One of the leading youth advocates in Nigeria, Comrade Chukwu Emmanuel, has joined the youth constituency in congratulating the recently elected Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) national youth leader, Hon. Mohammed Suleiman over his victory in the just concluded PDP national convention which held at the Eagle Square, Abuja, last weekend.
The 25-year-old Suleiman who hailed from Kaduna state had contested against all odds, polling a total of 3,072 votes to defeat his challenger, Usman Elkudan who garnered 219 votes.
Following this development, many Nigerians have reacted by commending the process that led to the emergence of the party’s youth leader.
While lending his voice, the Enugu state born youth leader said he had attended the national convention in Abuja as a show of support and solidarity to all the youths that took part in the election. He stated that the odd against the constriction of the youth constituency was gradually being relaxed with the election of Suleiman into the key decision-making of the opposition party.
Chukwu while addressing newsmen today at a summit organised by the National Youth Assembly of Nigeria, Enugu State Chapter, at the floor of the Enugu State House of Assembly, where he sat as a discussant, underscored the importance of youth’s participation in national policy formulation and nation building.
Relating the election of the 25-year-old Suleiman to the theme of the summit; “Mainstreaming Youth Participation in Policy Formulation and Peace Building: A Catalyst for a Peaceful Nation”, the visibly elated activist who has been in the forefront of pushing for more youth to show interest in the nation’s development told journalists that he felt partly fulfilled because their struggle for a new Nigeria had started to yield result.
According to him; “Something recently happened that blew my mind. It’s a testament of the decade. The PDP elected the youngest Youth Leader ever produced by the party in the person of Hon. Prince Mohammed Kadade Suleiman. It was unexpected as we were expecting to see a 50 year old man despite our efforts in lobbying the party’s hierarchy to consider young people. He is a 25 year old determined mind who was not just picked randomly from nowhere. He is an amazing guy. Congratulations to Hon. Suleiman who has fulfilled the yearning dream of the Nigerian youths. I’m so proud of him, and this shows that the youths are headed in the right direction in the country.
“Indeed, the election of Hon. Suleiman is a testament of the immutable truth of the age and immutable power of the young mind, the possibility that abounds when we come together and when we decide that we want to take power. This has confirmed the truth that this generation of youths are ready to take power, after watching as spectators for the past 20 years.
“We have been the most resourceful generation of youth, at least, for the past 40 years. You know, our parents’ generation came at a time when things were somewhat good, or even better because they had a system that was working handed to them on a platter. They had the best time, the best condition in school, with free accommodation, free lunch and scholarship from government. In fact, our parents had safer environment, better economy, ethnic divide and religious tension were muscled at the time. Education was lucrative and people were immediately absorbed into the civil service system, and those that wished to go into the corporate and business world had the best support structure to pursue their dreams.
“However, look at our time today. It is unfortunate that we came at a time that could be considered the worst time in the history of the country. We are beset on every side with the worst economic nightmare, with a growing political and religious tension. The reputation of our nation has been badly battered at the global scene. The standard of living has abysmally dwindled with inflation rising at a geometric rate. Yet, in the face of these daunting challenges, Nigerian youths have been thriving all over the world; in science, technology, medicine, business, innovation, entrepreneurship, etc. This singular illustration has shown that no other proof of us being ready to take over the mantle of leadership than what we’ve been doing now. With what is on ground, it is a misplaced judgment to say Nigeria youths are lazy. These present youths are innovative, educated, resourceful, result-proven and goal-oriented, burdened with passion to drive them to glory, and now, we are humbled enough to show that deference for our leaders and elders even as we ask the to cede power to the digital generation.
“It is my greatest wish that out of this darkness a brighter day will come. I want to congratulate every Nigerian youth for this great job and victory for the youth. It is now time for the youth to do more. It is time for us to seize this season of golden age to break through this downward spiral of mediocrity and redefine the destiny of Nigeria. We must think through and decide whether Nigeria should remain this way or whether we want a new Nigeria where young innovative professionals should be entrusted with the responsibility of changing the trajectory and chart a new course for the country.
“We cannot continue to recycle experience in failure, even though a lot of us would argue that experience is fundamental. The unassailable fact is that in this age of technology, all we need are people who are burdened with zeal to lead this country to a greater height. Today’s innovative youth is not all about experience but preparation, ability to think outside the box, key into the global economy through technology and daring spirit to give the nation the best.”
Calling for the Nigerian youths to consider vying for the positions of president, governors, houses of assembly, national assembly and other key offices in 2023 general elections, Chukwu emphasized that:
“There are many professional, competent, competitive, and resourceful young minds that are already doing great jobs in their field of endeavours. They are making unimaginable exploits around the world, and it’s time for these youth to come together and say, it’s enough. We are not looking for those who are young at heart, but people who are young indeed. Our youths are not only experienced but are also exposed to meet the strenuous demand of the 21st century.
“Today, I’m seizing this opportunity to call on the youths to go for more elective positions as the 2023 general elections approach. The youths should fill the various houses of assembly, House of Representatives, contest for the positions of state governors and dare the office of the president just as the world is moving away from gerontocracy to a more youth-friendly political environment. Our youths must get involve and showcase their willpower to move the country forward.”
Reacting to the shape the 2023 general elections might likely take in Enugu State, Chukwu stated that Enugu State deserved a governor who is not only young at heart but also young in age. He maintained that some of them had come together to form a group that would lead the campaign for the actualization of the dream. He charged the youths to be self-motivated and politically conscious by participating in civilized political activities rather than allowed themselves to be used as political thugs for violence and destabilisation.
Meanwhile, Chukwu who has led different political support groups for Gov Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state and the former Nigeria President, Goodluck Jonathan, has further urged other political parties to follow the path the PDP had taken by running an all-inclusive policy which would assimilate the youths into the key hierarchical structures of their parties, even as he commended the Gov’s zoning formula, saying the convention was hitch-free because of the committee’s maturity in managing divergent interests.
Also reacting to the steps taken by the federal government to encourage the youths to involve in politics, Chukwu commended the President for signing the “Not too young to run” bill into law in 2018. According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari has done well by laying the foundation for the country’s youths to take power and change the destiny of the nation when on May 21, 2018, he assented the bill that would remove age impediment and pave the way for youth to change the narrative of the country. He also commended the Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi-led administration for leading in the implementation of the Act by engaging youths in both appointive and elective positions in the state.
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