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Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Linus Idahosa’s Response to the Bill seeking to reduce the age qualification for candidates wishing to contest for elective offices





We often forget that Jesus Christ is our biggest example of a Youth Leader, who at 33 was done and had raised disciples, who centuries later are still influencing and gathering billions of adherents the world over.

My take has always been and will continue to be that Wisdom, Leadership and the Capacity to chart a path to a prosperous nation is not and cannot be the exclusive preserve of those above 40, but it is an inherent quality that providence bestows on one and the challenges of life help to enhance, refine and sharpen in one.

At any rate, no man lives forever and failure to deliberately, conscientiously and willingly transfer power to succeeding generations in their prime is a contradiction and an aberrant life cycle unknown to nature and trust me; nature always corrects itself.

It’s one thing for the bill to be passed; it’s another thing for the Nigerian youth to rise to the occasion, because the system as presently constituted is not designed to give it on a platter; instead it prides itself in creating a generation of Special Assistants (SA’s). It’s entirely up to the Nigerian youth to activate and enforce the strength of its number. 

17 comments:

  1. True talk. But we have to walk the walk. It would take time, given the thick bloc of old, corrupt politicians we have plus the fact that the are used to being bribed for their votes.

    Let's not also forget that, in all honesty, the lack of experience majority of our youths have might be a barrier to engaging in politics and leadership.

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    1. But getting the needed experience starts from somewhere.

      -F

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    2. Yes, it does start from somewhere.

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  2. Once the bill is passed, the "designed system" that makes SA a juicy achievement will wither real fast. Our first task is to make sure the bill (like every other pending bill) is passed, then any other thing can be deliberated on later.

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  3. Commendable point of view. I generally have an issue when people opine that the answer to Nigeria's innumerable problems lies in the youth. Most youth are equally as rapacious and absent of desirable morals as the aged crop of leaders Nigeria currently touts. The fundamental issue lies in our value system and till we make a collective and concerted effort in cultivating the right values, we would just be engaging in a wasteful use of today as a resource. Meanwhile, aren't there pressing issues that would be a better justification of our leader's time than trying to modify pieces of legislature (without any adequate supporting framework) that serve almost no immediate benefit to a nation who is a state of hardship. Chrisyinks

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    1. You write so very well. And intelligently too.

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    2. Oh yes. How did I forget to mention right values even in the youth.

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    3. Values still remain subjective.

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    4. Chrisyinks I disagree largely with your comment. Making laws is always more important than implementing the ones we have. It's like saying we have more pressing issues to deal with other than bothering ourselves with issues like the GEO Bill for instance.

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    5. Couldn't have said it any better. I didn't read the speech but I get the gist of the whole thing and the solution isn't in the age of the leaders, its in the leaders' morals, values and principles. A 25 year old corrupt state governor is no different from a 60 year old corrupt state governor.

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    6. @ Anonymous

      See me blushing here. I guess there's something gratifying about a simple, short and straightforward compliment...thank you.

      @ cccc

      Yeah, cultivating the right values for whichever generation cannot be overemphasized. A difficult and complex task, nonetheless, I feel it's a worthwhile endeavor. Blink hasn't been frequent on the blog, what's up?

      @Kabuoy

      I'm no mind reader now, how am I supposed to know what you mean? How's the early days of your new year coming?

      @ Uyi

      I very much agree with your perspective. Though they be subjective, some are desirable while some are not. Furthermore, you'd agree that societal and environmental influences have a way of providing a compass in deciding what is acceptable and otherwise - creating a form of objective measurement for the 'subjective values.' I am certain that if we can inculcate values like integrity, transparency, accountability, dignity in labour, and a few others we'd make longer strides on our road to development. Chrisyinks

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    7. @ Memphis

      I do not understand what you disagree with; your subsequent statement is unclear. If we are realistic, the current framework in the Nigerian society doesn’t facilitate any youth becoming a President. The monies involved (as Chimezie has pointed out), the antecedence needed, past individual and societal accomplishments coupled with the fact that Nigerians who finish school late by no fault of their own and would still need to spend the next decade or so of their lives trying to establish themselves before venturing into public service due to a lack of social security would give reason that any bill for youth presidency is just hypocritical. If proponents of this bill are well and wisely intentioned, the listed mitigating factors are where their resources should be concentrated upon.

      To the fundamentals, bills are raised to address existing gaps in the law of a land – else we would have a static constitution and no need for a National Assembly. In this case, this bill means to address the deficit in ‘good leadership’ if I reason correctly. I opine that having good leadership in Nigeria is not dependent on the representation of certain age ranges on the political landscape, hence enacting laws that ease ‘youth participation’ as electable candidates doesn’t address the nagging problem we intend to solve. Nigeria’s major challenge is corruption and bills or policies that set out to precisely address this issue would do the country greater good – hence, why I suggested a reform of the collective values of the nation. Quite frankly, currently, Nigeria hasn’t evolved yet to a state where we should be satisfying interest groups, so, claims for the possible gain in good leadership for Nigeria by involving youths is unfounded.

      Further buttressing my point, representation of under 40 either by quota or an amendment of the constitution in prestigious elected offices doesn’t guarantee that we would be rid of corruption – Nigeria’s greatest vice. If by quota (as some have proposed), we would be robbing ourselves of having persons who can hold critical leadership positions based on the merits of their competencies. We have already recorded massive failures in the bid to ensure that regions, religions, age bracket, gender, and other irrelevant considerations play a deciding role on the political landscape of our society. If by amendment, there’s no reason to believe that would solve Nigeria’s most pressing challenge – corruption. As Sunshine puts it 'A 25 year old corrupt state governor is no different from a 60 year old corrupt state governor.' I'd further add that if there were any difference, a 25 year old, possibly has a longer time to steal either being an elected officer or being an 'elder statesman' - which contradicts the noble intentions for having a youth presidency.

      PS: Apologies for the length.

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  4. Anyone who is old enough to vote should be old enough to hold elective office. Unfortunately wealth, tradition and privilege still remain the means by which majority of Nigerians suffer exclusion. Nigerian social development is being stunted by the conservative and ignorant older generation who have hogged power and opportunity. The passion of the youth should offer a stimulus to development but their mentality is being warped by the greed and corruption that masquerades as the struggle for survival.

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  5. Great speech. I just hope the bill gets passed soon enough and Nigerian youths don't abuse it.

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  6. I hear he wants to contest for governorship in Edo while Obiano just made a 30yr old dude a commissioner in Anambra. Youth doesn't just mean age,it also means vibrancy, new ideas, innovations, and everything youth.

    While I welcome this,i also believe they shld put an age limit too. We don't need old presidents in future. We are too populated and educated a nation to take chances with them...

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  7. This, I believe, is a step in the right direction. It is a wonderful point of departure towards engaging the the youth and the innovation it often brings along.

    We understand, as it is, that some of the persons that make up the youth-fold are as corrupt as those currently in the system but then, I will be wrong to dismiss the fact that there are others who have the capacity and the rectitude to do the right things.

    The major challenge to the implementation of the provisions of this bill when passed into law would be the internal affairs of the various, existing political parties as are currently constituted and give credence by the constitutions and rules of these parties.

    The above cited challenges will be made manifest especially through the procurement of party forms for elective office. For instance, the PDP form for the position of a Local Government Chairman in Enugu State during the last election was over a million naira while the form for those seeking to be elected to the House of Assembly of Enugu was about two million naira. Now, there are very few people at 30 you can afford to bring out that amount of money without experiencing a financial shake.

    Sadly, it is the law that nobody, not even the court can wade into a party's internal affairs. So, it is only a political party that can reduce the cost of procuring forms for elective, public offices to accommodate the youth.

    Except of course, the youths can form a political party...in the absence of the effort of the existing political parties to accommodate them.

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