Introduction: I will like to start from this creative force of a massive youth population, a dynamic source of innovations and they have undoubtedly, throughout history, participated, contributed and even catalyzed important changes in Nation Building in terms of the political system, power-sharing Dynamics, and economic opportunities.
However, youth also face poverty, barriers to education, multiple forms of discrimination, limited leadership position, employment prospects, and gainful opportunities.
My research gives me the fact that many youths participate in political movements instead of engaging in political parties, youth men and women are traditionally active politically in Universities but very often disillusioned with political leadership and political institutions and excluded from policy Development.
As a result, the political activism of youth is not organized according to formal grouping, A typical example is what the youth experienced during the formidable END SARS PROTEST.
The movement would have experienced a louder voice and impact by now if the grouping eventually embraces political parties or have a good structure that will participate in leadership discussions and decision-making processes before, during, and after the hijacked peaceful protest in our country.
The ideology is awesome, and the energy is inspiring but the leadership and unpolitical traits displayed by we youth deny us a lasting solution, though we do achieve a reduction in the abuse, inflicting of pains from law enforcement officers, and eventually scrapping of SARS by the federal government.
Youth life matters, our voice is like the roar of a lion, and only if we are willing to use it, we use it while in a tertiary institution. The time is now to reinvigorate that good spirit again, unite ourselves, and form a formidable voice again.
Active political participation by youth will give us more wins in building the nation, the fight for liberation, and the better society we wanted, there is strong evidence that the participation of Young people in the institutional political process is relatively low when compared to older citizens across the globe. This is indeed challenging.
Need for you to participate in politics:
Youth Participation in politics is actively involving young people in decision-making processes. The concept is related to ideas of citizenship, personal development, and involvement in Shaping our society. The power is in politics and we need the power to practice what we studied in school and build a better Nation.
As a practice youth Participation involves young people in political activities, human rights campaigners/ Activist, pro-democracy campaigners, reformists, government, and community structures and engages them on issues that directly affect the youths, like individual care or learning plans, and wider community-based projects. It is all about meaningful opportunities for young people, valuing their contributions, and empowering them to help shape our world.
Decision making: Once we rise, the world will listen, the government was forced to set up a panel of inquiry after the END SARS PROTEST which includes majorly youths.
Participate: Yoruba adage says, if you are not there, don’t ask how they distribute it and they say that, a Shepherd who travels experiences his animal giving birth to one lamb always. I believe these two wisdom quotes say it all
Inclusiveness: our right is to encourage and ensure that all young people can participate, regardless of background, culture, where they live, gender, or sexuality
No room for intimidation: Youth participation in Civic and community life is in Civic right, The UN convention on the rights of youths clearly state that ” Young people have the right to participate and contribute in decision-making processes that affect them”
I am imploring us all to think about youth Participation as an ongoing approach- it’s not tokenism or something to be ticked off of done as a once-off thing. Political participation gives young people the opportunity to act, make their own decisions, and advocate for themselves rather than considering themselves as passive ‘client’ with decisions being made for them always.
Moreover, all of us cannot be of the same ideology but we must have the same result. I have a friend who participates actively in politics but believes so much in omoyele sowere’s revolution ideology, believing that we youth must take power from those old Babas at the top at once through their independent political Party. But I oseni Ibrahim, I have a different ideology, I believe it’s better to start from somewhere, learn from the past of service leaders, through that we will know the good ones and bad ones. I affirm that I need to understand the psychology of whoever is drawing us back and oppressing our generation from the inside not from sitting on the fence.
On the final Note: we need to start now by getting our PVC because I know most of us may still not have, Damaged or relocated to another place, we youth need to be wiser than our adversaries: Don’t judge people by their declared intentions but the actual outcomes of their actions. People who claim to reject responsibilities and Power due to sentiment or moral values are often manipulated.