My generation has failed Nigerians,” said former President Goodluck Jonathan
Scott Mckain said: “Refusing to change makes you more qualified for a world that no longer exists.”
Old ways won’t open new doors and without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.
Albert Einstein once offered one of the most fascinating definitions of ‘insanity’ when he said: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
I have come to observe that the problems facing Nigeria are resistant to old ways of thinking. The Nigerian problem cannot be solved by the same level of people, perspectives and thought pattern that created it in the first place.
We need renewed thinkers in strategic places if we are going to take this nation out from the present economic quagmire. We need vibrant youths with dynamic approaches to national problems that have defied conventional approaches. We need youths that will be so much preoccupied with finding remedies that they forget about finding faults.
Many times, it looks as if the Nigerian political terrain is bedeviled with a caveat: “Youths must not challenge the status quo.” One thing that excites me so much is that for the first time ever, the Nigerian political terrain is now becoming studded with youth gladiators of different blends- the serious, the furious, the ferocious, the tenacious, the disruptors, the voracious, the innovators and the wild.
It would be too costly and suicidal to trivialise or make casual, the entry of these youths into the Nigerian political terrain. They represent the new order and the new phase. The revolution has started, the battle line is drawn and there will be electoral casualties- people that will be politically sunk into oblivion and rendered politically invalid for life.
Many pompous, old and ‘spent’ politicians will lose electoral value, as the rules of politics will be rewritten by these youths.
Money will lose its gregarious power, the power of incumbency will be made redundant, political ‘principalities’ will fall, strongholds will give way and the captives of the mighty will be freed.
John F Kennedy said: “There is nothing stronger than an idea whose time has come.” The time for youths to arise against political extortion by people that have long occupied the political space in the nation is now. There is an army of youths brewing and the political class and bigwigs must brace up for the inevitable- the political transfer of power.
Some have said they are tired of old politicians coming back again and again with nothing to offer; hence they want young and vibrant Nigerians to take on the affairs of the country.
I will be introducing four Nigerian youths that will be disrupting the political landscape in the run for next year’s general election.
The 47-year-old publisher of the Sahara Reporters, an online news reporting platform, has been the nightmare and nemesis of many corrupt governments and officials.
Capturing it succinctly, I will like to say that he is an uncompromising non-conformist, a presidential aspirant in the coming general elections and convener of #TakeNigeriaBackMovement.
The most consistent of all the aspirants is definitely this firebrand activist that has over the years confronted injustice on different platforms. He has consistently fought treasury plunders and racketeers in a ‘robinhoodish’ form.
While at the University of Lagos, he was deeply involved in anti-military demonstrations and student unionism that ultimately culminated in his election as president of the Student Union Government (SUG) between 1992 and 1994.
His activism began in 1989, when he took part in student demonstrations protesting the conditions of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan of $120 million to be used for a Nigerian oil pipeline. The IMF loan conditions were to reduce the number of universities in the country from 28 to just 5.
He was an active participant in the June 12 pro-democracy struggle. For his vociferous anti-government campaigns, he was harassed, arrested and detained about eight times in various detention centres.
Sowore has promised to tackle the challenges of insecurity, poor electricity supply and decrepit infrastructure confronting the country frontally if elected president.
Adetokunbo Olufela Durotoye is a leadership coach, consulting and motivational speaker. He is the Chief Executive Officer of GEMSTONE Group, a leadership development institution with a distinct mandate to raise a Generation of leaders that are Empowered, Motivated and Stirred To Operate with Natural Excellence (GEMSTONE).
The GEMSTONE Nation Builders Foundation, a non-profit, non-governmental organisation, is targeted at training youths towards transformational leadership and social change.
The 46-year-old declared his intentions on February 22, this year to run for Presidency under the Alliance for New Nigeria.
He shot himself to limelight in December 2009, when he championed the largest urban renewal project, known as MUSHIN MAKEOVER. Altogether, he mobilised over 2,000 volunteers to paint 296 houses across seven streets of Mushin suburb of Lagos at no charge to the owners and resident of the buildings.
In the course of the project, Berger Paints Plc trained over 100 unemployed youths in the art and technique of painting. The youths went on to earn a living as painters as a result of the project.
Thirty-five-year-old Adamu Garba II is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of IPI Solutions Nigeria Limited, a leading cloud computing company with headquarters in Lagos.
At 26, and perhaps the youngest and the most technology inclined of all the youthful aspirants, the IT expert and versatile entrepreneur was already an emperor, controlling fortune and human resources.
After his primary education, he proceeded to Kano State University, Wudil, to study Electrical Engineering, but was rusticated at 300-level, because he preached one nation (equal treatment for all, irrespective of tribe or background), which the authorities were not comfortable with.
The rustication gave him ample opportunity to shift focus to a more practical field, as he later joined NIIT in Kano to study Microsoft Systems and Technology under the MSCE programme.
He was the pioneering president of the inter-school association called National Youth Coalition for Sustainable Democracy (NYCSD). His youthful energy, IT experience, entrepreneurship approach and ability to unify youths across various geographical fronts will definitely give this unassuming youth a comparative advantage.
An analog president cannot lead a digital generation. It is a psychological mismatch and aberration of the highest order. Nigeria’s next presidential election is definitely going to be one of the most interesting in the country’s history.
We are in the era of digital leadership; it is bye-bye to analog leaders without digital values. Many of our so-called leaders are presently living in a world that no longer exists.
Will the youths wrestle power from the old politicians in next year’s elections? Will the youths form a formidable front against moneybags that have always entrenched themselves in high places? Will the youths rise against the travesty of money politics? These questions will definitely be answered next year.
One thing that is very obvious is that Nigerian youths have woken from their slumber to challenge the status quo. They must stop waiting for change; they must stop asking for permission. They are the change that we have been waiting for. We are the change that we seek!