Indeed, the game of politics has always been in vogue in all the countries of the world from time immemorial because according to Aristotle, Man is a political animal. However, it is necessary that the key words Government, Politics and Youth are elicited so that a solid foundation is laid for this topic.
Government is the means by which state policy is enforced, as well as the mechanism for determining the policy of the state. Forms of government, or forms of state governance, refers to the set of political systems and institutions that make up the organisation of a specific government and Nigeria, Democracy is practiced.
The word “politics” is derived from the Greek word polis which means city-state. Robert Dahl describes politics as an interplay of contending actors in which one actor always attempts to gain a relative advantage over the other. For the sake of the content of this work, Aristotle’s definition of politics will be used. Aristotle defined politics in his treatise on human Associations, stated that the most sovereign and inclusive association in the polis, as it is called, whose essence is the establishment of government, law-making, enforcement and eliciting obedience from the members of the society as he observed man to be by nature a political animal, and these summed his definition of politics as a city-state.
Literally, the youth refer to the young, and the Oxford advanced learners dictionary of sixth edition defines the young as having lived or existed for only a short time; not fully developed, not yet old or not as old as others. This grouped definition will be used in the content of this work. However, by age grouping the Youths are between the ages of eighteen to forty-five. I also categorise the ages of the people in the country in the periodic time of the day
Mid-night to Early morning: from a day old to age seventeen
Morning to Mid-day: from age eighteen to age forty-five (energetic and should work for what they want)
Mid-day to Evening: from age forty-five to age sixty-five (reap fruits or investment, invest more and plan retirement)
Night: from age sixty-five to whenever the person dies. (The old should have retired)
The youths belong to the second category, the mid-day.
It is no news that politics is conceived in the mind of many Nigerians as a dirty game. Aside football, the game of politics is the most cheered in Nigeria, with same old players, lots of noisy cheering spectators and very few informed spectators; among them are fewer aspiring players, who more often than not out of desperation do a few wrong things to get into the game or channel their interest to other things and some would remain as aspiring spectators out of frustration. This has actually been going on in Nigeria and as a matter of fact, has done more harm than good which is why the present-day Nigeria is in a stagnant situation where there is a high rate discovery of looted monies, yet there is high rate of inflation and recession spelt in every hook and cranny of the streets of the states in Nigeria. This negativity is also the case because the youths have been neglected; there is no much input in the political grooming of the young people and so the youths are not able to know their worth and value and their strength is misused just as their value is abused. The youths happen to be the centre of this work and if there must be liberation from this societal decadence, then youths must be shown to their place in the society and be allowed to properly play their role.
Why The Youth Should Involve In Nigeria Politics And Government
The youths need be involved in Nigeria politics and government if there must be a positive change in the society for the reasons below.
Instrumentality is a jargon derivative of the word ‘instrumental’. Instrumental according to the Oxford advanced learners’ dictionary of sixth edition is defined as important in making things happen. That is to be indispensable.
Often times in Nigeria, during elections, there could be carrying of the ballot boxes, rigging of the elections, and some other punishable offences carried out by politicians who are in their evening hours of life through the young people. There could also be plans for riot, whether it be peaceful or violent and it is usually executed by the young people. The youths are lobbied by the politicians and given a token say two thousand naira each and like puppets, they aid in campaign for men who ought to have retired or be coaches in the game of politics. These events and more go on and on, and the youths are being exploited and their strength misused. Perhaps there should be a revolution by these young activists for the alienation of very active offices or power from the hands of men who have hitherto been in power since the independence of Nigeria. The point is this, these young people have been used as tools positively and negatively alike and that makes them very instrumental. And so they need to be rightly involved in politics, so that they channel their strength and energy to doing something good; thereby allowing them to call the shots, provide them with the necessary amenities they need to make choices that will enable them assume the offices they want, vote whom they want, be able to participate in government; thereby being able to speak up against what is wrong in the society. These will in turn, increase the moral value of the society, and lead to the other reasons why youths should involve in politics and government as stated below.
Again democracy is the government by the people, of the people and for the people and the youths are part of these people, not only are they part of these people they are part of the city-state and most be involved in the affairs of the city state and these essentially make them instrumental.
Responsibility refers to the ability of being responsible for both action and inaction. Maturity has been attained when one is responsible. Now, a lot of things go wrong in Nigeria especially among the youths because they have not been groomed to shoulder responsibilities, some are still being fed milk when they ought to be cracking bones, some are not being fed at all and very few take bones. Only that few are actually able to make impact and create a difference. Take for instance, some of the people who currently serve in government and public offices in Nigeria have been there since their late twenties or mid-thirties. They learnt to shoulder responsibilities early enough and the whole politics and government still revolves around them. Example the current president, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari. The likes of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida, Atiku and the rest of them still play lots of vital roles in the current politics and government and it is not supposed to be so. There are no genuine youth organisations as the Nigeria Youth Movement of 1937 founded by late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, owelle Onitsha who was just thirty-three years at that time, that movement worked actively like his newspaper, they were able to air their opinion and the sense of responsibility necessitated their request for what they needed even while they were under British colony; as through that medium, they were directly involved in politics. Currently, even the young people are not counsellors or local government chairman, they are not even active in political parties except ipso facto as puppets, they are neglected yet this group of young adults are the springboard of any societal institution.
It is no news that the current president of France, Emmanuel Marcon is just thirty-five years. If he was not involved in the government and politics of the country he won’t be able to shoulder such responsibility. No doubt, it is important the aged are part of the government but the government should not revolve around them, for the future of every society lies the hands of its youths. They keep saying the youths are the leaders of tomorrow and I keep wondering if when tomorrow will ever come.
Finally, when youths get involved in politics, they utilise their strength and contribute positively and the country gets to develop alongside growth. Because they will build to fight the good fight, step up their values and standards and be ready to stand for what is right against all odds, having in mind that their country values them.
Indestructable Future Of The Society
To be indestructible is to be beyond destruction. So because the youths are instrumental in the political and governmental sectors of Nigeria, they gradually become responsible and so take on themselves the pains to see that things are done right, that the necessary amenities are provided and that there is proper investment in productive areas, values and standards that will positively be modified and transferred and that way, the society becomes closely knitted and tightly knotted without disheartening loopholes and will be able stand the test of time and against terrorism or any global threat.
For instance, the nation like Ethiopia is said to be the poorest nation because it was never colonised by any foreign nation, but a careful observation show them to be a strong nation because the youths are fully involved in their activities, including their government and politics. In a nation like Brunee, the citizens do not migrate to other nations or countries because their government needs each of them.
Finally, if the youths are properly involved in politics and government, there will be Economic growth, promotion of the culture, social growth, spiritual growth, moral development and development will be in the air of hook and cranny of the country, every tribe will get what is due to them as citizens of Nigeria and there will be no need for the agitation of Biafra which has resulted in the killing of so many young people who put stake their lives for that cause.
How Can The Youths Get Involved?
The political grooming of the young people must definitely start from education, Education is derived from two Greek words, ‘Educere’ and ‘Educare’ which means ‘blank slate’ and ‘to lead out’ respectively. It is necessary to conceive the young people as part of the both categories, because, the young people are filled with possibilities and as such have potentials that could be actualized through training. And at the same time they know nothing but what experience has taught them. Education in this sense is beyond the regular schooling system. This includes training of the mind, this should practically begin with the children and teenagers and definitely the adults, the government should organise mentally equipped social entrepreneurs (political speakers, motivational tutors, political analysts) and even organise political debates for the youths, certain kind of privileges and appointments given to activities like pageantry, the voice, maltina dance floor, Gulder ultimate search, big brother Nigeria, and lots more, that thrill youths. If the government or the elites in the society are able to organize mind building and developing competitions and programs, more value will be added to the youths, who will in turn add value to the society.
This does not mean that the formal system of education is not useful, even though the present formal education system where more emphasis is placed on paper certificates than on what skill an individual has practically acquired, it is important the education system is made to fit into the system. Notwithstanding it is called western education, it is called western, because of the culture associated with it, which means that if Nigerians must also be educated, the education must conform to their culture, it must be practical, and something the students/youths are familiar with. For instance, students in Nigeria who study political science, should not just be taught what has been in the books, but be taught what happens currently in their society, just like medicine and law students, be given a political lab or practical opportunity to solve actual political problems in the society; that way, they understand what goes on in the professional political world, the political problems, and proffer solution, they should be allowed to participate in debates like presidential debates and the likes of it, and be allowed to participate in political analysis.
In addition to these, the youths can participate in politics through the following:
Political parties, Political mobilisation, Interest groups (where they exist as organisations and are able to protect the rights of their members when government programmes are in conflict. Could be easily found in pressure groups), Electoral system (they should be voted for and be accrued the respect of allowing them vote in their choice). When the youths get involved in politics and government through these elaborated and highlighted means and other measures that may have not been mentioned here, there will be a massive growth and development in Nigeria, because light has been illuminated, value has been added, a familiar and not just formal sense of belonging has been created and the youths will not be solely interested in fashion and entertainment.
Finally, it was Boris Popvic the mayor of the municipality of Koper who said that “a seal is given to a people by its city and athletes in particular spread its voice across the country’s boarders”. In this case, the youths are the athletes and need to be involved. Observe any thriving sector in Nigeria, for example fashion, luxury and entertainment, it is categorically promoted by the youths because they are highly recognised, the music/movie industries make them totally feel that they are the reason the industry is existing, every single thing on the media via music/movies and even social media is youth oriented, basically made to capture the attention of the youths, if the youths keep getting undying attention from the media and known from the society, (education, politics, church) there will be poor intellectual building, the future will be nostalgic and the stagnation in Nigeria will not cease. Let youth building not be a political propaganda, but a reality which will cause youths to strive dearly, knowing that in the end, there is certainly gain from the ages of pain, and glory from the pages of the story.