A Piece of my mind on the state of youth participation in Nigerian politics
This issue has been burning in my heart for sometime now and I really haven’t been able to discuss it because I’ve been trying so hard to stay away from anything political in Nigeria (as difficult as that can be for every Nigerian home and abroad). I may be wrong to think this particular case I’m so bothered about what commenced in the last administration but that for me was when it became unacceptably nauseating because it seemed fellow youths began to accept it as a norm.
And the issue is no other than youths of the same political party choosing to visit one or more of their state governors and going on a tour of ongoing and executed projects by the governor, sharing pictures of same on every social media platform as if all the problems in the state have been solved. This for me is a sad development for our youths but the very partisan ones will surely disagree and attack me mercilessly if they ever see this write up. For example I remember Pdp youths throwing projects by the Mimiko administration in our faces anytime we bring up the issue of unpaid salaries running to 7 months by the man many of them refer to as their leader and best governor, good enough Ondo state citizens were not fooled by any of these show, they voted massively against anything related to Mimiko.
APC youth are doing exactly the same thing now by visiting some of their sitting governors brandishing all sorts of ongoing and executed projects in the bid to counter any narrative that their change agenda was nothing but noise to displace PDP from office. It is noteworthy that all these youths visiting other states are mostly resident in Lagos as if Lagos is a standard to judge other states with. One major question I would love to ask the youths is who funds each of the visit they undertake to any state governor and to the sites of the various projects where they take the pictures we see on social media. I seriously doubt they can afford to use personal money for any of the visit, as I also do not think their political party has a separate account to fund such visits by members of the party.
If the state governors are by any chance the ones funding these visits, I will advise the youths to please stop and allow the governors concentrate on their jobs, allow residents of each state judge their governors appropriately without the power of media and influencers to confuse them on what is real and what isn’t. The people are the real beneficiaries of whatever their governor does and should therefore be the ones to decide the fate of their respective governors not influencers who have been paid to write and post pictures to make the governor look good to the people in and outside the state. Another good example was what happened in Ektit state where Fayemi was seen as a smart/intelligent governor by outsiders because of what influencers who visited the state said about him but during the election the people voted massively for Fayose because what we could not see, they saw. Meanwhile some of us who were outside Ekiti were foolishly saying they voted out an intelligent man for a thug or whatever name you choose to call Fayose but be that as it may, his people chose him over the man we thought was a great governor.
Also the funds used in transporting and paying influencers for their services would be better used if added to the fund meant for capital projects. Some states are struggling to pay salaries, some managing to pay half salaries yet invite influencers to help make the governor look good, when that money could be used to pay salaries of some of those workers who can no longer feed families and are no longer credit worthy. Youths, I put it to you that you can show support to governors of your party across the nation without costing them a penny thereby making life more difficult for the residents of the state, show support wherever you are, allow the governors spend every penny they get to make life easier for the people and the projects executed will surely speak for the governor without any of you influencing anything online. There are many ex and currently serving governors who have done very well in office and people sing their praises today, without the help of paid influencers who sometimes make it very difficult to believe the governor is actually doing anything because of that saying that ‘empty barrels make the loudest noise’.
I wish some of us will wake up from this unproductive partisan slumber by focusing on more important issues like the structure of this nation, I expect that most, if not all of us should be actively demanding for restructuring of this nation for efficiency and productivity. Nigeria as presently structured may never achieve its true potentials until we all stand to demand that we change this archaic system for a better, productive and progressive system for us and the generation behind us where governors can fully utilize resources of their states to better the lives of the people resident in the state.
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