2019: A Call For Youth Coalition To Defend Democratic Principles

2019: A Call For Youth Coalition To Defend Democratic Principles
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 *2019: A CALL FOR A WATER TIGHT YOUTH COALITION TO DEFEND YOUTH INTEREST AND DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES*

*By Nnaemeka U Trump*
*Media Freelancer*
*Strategic And Critical Thinker*


The establishment of systems where democratic principles abound and are upheld requires a civil society where the youths are predominantly the catalyst of a sociopolitical and economic culture attuned to democracy, liberty and freedom. Those who can bring freedom where it is absent and justice where it is denied are chiefly young people. Freedom and justice is a patient and often difficult struggle that requires the strength, sacrifice, rigor and fortitude of youths to be attained. Often time the youth force retreat to democracy and apathy for lack of perspective and coordination. In this frustration, the youth force is hijacked and brought into conflict by belligerent, anti sociopolitical cabals and opportunists either to resist possible youth participation in competitive democracy or to meet their deadly goals of caging the youth force in their egocentrism, vicious mechanization, corrupt practices among other anti democratic principles/practices.

Democracy often mean different things to many people but the central concern of democracy since 1945 after the ruins occasioned by the second world war, has been the peoples right to freely determine their own destiny. The extent to which youths are involved in deciding on the future of their society either directly or indirectly has a tremendous impact on the level of cooperation, development and leadership they will provide in building Nigeria's democracy on principles such as; freedom of expression, belief and association, free fair and competitive elections, political participation, good governance, gender equality, due process of law, respect for the inalienable rights of individuals, free communications media and equitable distribution of state resources and opportunities.

In Nigeria, there have been clamor for youths participation or the lack thereof in politics. The "not too young to run" is perhaps the most fruitful one yet. However, hasty look at Africa's leaders may give credence to the claim that an aging political class is the reason for its seemingly slow development. A large number of its presidents are septuagenarians. It is right, therefore, with proper investigation, to conclude that old politicians equates bad leadership and are responsible for Nigeria's woes. However, the correlation between old age and incompetent leadership does necessarily indicate causation. Yes, correlation perhaps is causation logically.

Nigeria suffers from lack of youth representation, which account largely for her sociopolitical and economic tribulations. The Nigerian story is that of historically incompetent old leaders.

Nigerian youths are brilliant in all aspect of life, they are resourceful, genuinely skillful and can handle any task given to them, but here, the political dealers are thinking otherwise, they see youths as mere object of voting. It is only in Nigeria that you are eligible to vote when you are 18years but cannot aspire to contest for
leadership unless you are 30 or 35 years old, even at 30 or 35 there are offices you cannot aspire for, is this not ridiculous?

However, to protect and correct the fragility and epileptic nature of youths participation in politics in Nigeria, it is paramount for youths to play two key roles;

(1) Setting up and fortifying youth structures, that will be able to provide democratic and leadership Perspectives, foresight, education and employment to the youth population. So as to correct the past anomaly, and protect it from sheepishly sliding into the dead trap of old cabals who may want to frustrate the political evolution and renaissance about to be unleashed.
(2) mounting a coordinated youth front or coalition across Nigeria by youth to provide a viable and coordinated youth action for organized and more prominent youth participation in politics.

If the youth energy, dynamism and vigor is not harnessed and brought into perspective on or before 2019, we may risk our youth force being taken over by the same cabals to keep Nigeria perpetually in the hands of analogous and anarchist leaders.

Nevertheless, it is however in the interest of the youths, to be active in national and international politics and also in protecting democracy and civilization. It is insufficient that the state controls it citizens; the citizens must control both the state, and themselves. Youths are valuable tools to safeguard against violation of basic human rights and govt excesses if youths could take up their responsibilities and play their roles as political actors for them to wrestle power from vitriolic, analogous, retrogressive and repressive regime. Too long we've allowed these old cabals to maltreat, sabotage and demean us, and judge us as not being fit for democracy and political apathy. Yet it is understood that youths become fit for leadership and democracy through democracy.

The current redundancy and passivity of Nigerian youths has to be urgently addressed. Nigerian youths must become vibrantly focused and act as the best custodian of democracy. Partnership between the Youths and the State must be renegotiated and thus impartially established to create a sustainable and forward moving society. In a youth politicized society the idiosyncrasy is that it produces a civil society with a much stronger sense of political efficacy. Even in systems where the decision making power of the legislative is weak or nonexistence, an organized youth structure and a coordinated youth front can mount sufficient pressure on the govt to democratize and serve the interest of the people.

*Providing Intermediary Political Link.*

To push through the vision of the youths taking over leadership rein in Nigeria and Africa, youths must take the challenge of coming together in unity of purpose irrespective of their ethno-religious, sociopolitical, economic and cultural background or orientation to form a strong youth coalition or front, that will among other very crucial things focus on the reorientation of our youths on their erroneous perspectives on the what their stake or place is when it comes to politics and leadership. And this coalition will also act as channel of establishing a political link or cord, linking the local population with other youth-centric stakeholders. To safeguard against blind political participation and manipulation by incumbent govt. This link must be put in place to correctly educate youths and the people on what democracy is and what democracy intrinsically guarantees. To undermine such instances of political monopoly by the old cabals, youths must be empowered to preach the gospel of democracy and to further take it inland to the grassroots.

The participation and leadership of youths is required in infant democracies such as Nigeria's and most African nations if we hope to push back totalitarianism, anarchy, tyranny, under development, unemployment, corruption and jingoism and tribalist govt as being practised by Buhari/APC led govt. The passivity of youths in sub Sahara Africa mostly in Nigeria, with regards to their political participation, and their submissive involvement in repressive regime is not a healthy sign to the future and certainly not in the political interest of both the youths and society at large.

The challenges today are enormous. Youths have to stand up against usurpation, constitutional violation, political persecution, clueless/incompetent leadership, corruption, human rights abuse, electoral fraud and the violation of our freedom of expression, association, and belief by the repressive regime of Buhari/APC. We have to put up a coalition and a coordinated front that will declare our stand on these issues to the world. We most importantly have to provide the leadership and involvement required to tactically engage and subdue the evil and undemocratic govt that called us *lazy and uneducated*.

Conclusively, our duty now is to the future. We have to appreciate what advantages democracy has offered us now and in the future to a point where the we would be able to defend it with our lives. We must remain loyal and committed to the principles of democracy, overcome contradictions and firmly defend the rights of youths. We should however be conscious of the salient fact that the responsibility of constructing, defending and upholding true democracy in Nigeria rests on the shoulders of youths. The duty is onerous, but will be lighter if we come together to exchange ideas and information, share resources and take advantage of modern telecommunications.


*By Nnaemeka U Trump*
*Media Freelancer*
*Strategic And Critical Thinker*
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