Opinion: Why youths should belong to a political party

by Henry Okelue


None of the parties have any ideology, none at all. Agreed. That is why we, the so called ideological young people, brimming with integrity should get on board and begin to force and influence change. Change is what we need, from the inside.

An activist na apprentice politician. – Papa Samuel

When my old schoolmate, Samuel tweeted this, little did he know he was dropping a piece of wisdom that many of us eventually have come to admit, and accept.

During the GenVoices telethon of January, a certain Tonye Cole made one of the most profound utterances of this decade (in my considered opinion). I will paraphrase him here – “There is no way you will be able to make a difference in the way Nigeria is run if you do not join politics”.

It was the missing key I had been looking for to unlock the quagmire I was in. It was like the epiphany I was struggling with. I eventually came to a very important, though quite obvious, realization.

We have over the years, as angry youths, angry adults, on social media, vented our annoyance over the way our nation seems about to be run aground. Some people like Dr. Reuben Abati even at some point labelled us “Children of Anger”. We seem to have ideas as to how we believe our Country should be managed, we seem to have the solutions. We collectively believe each politician out there is a rogue just out there doing all within his or her power to pull down the panties of our commonwealth, of our treasury, and rape it as wantonly as their greasy claws and mandibles could manage. We didn’t want to be in any way identified with these thieves, we would rather see them rotting in jail with the keys thrown into the sea.

But these are the same people who determine if the right environment is in place to make jobs available for us, to make our standards of living better, to make our parents retire to a life of comfort and true rest. We just can’t leave them to drive us into the abyss with their insatiable thirst to plunder, to destroy, and to ruin. Even the bible has weighed in on this in the book of Proverbs Chapter 29, verse 2:

When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.

Shouldn’t those of us who sing our integrity to the highest heavens, daily, to the hearing of all, step to the plate and bring our dignities forward to serve and save our nation? Wouldn’t we rather stop being “Yacktivists” and become the new generation of ideological policy makers, opinion changers, and politicians?

There is one thing that is for sure, the longer we prefer to stay neutral, the longer we continue to stay away and remain rather content with pointing to the politician who is a criminal and the one who is not, the longer they have control of our destinies and continue to make us wonder why God has brought this Nigerian curse upon us. It is time for us to get off the fence and take sides. It is time for us to lose the neutrality. It is either the soul of our fatherland or we eventually grow old an expire unfulfilled as a nation.

Tony Anenih, Bola Tinubu, Nasir El Rufai, Goodluck Jonathan, Muhammadu Buhari, David Mark, Olusegun Obasanjo, etc are all not getting younger. They are closer to leaving the scene than ever before. Should we stay aloof, so that 10 years from now, 20 years from now, with fatigued, patched throats, we gather in malnourished huddles, screaming invectives at the memories of the politicians we allowed to rule and misrule us by not having a say? While their children and acolytes, whom they must have handed over to by then, continue from where they stopped? God forbid!!

You don’t have to join politics to run for office, you don’t have to join a party so that you can become a common ballot box snatching thug. You can join politics now and be a part of the think-tank that plots the strategy that realistically takes Nigeria forward. You can join politics to be one of those brains that advise the man in office to not consider dipping his fingers in the common cookie jar illegally. You can also be the one that gets voted into office, filled with nationalistic vigour, ready to take Nigeria to its true right of place – the place of the Giant of Africa. You can be the one, under whose visionary leadership the embarrassing years of being a Nigerian becomes turned around and the rest of the globe looks at us and wonder where we have being all these while. You can play politics devoid of bitterness, devoid of fault finding, but politics were the interest of the country is of uppermost importance. A politics were you will work with the other party if need be.

It doesn’t matter which party you join, just join one and begin the process of change from the inside. Yes, none of them are devoid of filth. But you can’t continue to leave your country in such filthy hands.

None of the parties have any ideology, none at all. Agreed. That is why we, the so called ideological young people, brimming with integrity should get on board and begin to force and influence change. Change is what we need, from the inside.

None of our political parties are perfect. All of them have become mixed with people we can’t seem to trust, they are all made up of people who have enriched themselves from our sweat and blood.

Yes you are very right. But it is far easier to wash off the bloods, of unfulfilled Nigerians who have died while still hoping that hope will hopefully materialize some day,if you get involved.

I have chosen to pitch my tent with a a party, and I will soon be a registered member. That is where I hope, God on my side, to influence the emergence of the Nigeria I have always dreamed of, the Nigeria my parents continue to hope their grandchildren will arrive and grow up in. May God help me, and others, as we try to achieve this, and also bless the land of our ancestors while at it.


This post was published with permission from Telegraph NG

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

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