Nigeria’s contemporary political history is as fresh as the morning newspapers. Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida, and Muhammadu Buhari the erstwhile military dictators and civilian presidents and ex- VP Abubakar Atiku, are responsible for the chronic instability of our past. As dictators at different times in our political experiment, they alternated our civilian rule between democracy and dictatorship, and between different forms of pseudo-democratic rule. They created new political and economic uncertainties from which we’re yet to recover.
These old authoritarian and totalitarian rulers prefer a weak, unstable, dilute, democracy full of inadequacies. Politically, Obasanjo, Atiku, Babangida, and Buhari belong to the dead, old undemocratic system of the past. We must avoid and resist them like a dissident stream by any means necessary. Today, our young men and women grapple with serious social, and economic problems caused by the old brigade of these military rulers. Our youths are systematically excluded from policy decisions. They failed to marshal the energy, creativity, and talents of our youths to address multiple inequalities and discrimination they face.
The policies pursued by the governments of Obasanjo, Atiku, and Babangida, enabled them to amass outrageously large portion of Nigeria’s wealth. The hands of Buhari’s inner circle of Abba Kyari, Mamman Daura, and Tukur Buratai are stained with corruption. The result of large-scale corruption and unsolved socioeconomic problems produced a difficult present and uncertain future for our youths. Despite the energy, creativity, resourcefulness, and passion of our youths, they are largely excluded from political processes, economic projects and programs. They continued to be subject to age-based systems of authority. Our youths are the motor of tomorrow’s economic takeoff. Obasanjo, Babangida, Atiku, and Buhari: a brand in crisis.
This old brand created poverty and economic inequalities and insecurities which in turn creates “traps of disadvantage” which push our poor youths and the most marginalized others to the bottom and keep them there for ever. Our youths are denied the forums and opportunities for political participation and influence. They are woefully underrepresented in influential government positions and in hierarchical systems that favor the old rulers.
The old hypocrites keep saying “our youths are the leaders of tomorrow.” But tomorrow is never now. It’s time that our youths turn tomorrow into today. Old men only dream dreams, but young men see visions. There’s a difference between dream and vision. A dream is only what could be. Vision is what would be. Consider: Aguiyi Ironsi was 42 when he became head of state. Yakubu Gowon was 32 when he became head of state. Murtala Muhammed was 37 when he became head of state. Obasanjo was 39, Babangida was 44, and Buhari was 41 when they became heads of state. Audu Ogbe was 35 when he served as minister for communications. At 70, he’s the minister of agriculture. These people have consumed both the future of Nigeria and our youths. There must be an end to the insanity.
This is what goes on in civilized democracies: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is 45, France President Emmanuel Macron is 40, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is 37, Estonia Prime Minister Juri Ratas is 39, and Liberia President is 51. Nigeria is behind human race.
2019 will be a watershed moment for Nigerian youths. The youths have been uniquely disadvantaged by the economy. They are the impoverished generation. The youths have come to realize that Nigeria needs economic, social, and political rebirth to pull them out of the wells of poverty and unemployment. The old politicians are too backward, primitive, greedy, and wicked. They lack the creativity, the energy, the knowledge, and the exposure to make Nigeria work for Nigerians especially the youths. The youths are the revolutionaries for our urgent socioeconomic and political renaissance.
For 2019 presidential elections, it’s going to be a new democracy where our youths will take over the reins of government. These old leaders of discredited undemocratic regimes have no place, no role in 2019 democratic Nigeria. They are not needed. They are not wanted. They are expired liabilities. They need not apply!