By Nimi Princewill.
The advocacy for youth inclusion in politics is constantly being dealt a huge blow by young politicians who seem to take turns in ridiculing their privileged rise to power.
The aftermath of the general elections, glowed with reports of youths who miraculously wriggled their way through the stringent processes of winning elections in Nigeria, as many emerged winners of positions with great power.
Power comes with its attendant responsibilities. And a quick assessment of how Nigerian youths have managed the power that accompanies public office, has been far from impressive.
While admirers of the #NotTooYoungToRun movement savored the rare emergence of a 41-year-old Senator, Elisha Ishaku Abbo, a tearful video surfaced on the internet, capturing the celebrated lawmaker repeatedly assaulting a nursing mother in a sex toy shop.
Nigerians had barely gotten over that, when another ugly report of two young Kwara lawmakers (Ganiyu Abolarin and Razaq Owolabi) allegedly knocking off the tooth of a tenant, over rent, stole the airwaves.
Astonishingly, a 29-year-old member of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Abdulgafar Ayinla, had earlier been arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for allegedly defrauding a client.
Before the #NotTooYoungToRun advocacy gained prominence, a 40-year-old Yahaya Bello, remarkably swirled his way to power with a clean sheet to rewrite the narratives of youth preparedness for the rigors of governance. Well, he hasn’t been excellent at it.
Nigerian youths are fast perfecting the art of winning elections but failing as administrators.
One could be tempted to attribute the unimpressive showing of the above-mentioned youth leaders to insufficient exposure/ formal education, but skimming through their individual profiles reveal they aren’t woeful academically.
Then, the thoughts of exuberance, unpreparedness for the real business of governance, deep-seated apathy to emotional intelligence and the untamed amplification of power drunkenness comes to mind.
To make any significant imprint in governance, youth leaders must prepare twice as hard for what comes after the announcement of election results, than they do emerging winners of the elections.