Atiku, Buhari and the Realistic Antithesis Of #NotTooYoungToRun -By Ishaq Usman

Filed under: National Issues |

“He alone who owns the youth,gains the future”

Adolf Hitler. The man who superintended over one of the world’s most brazen act of modelling devilry said that. It isn’t or wouldn’t be far fetched to say that the strength this class of creatures wield is enormous. A league of youths united in aim and direction will send shivers down the spine of any leader. Men don’t become leaders by sitting down. They learn how to smile in mud,paint air and ululate excitedly about how colorful it is and like master craftsmen,they weave their way into the hearts of these youths by promising to make their doorsteps a sniff of a goldmine. Promises made thusly often excites someone who doesn’t know how much an ounce of gold costs. If they had known, they’ll know how insulting it is. I mean,if they get to find out how much of a palace these men have made for their families from gold, they will nod their head at how Pyrrhic their sugary drop luxury is.



Nigeria is a country with close to 200 million people with youths topping the numbers majority of whom are either unemployed or are bandwagoned to the #WeDeyManage. Numbers that ordinarily should give strengths are now superfluous. Multitudes that should naturally command respect now sires obeyance to those who have been fortunate to,at one time or the other, hold keys to the house where gold bars are kept. It’s okay to complain. You don’t dance around the eggs of mother hen and expect her to spread her feathers in appreciation. The normal reaction to any unpalatable situation is that of disgust and bitter complaints. What isn’t normal is to sit down in one place,asking why the rays of the sun keeps coloring your face when you can adjust your sitting position.

Complaining won’t solve anything. If you keep staring at the mirror and asking why a sexy pimple choose a succulent spot at an alternate angle to your eye,it won’t leave. The first step to defeating the devil is to think and be like him. Nigerian youths need to understand that these men were once youth too. They got involved in the process, built a structure and have been living on it ever since. Atiku Abubakar got involved in politics in April 1989 or at least,that is what his Wikipedia page is saying. He came third in the SDP presidential primaries that produced Moshood Abiola in ’93. In ’99,he became VP after contesting and winning the gubernatorial election in Adamawa. Atiku has built political structures that have seen him through his political journey. It’ll be foolish to think he’ll give up everything for Tony or Musa,23, because of their youthful agility. Same goes for PMB. He was HoS in ’83. 5 years before Atiku even started politics. While it is easy to sit and talk on how in the twenty first century,a country as huge in labour and potential still fields septuagenarians as presidential candidates, it’ll be deluding to believe that these men give up what they’ve worked for because “a candidate is younger”.

Nigerian youths need to make themselves prepared. A quick stop at secondary schools in our neighborhood will send tears looking for shelter. A huge percentage of secondary school children are pathetically aloof of political happenings in Nigeria. It doesn’t end there. It extends to the universities too. If the youths, leaders of tomorrow don’t want to have a thing to do with politics,why should politics be bothered? Again, because they’re young? How about people who done invested 15,20 years of their lives in it? They should just give it all up! Why? They’re youths!

The reality about #NotTooYoungToRun isn’t majorly centred on the inability to afford forms. It’s also on participation. If as a youth,you want to be the governor of your state at 35,be an involved politician from the age of 19. It isn’t just about registering and collecting membership cards and waiting for the next federal five alive. It is being a party member through and through, building a profile in your locale by doing things for the general benefit of the community and most importantly, knowing the right buttons to press. At the very right time. Competence is good but in Nigerian politics,it’s a very fickle thing to carry around.Nigerian politics rewards loyalty more than it does to competence. Is this a good thing? I don’t think so but should we keep pretending that we don’t know that onions,when the layers are being peeled off,sings out so beautifully that we start to cry??

It’s time we stop crying and start getting involved. If we play our cards right,we might get a youthful president. In 2034. These men were once youths. They toiled to get to where they’re are. Don’t expect them to hand the baton over when they’ve long gone past the 3rd lane. Start the race. You have the advantage of agility,power and pace. Follow their tracks because they’ve been in the race for a long time. Take your time to meet up with them and when you do,in a seismic burn of adrenaline,burst into an athletic display that words wouldn’t be able to describe.

Ishaq Usman writes from Kano.
He can be reached @NajAlpharouq on Twitter.