During a recent conversation with a group of Nigerian youths on the current level of youth involvement in leadership, policymaking, and nation-building in Nigeria, Daniel Ogoloma expressed his displeasure at the minimal participation of the Nigerian youths in the scheme of things.
The Oxford University student and political activist identified two major factors that are responsible for this regrettable situation. According to Ogoloma, “While I agree that the political atmosphere created by government has made youth participation in governance a difficult task, the youths themselves have a responsibility to remain focused on their roles as not just leaders of tomorrow but trustees of the nation’s future.”
While recognizing and commending the efforts of some courageous young Nigerians who are contributing their quota to building a better society in their respective fields, Daniel also mentioned the need to do more on the part of the youths. He said, “One of the reasons why several nation-building and social reform efforts by the youths have failed is because of lack of clear strategy and consistency on the part of the youths.”
He acknowledged the sincerity of most youth activists when they come up with lofty and actionable ideas but questioned their methods of operation which sometimes undermines their efforts. He observed that whenever the youths start a movement or a campaign that will bring about positive socio-political changes, the momentum often wane out rapidly before the goal is actualized.
He ascribed these failures partly to lack of defined strategies and inconsistency of action among the youths which usually lead to loss of focus and premature end of most social reform efforts. He cited the examples of the Not Too Young To Run campaign and the #EndSars Movement as two of such social reform efforts conceived with good intention but pursued inconclusively because the leaders of these reform efforts did not appear to have a clearly defined strategy and long term direction for the movements. Often these movements appear to be like mere reactionary movements without a plan and purpose.
Daniel said. “At the beginning of the Not Too Young To Run campaign, just like the #EndSars protest, everyone seemed to be on board. There was a massive show of interest from everyone. But as time goes by, things began to change.
“People’s momentum began to fade and many forgot about the task at hand. This is not good enough. As youths with responsibilities to our nation, we cannot allow this attitude to continue forever. We must be focused and consistent all times.”