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Not Too Young to Run: What The Youths Need to Know Today

Not too young to run protest

I remain resolute in my attempt to analyze the recent media hype of the pro-youths civil society group “Not too Young to Run”. My position is located in deconstructing it premise as frivolous rather than fundamental. As a follow up to the first part of this series, I have decided to point out some salient facts to engage the conveners.

I challenge the Nigerian Youths today in the first part of this series to ask salient questions in an attempt to interrogate the bourgeois political elites. They must cultivate the reading habit of books on heroes of the Nigerian Socialist Movement. In these books, the authors provide services to new generations who lack the first hand experience of Veterans.

Some of these writers examined in detail the record of Nigeria Capitalism, focusing on the recurring battle cry of the fight against corruption. Some bourgeois sections joined in these agitations not because (just like APC and its change mantra) they are opposed to corruption, but because they wanted an equal access to the opportunities and benefits of corruption.

In furtherance of corruption as institutionalized enterprise in Nigeria, the youths must be aware of these shocking facts; in 1979, Nigeria refined almost 30% (percent) of its crude oil, as opposed to 2015 when it refines none. Rather, it focuses on refusing Nigeria’s elitist development strategy where industry produces soft drinks, beer, cigarettes and other frivolities.

What seemed a frivolity then does not begins to express what has transpired since then. Industry has retreated further and importations have taken over as every item produced abroad finds its way to Nigeria the largest market on the continent of Africa. Warehouses built in the wake of the frivolous industrialization have since been converted to churches and depots for imported goods.

Today as a new phase of de-industrialization stares us in the face, the Nigerian Youths are the hardest hit. They come out of school in large numbers into the uncertain labour market where jobs are not available. As Nigerian Youths grapple with the stark realities of their time, some see politics as the surest bet to get-rich quick mentality of Nigerian politicians. Hence, they start their political mobility through apprenticeship as hired thugs for politicians and political parties. In the event of loss or win, they are used ,rewarded or abandoned. This trend of political alienation gradually ignited the revolutionary advocacy that is; “Not Too Young To Run”.

I admonished Nigerian Youths to go back on memory lane to glean more information from history books. History tells us that Obasanjo’s 1979 Constitution was “Fascistic” in content but liberal in form; having established a money qualification to stand as a candidate in elections, as a result of which out of 40 political parties that appeared in 1979, thirty-six parties were declared outside the limits of the people’s democratic choice.

This is not because their programs were bad, but because they failed to satisfy conditions (possession of huge sum of money). Candidates also had to pay money deposits. Regarding the role of money in the 1979 elections, advocates of socialism in Nigeria contend that; first, a group of people literally bought the core of the party. Secondly, ambitious party members bought their nominations as candidates in the various elections. Finally, the party candidates bought the votes.

Manipulation of fears, ethnic and religious also played their parts. No sooner that the new regime comes into power that it jettisons its illusionary campaign pledges to the people. Until today, nothing has significantly changed. The change we want must begin with the collective struggle from below. Our collective struggle must be focus and directed by a pro-people and workers political party like; National Conscience Party and the Labour Party towards the 2019 elections.

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Alex Ameh Ogbu
Alex Ameh Ogbu
Comrade Alex Ameh Ogbu is an Abuja based Media Practitioner and a prolific writer that writes mostly from Akatekwe Kingdom. He can be reached via: onwaters2011@gmail.com

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