by Sa’id Danna Ali social analyst, Human rights activist,
Email [email protected]
The cohesion and unity of the power elite [upper strata] remain constant for years , the powerful elite serve to socialize future top decision maker who are take from where they stop. While bulk of intellectual saga are not actively involved in the political process. Nigeria youth can be categorized into four in terms of their degree of political participation
Firstly some youth fall under the category of political apathetic who are completely unaware of the political world around them ,they believe that politics is designed only to some specific people who are born to rule ,secondly spectator activities this comprise some youth who vote and taking part in discussion about politics ,thirdly transitional activities which include attending a political meeting or making a financial contribution to political party , fourth those who enter the political arena and participate in “gladiatorial activities “such as standing for and holding public office .
A study shows that in the Nigerian 60% of the population are politically apathetic ,40%, reaches the level of spectator activities ,from 2 to 5% is involved in transitional activities while only 2% participant in gladiatorial activities .
The level of political participation are not uniformly distributed among the masses ,in general the higher the Individual position in class structure ,determine the degree of participation ,the lower the individual class structure the more politically apathetically decline .the level of political participation is directly proportionate to individual income, status and with other numerous factors .individual level of income determine the degree of political participation , for example i know one among the political cabal in Borno state of Nigeria ,sold his house where he reside with his family in course of buying a new brand car that would access him to tour Maiduguri government house ,whereby he get links with the top politicians to build a grounded bridges into politics . imagine if this guy has resources or sold his house just to buy a car what of the other intellectual saga who has no resources that will uplift his access link to the politicians, those with low political participation often lack the resources and opportunities to become directly involve in politics due to the segregation ,some tend to avoid the participation ,because they feel the probability of reward is low .those who received low reward as part of their daily routine are unlikely to have high level of political participation since their experience has shown that effort does not groom you worth result .
Thus the individual will not involved himself in local or national ,if he feel been segregated ,the interest of the low strata is always least serve by the politicians .lack of full participation and disorganization among the youth in politics became form of resources to the status quo .the interest of privilege member are well represented , this is total inequality ;inequality must be addressed and reduce as embedded in sustainable development goals ,the gabs between the rich and power must be reduce .the youth must be allowed to involved in politics and government decision making without discrimination . A statistical data shows that Nigerian youth constitute the largest constituency of over 60% of the 170 population which amount to at least 120 million youths and majority of them are politically marginaliz .
Another factors hinders youths involvement in politics is godfatherism , it has become a norms that for you to join politics you are require to be under a prominent person who will be your prime father , all this have discourage the youth from involvement of youths . what wonder us is since then we are called the leaders of tomorrow , I am disappointed to find out in reality the leader of tomorrow doesn’t exist in Nigeria because those leaders who were at then still ruling us up till today .If I would ask when are to be the leaders of tomorrow ? The country lack of political will for her youths . As I envisage those who are privilege to be from upper strata are programmed and trained to take over from where they stopped. And when we talk for restructuring of the constitution they will refuse because the errors of the already made constitution is to their greed and selfishness .
My fellow youth we can only change our doom fate when we are united irrespective of religious ,tribe, race, political belief. We must embrace no too young to run. Some other nation youth are the decision maker.
In some developed country like France ,any citizens 18 years of age can be voted for to the lower house or parliamentary,24 for senate ,the minimum age for the president of France is18.in the united state of America 50 state , the eligibility is 30 years old for senate ,US congress 25 years, house of delegate 21,likewise in Australia any citizen 18 years if age may stand for election at federal ,state, local government level the youngest ever member is 21 years ,in Iran a person must be at least 21 years to run for president ,Norway ,any adult 18 years of age or older can become a candidate and be elected in any public election.
Down to third world countries particularly Africa e.g south Africa “every citizen who is qualified to vote for the national assembly is eligible to be a member of the assembly minimum 18 years .Ghana , eligible years of 18 with population 24m , and a voting population of 13m , however ,the age requirement for running for a seat in parliament is 21 years.
From the above political perspective .it shows that in Nigeria ,the youth are not the leader of tomorrow ,because from the president down to the local government chairman are above the youthful age which is generally range from the age of 18 -35 years .in Nigeria there is a huge gabs between the voting age and eligibility to run for election .the notion of leaders of tomorrow is no longer fashionable.