by ‘Ifreke Inyang
On the last episode of Rubbin’ Minds, we discussed ‘Young people in government – what are the rules of engagement?’. We had an overview of the roles young people have in government and how the roles they fill are viewed. The crucial questions we sought to answer were: Is it about patriotism? Is it right to reject an opportunity to serve your country through a political appointment? Under what conditions do you accept such appointments? What are the rules of engagement?
Our guests included: Gbenga Shote, a Strategy consultant, Tunde Sarumi, who contested for the House of Reps in 2011, Omojuwa Japheth, a Social commentator and Olumide Gbadebo, who featured in the last edition of the reality show, The Debaters.
“Whoever says he wants to get into government before he can serve the country is selling you nonsense!” Omojuwa blasted as the conversation started. Tunde Sarunmi’s opinion was that, “You can serve the country better by actually being in the opposition,” he argued. He then added that, “If you keep shouting and you don’t go in and try to change things, you’re at fault. I wanted to go in and raise the bar for whoever will come in after me.”
And although Gbadebo encouraged young people to participate actively in the running of the country, saying that “If you take charge of how your country is run, you will change things,” Omojuwa stood firm on his point noting that, “The truth of the matter is: there’s every chance that every young person that goes into Aso Rock will be consumed.” Shote supported the school of thought. “The longer you spend with people in government, the more the way you think change,” he said.
The discussion then turned to Nuhu Ribadu, who recently accepted a government position. “Nuhu Ribadu cannot work from the outside in,” Gbadebo said. Omojuwa was with her on this. “”Nuhu Ribadu’s appointment is a distraction,” he said. “He is just okay – he is nothing special. He is a farce!” Sarunmi, who remarked that the Mallam has put his reputation on the line said that “If you go in and do a job badly, you have to resign!”
In conclusion, Sarunmi said: “To serve in govt as a young person, you must have a game plan and integrity.” Gbadebo reminded us that “Nigeria is not Jonathan’s country. It is our country. Stay informed,” while Shote poignantly noted that, “The people who will run things in 2015 will not start then. They’ve started now.”
Rubbin’ Minds is back this Sunday on Channels TV or www.ynaija.com/rubbin-minds with another interesting conversation. Stay tuned!