The situation in Nigeria from the onset of gaining independence has been enveloped with socio, political, economic, and religious vices. Although, the political crisis has been the major factor for the proliferation of the quagmire, the problem seems like a repetitive system that brings with it nothing, but a hit of dopamine on every aspect in Nigeria which the only possible solution that is feasible to break the repetitive pattern of backwardness is the youth.
For a new Nigeria, the youths have huge roles to play to make it a reality. Youths have a great role to play in community development in Nigeria as they are being considered to be in the active working group. But the structural characteristics of our economy that have marginalized the majority of the youths have also widened the gap between the rural youth and those in the urban centers. With the abundant human and natural resources available in Nigeria, if the role of youths is fully utilized, it brings forth a new leaf for Nigeria.
Now, how can Nigeria be the pioneer in this new face?
Nigerian Youths should Take The Mantle of Leadership
The narratives of Nigeria can be changed by the Youths if they are allowed to take an active part in leadership roles and decision-making. The Leadership system in Nigeria, especially the political role has been for years a place for the elderlies. In Nigeria, you are eligible to vote when you are 18 years but you cannot aspire to contest for political offices unless you are 30 or 35 years old, even at 30 or 35 there are offices you cannot aspire for, this is absurd. According to the UN, Nigeria youths take up 70% population of the country. This magnitude shows the drastic change we'll experience if the youth take the role of leadership and decision-making. The end SARS protest is an example of how powerful our action is as a youth.
If we decide to take up the responsibility of taking Nigeria to greater heights, it won't take us much time to re-change its negative narratives. To make this clearer, it is germane that young people are engaged in formal political processes and have a say in making policies and implementing those policies. Inclusive political participation is not only fundamental to political and democratic rights but also is congruent to building stable and peaceful societies and developing policies that respond to the specific needs of younger generations, and a better Nigeria. This will take off the majority of problems we have in Nigeria and bring upon us a new dawn. What are these roles?
Youth's should Participate in Effective Implementation of Security and Social Development
For many years, the national security, and social development of Nigeria has been threatened by the activities of insurgents and rebel groups. These violent groups and other organized crime syndicates have ravaged Nigeria’s national security. However, since youths are at the forefront of the rebellion and perpetuation of many crimes; they equally constitute an important structure for bringing positive change in the country.
The role of youths' ineffective implementation of security and social development intervention in Nigeria cannot be over-emphasized. This is because youths have been deeply involved in self-help projects in various local governments in Nigeria. Their areas of interventions cover projects involving trade, commerce, Home Economics, small and medium-term enterprises and agriculture, anti-corruption, counter-terrorism, community policing, and drug-free clubs among others (Usman2018).
A good example of this is the role of youth in the Nigerian army. The youth take up to 80% of the Nigerian army and they've been in the front role of the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency and other criminal activities. Youth also can be mobilized in disaster preparedness, education, and post-disaster efforts-e.g.managing natural resources, mobilizing communities via new technologies, acquiring peace-building skills, or supporting efforts to reduce gender-based violence (UNDP, 2014). From the foregoing, it is easy to understand that successful development projects in the area of security or overall social system depend on the state’s commitment to empowering the citizens, youths in particular to achieving this goal. (Odoh & Eme 2014).
The Youth Should Inculcate The Habit of Integrity
The citizens of Nigeria have voted a lot of people into the leadership position because of the sweet quoted manifestos. The campaign is filled with a lot of promises that dim fit to make Nigeria a better country. However, hope becomes futile when the leaders get to their position and derailed off their initial promises. The main cause of this is nothing but a lack of integrity and a positive mind.
Integrity forms the foundation of every improvement in all aspects of life. The Nigerian youth is not just going to make the positive change through physical activities alone but also with a mindset of integrity. Integrity and good character will enable the youth to be focused on the positive intention of taking Nigeria into a new era, regardless of any hardship that might come with the responsibility they take upon themselves to be the pioneer of change.
The Nigeria Youths have a lot of roles to play in sailing Nigeria into a new phase. The Government should also ensure that more importance is given to youth development and formation across all sectors. Channels for youths’ engagement include formal political processes such as youth advisory boards at the local level, youth parliaments or shadow councils at a national level, and engagement with United Nations processes at the global level (UNDP, 2014).
The youth should join forces together with the people to put an end to the ongoing discomfort in Nigeria. If these are done, it will be a vital prerequisite to increasing the nation’s economical, industrial and technological development and growth. It’s germane to say, these narratives are to let our youths decide on what they need to do, to permanently make a change. If these measures are taken, they won’t just be tomorrow’s leaders; they will make Nigeria great again.
How youths can take over Nigeria’s leadership: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/12/2019-how-youths-can-take-over-nigeria s-leadership/amp/
The Role Of Youths In Community Development: https://iproject.com.ng/sociology/the-role-of-youths-in-community-development/index.html
Youth and political change in Nigeria: Historical note and critical discourse: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/317717969
Youths and Community Development in Nigeria: www.Citeseerx.ist.psu.edu
Youth and Election: https://aceproject.org/ace-en/topics/yt/overview