Nigeria: African Youth urged to be Organized, Creative and Goal-Oriented in Readiness to Take up Leadership

The generational shift in the political arena, which Africans are calling for, cannot be achieved on a silver platter, as the youths have to first prove to the world that they are ready and capable to lead.

This was the submission by the President of African Youth for Change Forum (AYFCF), Prince Hammed Olanrewaju Mohammed. He told Timescape Magazine in an interview in Lagos, Nigeria, that while the agitation for the older generation to leave the political scene is good, African youths have not shown readiness to take over.

“There is no doubt that the older generation has stayed too long-ruling us. Some of our rulers have overstayed their time in office, and are sadly becoming dictators,” he says. 

He, however, says that the question of whether the youths on the continent were ready to take over had not yet been answered.

Africa is home to the world’s youngest population and also hosts three of the five longest-serving leaders, at the top of whom are Paul Biya of Cameroon and Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea. Nigeria is currently being led by Muhammadu Buhari, who although elected in 2015 had served as military head of state between 1983 and 1985.  

“Let me buttress my point with the recent situation in Nigeria where youths were protesting against police brutality through the #EndSARS movement. We at AYFCF strongly identify with the demands of these youths, but what happened during this period of the protest showed that our young people still need wisdom in whatever they are doing,” he says.

For a complete 12 days, these youths were on the streets, but during this period Prince Mohammed says there was no clear leadership and coordination to show a direction to their struggle. This is true of other struggles in Africa mainly championed by the youths.

It was a pity that even when the government listened to some of their demands, there was nobody among them to take up the leadership role of coordinating further negotiation with the authorities. The protests lacked leadership,” he says.

The accusation of protesters in Africa lacking leadership that would create political change has previously been levelled against Egyptians who are currently led by a ruler with a military background, despite toppling long time leader Hosni Mubarak through popular uprisings in 2011.

Prince Mohammed says that African youths can’t complain over neglect by their governments without being creative, which would allow young people to provide the ideas that would replace what is being offered by the older generation.  

On what African Youth for Change Forum stands for, Prince Mohammed disclosed that among other things, his organization is out to promote good governance in Africa.

We are out to ensure that our political leaders are accountable to the people. They should keep to their electoral promises and deliver dividends of democracy to the people. We want to use our networks to mobilize for the enthronement of good leadership across the continent”.

The AYFCF’s immediate plan now is to find the right man to take over the reins in Nigeria once President Buhari’s leadership ends.

 

AsiwajuBola Tinubu, the political Kingmaker Inches closer to 70 and still appeals to admirers (C) Western Post News

Prince Mohammed says his organization has looked at politicians in Nigeria, and come to the conclusion that Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the National Leader of All Progressive Congress (APC) and former Governor of Lagos State should be encouraged to vie for the presidency.

Some Nigerians have occupied positions of trust, but after their tenure in office, they failed to leave memorable legacies for their people. These so-called leaders failed to deliver structures that cause continuity of good governance, he pointed out.

But Prince Mohammed hails Bola Tinubu for laying a foundation, between 1999 and 2007; upon which successive governments have built to deliver sustainable development to Lagos State. Tunubu is also hailed for being pro Nigeria and not being invested in tribal politics.

In Lagos State, we see non-Yoruba persons appointed into key political posts. It is only in Lagos where non-Yoruba people are given free hand to aspire and fulfil destinies in whatever capacity they can serve society,” says Prince Muhammed. 

Despite this glowing praise of Bola Tinubu, political observers have seen him widely as a kingmaker and at 68, he is inching closer to the 70s and this does not make of him a youth anymore. They argue that he is more in the past and present than in the future which is where attention needs to be paid.