issues, Naija, Politics

But for a moment… Nigerian Youth and Politics. 

Since the events of the Arab Spring and its subsequent outcomes, there have been intense conversations around the participation of young people in politics. This is not the typical “register to vote” advocacy, it is the more deliberate and active engagement of youths in the process of seeking political power. Nigeria has also had its fair share of activation leading up to some major movements that have remained a thorn in the flesh of political power holders.


If one looks closely, you will agree that young people were the more potent variable in the formula that led to a shift in Nigeria’s political order. Truth be told, this shift was already silently frothing from the season surrounding the demise of President Umar Musa Yar’Adua. What happened in 2015 cannot be clearly understood unless you look through the goggles of youth activation. Many will erroneously attribute that shift to the political wizardry of certain strongholds, the convenient alliances, or simply the response of a fed up public. Those in themselves are potent factors, but clearly not the major determinant of this shift.


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Nigeria's Minister of Aviation - Princess Stella Odua

A few years ago, I went on a short family trip to Costa Rica. One of the instructive things that I noticed was how that little country managed its resources. Right at the airport, you are told plainly that for every tax you pay at the airport, one dollar is meant for upgrading and maintenance of the facilities. Not only that, the entire development plan and its timed phases were boldly and transparently displayed around the airport to give a quick snapshot of what was to be achieved. I saw a similar case in the Johannesburg International Airport in South Africa with even more detailed development plans. At the Dubai Airport, frequent travelers will agree that about 3 years ago, Lagos bound passengers had to board their flights from the tarmac, after being conveyed on a bus. However, today that is not the case because they have fully implemented a plan, which was public knowledge about creating new boarding terminals.

Every time I have the rare privilege of traveling and seeing these possibilities in other countries, it simply points to the fact these countries are working and precious hard-working people make it so. Development is not difficult if those responsible are willing to mire their hands in the very difficult task of planning and working the plan DELIBERATELY till it is thoroughly executed to the last detail. If we have this in Nigeria, without noise our infrastructures will flourish with relative ease because people are doing what they have to do behind the scene.

I have visited many Ministries, Departments, and Agencies and sadly you can smell the culture of sloth all around. Several people come in and pursue their private initiative and have very little concern for the Ministry goals, neither do they have a ‘jig’ or ‘saw’ to complete organizational ‘puzzle’. This tells you the kind of deliverables that will come out of these government establishments. For everything that works well, check it, there are efficient people behind the scenes making the positive outcomes possible. When this is not the case, check it, it might be as seemingly insignificant as a secretary not expediting action on a simple letter of reference.
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