Tuesday, 14 January 2014


Youth are the most active organ of every society, they make and shape every societal change, and they are the hopes for the future. It is obvious that youth have unyielding potentials, and everyone talks about it, but we rarely see how these potentials are tapped or transformed to a realistic level that will make young people independent and active citizens in their communities. It is time for young people to realize their power, and how they can change the world they live. In most nations, especially the Commonwealth nations, Youth constitute the largest population segment, which means they can determine who sit on the seat of power, what economic policy to adopt, and choose their rightful position in political and economic aspect of their countries.

Governance is critical in fulfilling and optimizing youth potentials, the people at the helm of governance play significant role in choosing the fate and status of young people, unfortunately very few of them recognize the potentials of young people. For young people to demonstrate their power, and retrieve their rightful positions, we have to come together and participate actively in democratic and leadership processes. However, this can only be guaranteed by having some among us at the helm of leadership and governance. Let there be global leaders at youthful ages that connect, engage and prioritize on the youth development issues. We can make this difference by putting our colleagues on leadership positions, and yes we can do it. Let me take Nigeria as a case study where general elections are imminent. Nigerian Youth have the power to determine who becomes the next country’s president.

According to the country’s population census, Nigerian Youth between the age of 15 and 39 constitute 41% of the country’s population, and 70% of the country’s potential and eligible electorate. This means that minority 30% of eligible voters are the adults between the age of 40 and 85 who also constitute 17% of the country’s population. The remaining 42% are the children between the age of 0 and 14. From this statistics, youth who are the majority voters in the country have the power to decide who wins elections at every level. If the Nigerian youth will support an intelligent young person at the age of 40, and overwhelmingly support that candidate, definitely, that person must win. Similarly, the predominantly feared electoral malpractice would not have been possible because no youth will be at disposal to be used for such crime. This will put the young people at the centre stage of every decision making, and give them the voice and willpower to demand any level of political representation and participation. It will also help in curbing political and economic corruptions. The level of societal crimes and youth unemployment will reduce drastically as the government priorities will be for youth empowerment.

Finally, I urge young people across the Commonwealth Nations to be united and seek their rightful political positions. This is one of the easiest ways we can guarantee a safer and better future, and a way of ensuring proper youth representation and empowerment.

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