Opinion: #NotTooYoungToRun | Stronger together

by Jude Feranmi

As you read this, there are more than a hundred fora of young Nigerians trying to organize politically for social and political change. The clamour for inclusion in political decision making in matters that affect young Nigerians now and in the later future is not only reverberating amongst those who are tired of this country and those who are scared, this notion is also getting popular amidst the active members of the established political parties in Nigeria.

This, as is obvious, is a very good development. If we continue to pass the message across and insist on showcasing the value that young Nigerians can contribute to nation building, the simple message of inclusion will get more popular. And as they say, vox populi, vox dei.

But what danger does this portend however?

What we are successfully doing is creating so much points of influence in such a way that we do not have a collective front to demand for the one singular issue that binds us together. There are saboteurs in every generation and ours will not be different. Scattering the influence that we have will however get us nowhere.

We will be weak if we fail to come together. The one singular strength that politicians of the old order have over us is the ability to bring us together for their own purpose. I have made this argument in a previous article but it needs to be said again. Those who oil, drive, and move the political machinery that decides our fate are already young Nigerians, down to the ward level.

The direction of that machinery is however what is decided by the old order who know how to bring the young mobiliser to the same table with the street thug who is also young together with the fresh graduate from harvard brimming with economic ideas and the student union leader who can craft political and election strategy. All of these roles are already being played by young people and we must see this.

What we need however is to bring ourselves together under one vision towards political inclusion for the benefit of our generation and our country as a whole. The unification of our generation is the one singular hurdle we have to cross towards achieving political inclusion.

The hurdles to be crossed of course varies from political party to political party, but if we are hell bent on coming together as a generation, we can mobilise a declaration of inclusion that we can all take to our political parties and mandate political leaders to sign off on.

There are so many brilliant ideas we can work on going forward and if we must achieve this historical and generational feat, we would have to be strong. Like the Hillary Clinton’s campaign slogan, we are only stronger together. Let us all come under one vision as a generation, irrespective of political or partisan divide, fencist inclinations or even personal disagreements.

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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