Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Why young people vying for elective offices fail —by Victor Adaha


6 June 2018 

The president of our great nation admitted in a national broadcast the strength of the Nigerian youths, he stated clearly that the Nigerian youths accounts for 60% of the total population of the country, that is 60% of over an approximated 190 million persons. It is quite interesting to note that according to the nation's population commission, youths are classified as young persons between the age bracket of (18- 35years), so it can be rightly interpreted that the president asserted that 60% of Nigeria's population are between that age bracket, pegging it at that age range.
With this interesting data highly favouring the youths, questions keep running through the minds of people such as, why then can't youths vying for elective offices win such? Well that question, this article will address as we progress.


For the purpose of inclusion of more young persons, we will peg the term youths to be young people between the age bracket of (18-45 years). According to observations especially in the just concluded gubernatorial elections which our data took a lead from Anambra state, where a certain youth aspirant, who was widely agreed to be influential and commanded so much followership on social media still was defeated flawlessly, the total number of votes he got at the election was said by pundits to be lesser than the numbers of all his party's official votes put together if they were to vote for him. Let alone those which could have been gotten from his social media followers.


In real sense, the reason he failed really had nothing so significant to do with his social media followership, as you will find out most of his followers are not registered in his state, hence his large social media followers could possibly do nothing about the election other than shout, follow, share or retweet his post, which will not transcend to votes. Just like the said gubernatorial aspirants, most youths do not have grassroots base, support and influence, which should actually be the bases and beginning of our strategies for youths in politics, campaign. You can not wield influence in the city or towns like Lagos, Abuja and the likes and think rationally that will transcend to winning a parliamentary seat in Mayo-Belwa LG of Adamawa state, or Akoko-Edo LG of Edo let alone Boki LG of Cross river State.


Another fundamental issue which some pundits considers even more important is the painful fact that most youths do not feel so comfortable supporting their fellow youths. Which from wide consultations, discussions and research it was gathered to be basically because of either, any of the following, or some, in other instances all of the following, which are reasons pegging at, 'lack of trust', 'allegiance to political parties', ' greed for instant financial rewards'. These three reasons made the top three findings list. And these have been so identified as the root causes of failure of youths vying for elective offices. This we can change, yes we can.


Lack of strategies also accounts for reasons why they fail as well. Most young aspirants/candidates wants to play by the expensive standard set by the big money bags, forgetting their financial limitations, and so they are beaten out of the game, they lack unique strategies, skills and undermine the great importance of synergy among and with other fellow young aspirants for similar and different positions. One young aspirant who has so far broken from the even is 'Sowore', he has broken from the jinx, he has fostered synergy with other youths, keyed into already established youths organizations, movements and structures. 


For youths to successfully wrestle power from the older generational folks, new strategies must be imbibed and imbedded, status quo must be broken from, dogmatic ideologies must be modified and most importantly they must synergise to leverage on the potentials of other youths knowing fully well no man is an island, and having it in their minds they can't go around sharing money but instead, they should share their ideas, dreams, aspirations and mantras.


They must accept the fact that 'godfatherism' is not a solution, as it has proven not to be sustainable but rather the trust and love from the electorates is the only way out.



Victor Adaha (Mr Apolitical)
Public affairs analyst/ Social media strategist




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