Weekly Trust


Replying IBB on Nigerian youths

I listened to the interview which former military President of Nigeria, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, granted Aishatu Musa of the BBC Hausa Service, where the former president categorically stated that “Nigerian youth are incapable of ruling this nation”. As a youth, this statement astonished me because I wonder the statistics IBB used in assessing the level of Nigerian youths capability. It is a clear fact that the representation of youths (between the age brackets of 18–35) at all levels of government in Nigeria is not up to 5%. If it is so, then how are their performances or capabilities being assessed? IBB cited an example with President Barrack Obama of the United States of America, where he mentioned that “Obama became the president of U.S. at his age because of the vast experience he acquired through the number of positions he held before becoming President”. Then the question here is: From the way things are going in Nigeria, are the Nigerian youths given similar opportunities Obama had at his younger age?  


As far as I am concerned, it is very unfair for our aged and so- called experienced leaders to keep telling youths that they don’t have “the know how” to rule this nation, while they deliberately keep denying the youths the right to build their own capacity so as to acquire this “know how” in question. It is like a teacher failing a student he poorly or never taught at all in class. No one in this world is born with knowledge, skills or expertise. We all learn everything here in the world through practice, which encompasses trying and failing and making a lot of mistakes and learning from those mistakes.

Therefore, my fellow Nigerian youth join me in telling IBB and his fellow recycled leaders that Nigerian youths have all it takes to rule this nation, but only if they would be given the chance to do so by those who have already ruled and failed the nation; those who think God created Nigeria only for their own rule and those they feel safe to impose into power.

 Yusha’u Sani Yankuzo, Zonal Organizing Secretary, United Action for Democracy (North-West Zone), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Secretariat by Bukavu Army Barracks, Katsina Road, Kano

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