Nigeria just turned 61, are the country’s leaders living up to youth expectations?
I don’t think the country’s leaders, especially the current leaders have lived or are living up to expectations because we seem to be in reverse motion for more than a decade now. The naira is now over N500 to the US Dollar. We have about N33 trillion debt and unemployment is said to be as high as an estimated 33 percent. Truth is that we need more than a featherweight person as the manager of our national economy and people are asking me whether we actually have a functional finance ministry today at all. This should not have been the case while we celebrate our 61st independence. I believe Nigerians deserve a better deal than the current one, which has been worsened by growing insecurity. However, hope is not lost and we have to sustain the courage to keep moving. But we need a total overhaul of leadership, with young people in charge. I think recycling old hands, especially in the last 10 years, has stunted our growth and now reduced our October 1st celebration to a mere case of reflection on our present worries. I pray God helps us out, and soon.
Are you satisfied with youth representation in politics?
I’m satisfied to the extent that youths are increasing in various elective positions, senators, members of the House of Representatives and governors. I can say they seem to be the only ones giving the very best of leadership in today’s Nigeria. I’m proud that Nigerian youth’s participation is encouraging, but I think they still need to redouble their efforts ahead of 2023 and even beyond. The future will be much better with youths in charge of our political or democratic space.
Who should be responsible for bridging the political divisions in the country; elders or the youths?
Well, both have a role to play. The elders should continue to play an advisory role but let the young ones work towards national unity and cohesion because at the end of the day, the future belongs to the youths as drivers of national growth. Challenges posed by divisive tendencies should be faced squarely.
How important is it to you that your region produces the next president?
It is important because in a democracy, the majority have their way and I have hope that we have the upper hand, democratically speaking. It is important because the North badly needs leaders with progressive outlook, focused and passionate about our development worries. We still have a lot of work to do to keep the North stronger especially in the area of economic viability, leadership mentoring and a lot more. If a Northerner wins again in 2023, this is what he or she should do. I don’t mind.
Do you see Nigeria remaining united in the next 60years?
I do, but on the condition that justice will be promoted by those in power at every level of our national life. Secondly, there is the need for unconditional love for this country and this is a question of national orientation. Many Nigerians today seem to be less patriotic than they were 10 years ago. This is unfortunate and all hands must be on deck to fire the imagination of Nigerians on how much national unity guarantees national development and stability.