THE RISE, FALL & REBIRTH OF YOUTH POWER IN NIGERIA

In preparation for the upcoming 2023 election, it is expedient that we observe and scrutinize the roles and influence of youth power in the course and actions of proper governance. As we set off, let’s clarify what the term “Youth” means, there are various definitions but in retrospect to our indigenous republic, youth comprises all young males and females, aged 18 to 35 years. (National Youth Policy of 2009).

The huge population of youth in Nigeria signifies a great asset for a socio-political transformation within a democratic space, historically Nigeria has had its youth as one of the driving force of change.

Post-colonialism, there was a major involvement of youths in the activism for independence, protest from students in Unions like WASU (West African Student union), the Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM) in 1934 and after independence, youth participation shaped and founded the implicit character of Nigeria. The intervention of the military in the first military coup were majorly led by young officers.

Furthermore, in 1966, a youth President (age 31) sat in office and was one of the most renowned presidents of our nation, the civil war led by young officers, young leadership wasn’t a strange phenomenon as it is now, which begs the question how did we get here? At one point or the other this millennia have been told that they are the leaders of tomorrow, but tomorrow seems far-fetched which is now resulting to an apathy, a nonchalant attitude towards politics and governance. Young people in politics are now segregated to the youth arms of political parties which was a notion imposed during the second republic; where there is little or no meaningful contribution to the progressiveness of the nation. Still the youths have not given up, the ENDSARS and Nottooyoungtorule movements are proof that the youth are very much, a driving force for change in our beloved homeland.

*What We Do*
Leadership deficits, money politics, poor internal democracy among the older parties and an absence of a strategic political agenda have become the norm, posing ongoing barriers to young people playing a role in national development. All these unpleasant factors have prompted Kids & Teens Resource Centre to promote good governance in Nigeria through participatory methodologies such as Economic Literacy, Budget, Accountability and Governance (ELBAG), NERV, PVA tools on voter’s education and their roles as citizens in ensuring good leadership for the nation.

K&TRC organizes 18th Birthday Bash for young people who just clocked 18 years in the country to enlighten them on the importance of getting a voter’s card and active participation in elections.

✓ Conduct awareness campaigns, street rallies, interpersonal communication, peer influencers among young people and citizens in shunning electoral violence

✓ Collaborate with other NGOs in assisting the effort of the government by providing information, social amenities that are expected in a given community

✓ Produce and distribute SBCC/IEC materials printed in local languages and in English to sensitize people on the need to participate in election processes and how to be patriotic citizens.

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