youth and politics in nigeria pdf

Youth and politics in nigeria pdf

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Published: 27.05.2021

'Buhari missed the point'

Youth, Politics and the Future of Nigeria, By Ololade Bamidele

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From the case studies examined, what have been achieved and what is on track to be achieved, very soon Nigerian youths will be the leaders of today, not tomorrow, in conformity with global best practices and trends.

There have been welcome steps on this front. I n May , Nigeria passed a new law which lowered the age limits for political office from 35 to 30 years in the Senate, and 30 to 25 years in the House of Representatives and State House of Assembly. This was a remarkable achievement for young people in the country , as it mean s that they had opportunities for representation which were not previously possible. While this is a great step towards youth inclusion in politics, it is clear that more still need to be done to put young people at the very heart of politics, governance and decision-making process in Nigeria. As of May , and as a result of the work of the team in-country working with key stakeholders, a network of Young Persons in Politics with Values PWV Network was created to monitor and evaluate the activities of members of Young Parliamentarian Forum YPF in the National Assembly , as well as advocate for increased space for young persons in politics.

'Buhari missed the point'

The anti-police brutality protests in Nigeria created a powerful movement that appeared to shake those in power, but after a turbulent fortnight, BBC Hausa editor Aliyu Tanko considers where it goes from here. A potent mix of street protests and social media has given young Nigerians a voice that has shattered the country's culture of deference.

The trashing of the palace of the highly respected oba, or traditional ruler, of Lagos was symbolic of this mood. What began as a protest against the hated police Special Anti-Robbery Squad Sars has become a conduit for the youth to vent their anger with the people who have been in charge of Nigeria for decades, and demand change.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo warned in that "we are all sitting on a keg of gunpowder" when it comes to the young. The majority of those of working age do not have formal employment and there are few opportunities to get a good education.

But those currently in power at first misunderstood what was going on this time, activist and writer Gimba Kakanda told the BBC. The success of the protest in forcing concessions from the government - such as a promise to disband Sars, and wider police reform - has given Nigerian youths confidence and they believe that they can make a difference. A few days into the protests, activists were able to establish a helpline that could respond to emergencies.

They also provided legal services to those in need and even set up a radio station. These were financed through crowdfunding and were cited as examples of how Nigeria could be better if it were not for the politicians who often seem more interested in what they can personally gain, rather than how they can improve the country.

While those who backed and came out in support of the EndSARS movement were peaceful, another segment of the youth saw the protests as an opportunity. Although the approach of these two groups is different, they do share one thing in common: a disdain for those in charge.

It is unlikely though that they can find common cause. Any move in that direction may affect the spread of the movement across the country because some will find it hard to sit at the same table as people with "questionable character". There is nevertheless an awareness on the part of the authorities that poverty and hardship are national security threats, activist Mr Kakanda said.

President Muhammadu Buhari's address to the nation on Thursday evening "missed the point by a wide margin", according to blogger and columnist Japheth Omojuwa. Mr Buhari called for an end to the protests and the beginning of a dialogue, but "he will be remembered for threatening Nigerians just because they asked their government to commit to justice".

It should not focus on long-term ambitions of gaining political power, he argues, but rather should make sure that the authorities stick to their promise of reform and bringing errant policemen to justice. This tumultuous fortnight and particularly the shooting of protesters in Lagos on 20 October will be remembered in Nigeria for a long time.

Those in power are clearly worried that the country's huge young population can no longer be ignored, or, failing that, cajoled. It is getting organised as evidenced by the huge donations received by a relatively unknown group - the Feminist Coalition - that rallied support for the protests and shook the foundations of Nigeria. The fact that these young women said they would regroup makes the elite jittery and clearly indicates that the system needs to work for all and not for the privileged few.

From this episode, Nigerian politics has changed forever because the youths have realised how powerful they are and what they can achieve when they unite for a common goal. Horror over EndSars shootings. We pay for these bullets'. The demonstrations in pictures. Celebrities pledge support for Nigeria protests.

How Nigeria's anti-police brutality protests went global. A quick guide to Nigeria. The youths dragged his throne around, looted his possessions and swam in his pool. The question is where does that movement go now? But there has also been an ugly side. They vandalised shops, raided warehouses and targeted the businesses of prominent politicians. But it continued to make missteps in trying to quell the mood.

It is these small steps that may eventually bring wider change. More about Nigeria's EndSars protests. Related Topics. Nigeria EndSars protests. More on this story.

Published 21 October Published 22 October Published 17 October Published 16 October Published 18 February

Youth, Politics and the Future of Nigeria, By Ololade Bamidele

Set up in the mids to combat incidences of armed robbery, SARS has over the years metamorphosed into a force associated with harassment of innocent citizens, extortion at gunpoint , and extrajudicial killings of suspects. An overwhelming majority of those participating in the protest are young Nigerians. Now, the demands have widened, premised on the pervasive failure of the government to deliver equitable economic prosperity for its citizens and these enraged youths in particular. In addition to calling for law enforcement agencies to respect the rule of law, youth are demanding more respect for human rights and a deepening of democracy. The protesters are also demanding a revival of the educational and health systems and stronger efforts toward job creation.

In the years leading to independence, youths were the driving force behind the nationalist activities that led to the dismantling and eventual overthrow of colonialism and the colonial masters. Despite this, the role of youths in African politics has received less than commensurate attention in studies on democratisation. These young Nigerians each used the media to speak against the evils of colonialism and demanded independence. Nnamdi Azikiwe, for instance, was reputed for the use of his newspaper, the West African Pilot. Through these avenues, they created awareness of the evils that foreign domination posed to the country and, despite various constitutional reforms, these young people demanded independence. Their tenacity and determination eventually saw the country gaining independence from British colonial rule on 1 October In the years after independence, particularly during the military era, young people opposed and fought gallantly against the profligacy and high-handedness of the military regimes of Yakubu Gowon and Olusegun Obasanjo, and during the brutal and inglorious regimes of Ibrahim Babangida and Sani Abacha in the s and s an entire generation of youth and student organisaions formed under umbrella organisations such as the National Association of Nigerian Students, the Campaign for Democracy, the Civil Liberties Organisation and the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights.

Genyi, About 70 percent of Africa population is 30 years of age or younger. In , youths, who are defined here as those between 15 and 35 years of age, constituted 21 percent of more than 1 billion people in Africa, whereas another 42 percent was less than 15 years old. Slightly more than half of the African youth population is female, and there are more rural dwellers than urban dwellers. Since Nigerian independence in , Nigeria has been struggling to install a viable and durable democracy but its dismal politics characterized by consistent inability to conduct credible and transparent elections in which its citizens have access effectively protected opportunities to exercise their franchise but in the choice of their leaders, has made the agenda of democratic sustainability largely a mirage. This accounts for the so many failed attempts at democratic transitions Dudley, ; Akinsanya, ; Agbaje, Youth political participation fosters a sense of citizenship and makes policy processes more transparent and accountable towards young people.

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However, the Lagos-based organization at first had generally moderate views and pledged to support and cooperate with the governor. Ernest Ikoli was vice president and H. Davies was the secretary.

Again, they were molested, they were beaten, and they were even stripped naked. But at the very centre of these protests are frustrated youth whose dreams are on hold and whose future is uncertain. They are youth who are genuinely interested in good governance but are disappointed at the lack of it. Virtually everything that could go wrong has gone wrong.

The anti-police brutality protests in Nigeria created a powerful movement that appeared to shake those in power, but after a turbulent fortnight, BBC Hausa editor Aliyu Tanko considers where it goes from here. A potent mix of street protests and social media has given young Nigerians a voice that has shattered the country's culture of deference. The trashing of the palace of the highly respected oba, or traditional ruler, of Lagos was symbolic of this mood. What began as a protest against the hated police Special Anti-Robbery Squad Sars has become a conduit for the youth to vent their anger with the people who have been in charge of Nigeria for decades, and demand change.

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