Opinion: #NotTooYoungToRun | The silent minority

by Jude Feranmi

 

“Know Thyself” – Socrates

 

Last Week, in Ghana’s general elections, a 26-year-old Francisca Oteng became a Member of Parliament in what was a landslide. Apart from the fact that this reiterates the notion we are now getting used to, of looking up to Ghana to set the pace in West Africa, it also gives us hope and reinforces the conviction that some of us have that To be African is no ill.

Over here in Nigeria, what should this mean for us and how should we leverage on this. If history is anything to go by, Ghana led the wave of independence in Africa and has now led again in this respect. Should we expect this wave to spread across the continent like the independence wave did?

Yes, We can. But we must work.

There is a tradition that we must break and a generational convention we must overcome. Ours is a generation of hopeless citizens in politics. We believe we are going to change our country for the better but not through politics. We have too little drive for impact through political means and like one of my mentors said yesterday, we are too selfish to commit totally to a process that will birth a different kind of politics.

In all of this, there is a silent minority; Those who are passionate about political change and are aware of the sacrifices that must be made, those who know that without political change we can only do so little and maybe a little better than the previous generation, those who understand that the hard work of getting our generation to take voting seriously as a duty not just to their country but to ourselves, our lives.

This silent minority has been cowed into subjection and inactivity by conventions and societal expectations. We have therefore buried our passions and kept mute for long. We have looked on as people who lack content, ideas and execution have taken over the reigns of politics and made it their trade, we have looked on while we and our people continue to suffer from the incompetency and cluelessness and rot and corruption that those in power have brought upon us. At best, we misappropriate our passions and try to make sense of impact in civil society and charity or worse off in churches and mosques.

It is time to come out! The time to declare our stance and damn the consequences and focus on how we would deliver our own Nigeria now has come and we must no longer be cowed into subjection.

Our society is one that is in need of True Leadership and Nigeria yearns for those leaders who were born for this time; those who would not stop until their ideas materialize for the betterment of the people; those who would defy the odds and the expectations of society just so they would fulfil their calling; those who would not mind being called names and being insulted; in short, those who would lead.

Without these, our country will continue to look up to other African countries and remain in this rot that is not conducive for our generation or the next. We can no longer afford to wait.

As an aside, there are 281 bills in the National Assembly purporting to establish new agencies for the Federal Government. If this is not a sign that our future is being mortgaged while we sit and watch, handicapped, I don’t know what else is

Let the Leaders born for this time rise!

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Join a Political Party and Lead a Movement of young people. Attract people who can lead and gather as much influence as you can. When the elections come, mobilise as many people as you can, get these leaders to contest for office and win!

When that time comes, Lead!


Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

Jude ‘Feranmi is the National Youth Leader, KOWA party

 

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