
In continuation of these trips, we visited Katsina state, because of its peculiarities, this is a state that had produced three Nigerian leaders and one vice-president. While late Umaru Yar’Adua was elected as a civilian president, Muhammadu Buhari was both military head of state and currently a civilian president. General Shehu Yar’Adua was chief of staff supreme headquarters, equivalent to civilian vice-president. It may interest us to know Shehu Yar’Adua attained that position at the age of 36. Katsina has also produced a former chief justice of Nigeria, two presidents of court of appeal, two directors-general of National National intelligency Agency, two directors-general of SSS and inspector-general of police.
All these people occupied the positions during their younger years.
These feat spurred us to visit the state to see if the younger ones are inspired or encouraged to run for political office. I must first and foremost commend the visionary leader, governor of Katsina, Aminu Bello Masari, for not only mentoring young people in his state but for providing them with an enabling environment and political platform to showcase their talents and what they can do for the people.
Apart from Kogi, Katsina is the ONLY state that has given over 10 young people an opportunity to serve in the current administration namely; Abubakar Sada Ilu as commissioner of land and surveying, Mustapha Kanti Bello as commissioner solid minerals, Rt. Hon. Kusada as the speaker of the Katsina state house of assembly, Ibrahim Zakari as the special adviser on international relations and investments and host of others. For that singular honour, Masari needs to be commended not condemned for always having young people at heart.
In Katsina, God has blessed them with bright many young men but there is one called Ibrahim Zakari that cannot be ignored. For the first time, I heard his name last December when I visited Dutsin Safe Low Cost Katsina, in Katsina. I understand and confirmed that his appointment is honorary which means he enjoys no financial reward or other perks of employment like salary, car, house, office running cost from the state government. He is currently the honorary special adviser (SA) to the government of the Katsina state on international relations and investments.
As we are all aware, people go into politics to make money in Nigeria but for this young Ibrahim is an exception, He has used his contacts and attracted alot of investments to Katsina. He has got investors to build a modular refinery called Blakoil refinery in his LG Mashi, and recently, I understand a group of medical team were brought in to Katsina from Saudi Arabia who conducted free eye surgery at his instance for over 3,000 people with over 500 operated upon. These are verifiable facts. All these are at zero cost to both the state and federal government.
He has also brought in investors from different countries to Katsina, and Nigeria by extension. All these information are verifiable.
To us as young people, Zakari is a mentor to Nigerian youth and should be encouraged to seek for elective leadership position in Nigeria in order to add value to humanity not only to Katsina people but Nigerians at large. I want to be like Zakari and I want to equally appeal to other young people across Nigeria to borrow a cue from his school of thought.
In Kwara, we have the likes of ambassador Abdulfatai Yahaya Gambari. In Kano, we have another shining star, Shaaban Sharadan, the personal assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on broadcast media.
Finally, more details and facts shall be produced in subsequent bulletins. For us to get it right as young people we must as a matter of necessity encourage some of us to seek for elective leadership positions and be #ReadyToRun so that the concept of the #NotTooYoungToRun project will not be defeated.
Ibrahim Kabiru Dallah, leader of the Nigerian Youth Parliament, writes from Abuja. He can be reached on Twitter @ik_dallah and email: [email protected]
Source: The Cable