PBAT’S REFORMS AND NIGERIAN YOUTHS
I remain Habeeb Whyte and I still harbour the responsibility. I believe life placed on me to suggest a path deserving a collective action from Nigerian youths towards the faith of our father’s land and in determining our own future.
I have grown to know that everything that irritates us as Nigerian youths about someone can lead us to understanding the person more. Just like Adlous Hoxley puts it, ‘there are things known and there are things unknown and in between are door of perception’. What we are, is what we have been as youths. What we would be is what we do now. I am aware that wisdom comes from knowing that what others say about you is not your reality. It is their reality. One has not only an ability to perceive the world but an ability to alter one’s perception of it.Simply, one can change things by the manner in which one looks at them. Reality is only a reflection of our own intentions, biases, knacks and desires.
I have always looked with a different lens because I have kept my views informed not by parochial considerations or personal gains but by the solemn embrace of the fate of my realities as a Nigerian Youth. As a person, I have thoroughly taken caution on the realities of the general elections that ushered in President Bola Ahmad Tinubu. I have always known that only weak minds stay at the middle of the road in trying periods like this. I rather I appreciate that I have to painstakingly learn with the willingness to unlearn and relearn the politics of this country. More so, I was not born until the crisis had started. I do not want to join the bandwagon of commentators that make opinions on issues they know close to nothing about. I think this should be the wisest path for anybody that was only a child through the 90’s and beyond. The generational paradigm as it affects our choice of governance differs. Our reasoning often time is shapedby what our parents, teachers and elderly ones told us and not by what we participated in as major players.
We have only participated in the Occupy Nigeria campaign, Not Too Young to Run campaign and the most pronounced is the End Sars campaign. I made bold to say that I partook in all the major phases of this campaign. I made my voice seen and felt by demanding for good governance and importantly, youth involvement in governance. I know that at a point. I am aware that in the past, no place was reserved for members of the youth constituency during policy formulations. We were weathered with policies that seem not to be too friendly to our growth but now the story has changed. There was a progressive call that was obeyed by the people in power. Allahu Akbar!!!
Having fought for what was right, we became enemies to our progression by allowing the fate of governance ushered in by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his political opponents to take the spaces where the world is judging us from. Our attitude across our social media platforms on our leaders is not worthy at all. We are distracted while these persons are living their lives – Their dreams. We are allowing men make mockery of our intelligence by sheepishly dragging us into the fate of their own dark hour. Are they better of Mr. President? We should better be concerned on how to help Mr. President achieve his goals. It should interest us that we have a listening leader and someone who prioritizes our constituency before any other constituency. The deliberate reason why some of us supported President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was because we saw him as that leader that would pave the way for the youths to become real stakeholders in governance.Every time Mr. President speaks to us a Nation, he continually emphasizes our importance. He gives us score cards but we are not really interested in assessing same with good critics. He kept on appointing and giving us key responsibilities at sectors that we would not have imagined any one from our constituency at earliest time like this to be in such position. I am aware that Mr. President is not only fulfilling his election promises but he is carrying the youths along towards achieving a sustainable future for this Nation. There is a steady engagement and participation of young people in the development process. A country we prayed for!
I used to live in fear when discussions that bother on handing over of power to youths is concerned. This is because, I could picture the future as it would unfold should that happen. Why? Because, we Nigerian youths were not prepared for the role and we fail to recognize the fact that there has been deliberate effort to incapacitate us. This is what I mean whenever I talk about bastardization of our youths. Now, we are beginning to have a fair share of our lack of preparedness. What ideas are our representatives across board bringing onboard? Are we still bothered on who won or loss election? Are we still bent on why President Tinubu should not have won the elections while our various State Governors are getting palliatives from Federal Government and we are not seeing the effect in most States. I wish the type of energy deployed to bringing down the person of Mr. President could be extended to demanding for good governance from our Governors. Demanding accountability especially on the proceed of subsidy is concerned would have been true patriotism than the former. We are not even bothered that local governments are been buried in governance by most Governors in Nigeria. Are we not worried about the debt profile of some States and yet there is no evidence of development. The States that most of us we inherit as Governors, Senators, House of Representative members, House of Assembly members etc. as far as governance is concerned in years to come. What do we tend to make up as leaders of our generation; when our kids start asking questions, what type of answers are we planning to give them. Is it that we would be comfortable telling them that when we had a President with unprecedented electoral results and tribunal verdict, we were busy playing cards of his opponents. Would it not interest you to tell your kids you were part of those that speak and do good for the sake of the Country and not because you are Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo. You were a Nigerian before you identify as a Hausa, Yoruba or Igbo. This is us – that have forgotten so soon that most of our Governors are yet to publish the judgements of their respective tribunal of enquiries on the End Sars saga. It is just ridiculous that we are have been soaked into another narrative that would not add any legal value to our corporate existence. Whether bitter or sweet, Mr. President is here to stay.
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We must accept this reality and not be caught in a web of a divided society. We must give our total support to the social governance policy trust fund of Mr. President. He has tagged it the ‘Renewed Hope’ – we already have a developmental plan as opposed the several documents of plans and agenda intentioned on sentiments and prepared without national interests. We are beginning to see the light that we would be handed a working country with national development agenda under implementation, and enjoy the supervision of patriotic elders whose only consideration is national interest. The fact is this, we have a President that has placed upon himself the responsibility to provide the reference point of discipline, patriotism, humility, and adequate sense of self by extending his limits beyond the average standard that is acceptable to his generation. Mr. President has succeeded in employing his political authority to stimulate hope and pride in the corporate purpose of this Nation. We must not be used as detractors to the birth of a New Nigeria. Interestingly, youths of India, Singapore, Brazil, China and Indonesia compete with the world’s best in Information Technology, Agriculture, Entertainment, Alternative energy, Medicine etc. Of course, those building our bridges and roads are their own youths. The expatriate doctors in our best hospitals are their youths. Those designing and building the phones we use are their youths. Now, our own youths are already leading spaces more due to the deliberate intervention of Mr. President’s faith in our abilities.
I could remember that one of the assurances of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the Southwest APC Youths rally was that Mr. President would give opportunities to youths to flourish in their areas of activities, the Governor said young people would be part of the major drivers of the Tinubu presidency. This is never in doubt again. Mr. President in less than six months of Presidency has the highest number of youths in key and strategic positions in Government. The amazing part is that, Mr. President is not stopping. I would always wish for a productive mindset like that of our President. He is a thorough blend of the mosaictraits – he would lead the path to the New Nigeria. The path he kicks started from his very first appointment in office. It is unprecedented. If he is not the Messiah; he is the Moses.
Amb. Habeeb Whyte Esq., MBA.
(WHYTE is a Lawyer, Author, Advocate of Youth Involvement in Good Governance, United Nations Award winner, Regional Africa International Arbitration Award winner, Coca cola/The Nation Campuslife Award winner, Quill Promasidor runner up for Best Future Writer in Nigeria, Royal Ambassador for the Royal Court of Ife Kingdom, Ecowas Youth Ambassador, Cordinator – BAT Lawyers Ogun State and Secretary – Cityboy Movement Ogun State).
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