Two political leaders of Yoruba land have allowed confusion amongst its youths on when leadership should be transferred. For the past five years in Nigeria, the major leadership clamore have been for youths to take over, though this transition doesn’t seem visible to many, some have decided to take steps back to allow the youths engage. As 2023 Presidential election in the country comes closer, many believe its time for youths to take up the mantle, unfortunately political chair is not CEO chair.
For and Against
A former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and a former Governor of Lagos state, Bola Tinubu have indirectly jammed head on this topic leaving floating Yoruba Youths confused on whether to ‘resist or collect’.
In an address to concerns of a Nigerian youth becoming the next president in 2023, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, in a viral video said he wants the youth to be president of Nigeria but that will happen after he’s served as the president.
The APC leader made the comment during a visit to the Alaafin of Oyo on Sunday.
“If you become the President, you want to chase us from the streets?
“You’ll become old and be president but after me,” Tinubu said.
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But Olusegun Obasanjo, on Monday, called on the old generation of Nigerians to give way for the younger generation to build a prosperous nation.
According to him, rather than compete, the old generation should collaborate with younger people and provide them with the requisite knowledge and experience to transform the country.
Obasanjo stated these in his capacity as Chairman while speaking virtually at the 2022 annual lecture of the Murtala Muhammed Foundation with the theme, ‘Beyond Boko Haram: Addressing insurgency, banditry and kidnapping across Nigeria’.
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During the event, the guest speaker and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, suggested a national response to stem the tide of insecurity in Nigeria.
Obasanjo, in a veiled reference to the old generation of politicians jostling for the Presidency in 2023, was responding to the lecture by Fayemi that he was in primary school when the late Murtala Mohammed directed the affairs of the country.
The former President said, “We need to have an intergenerational collaboration. Fayemi said he was in primary school when Murtala and Obasanjo were there. So, if people of the Murtala/Obasanjo era are competing with you as governor, then, something is wrong.
“The Murtala/Obasanjo group should be stepping aside. Whatever experience and knowledge we have, we should be able to give it to you and you should be able to give it to those coming after you, so that whatever you have, you are passing it down to those who are coming behind and not to start competing with you, but to make you have access to what will make Nigeria better.”
Obasanjo blamed insecurity in the country on access to weapons after the Nigerian civil war.
He stated that beyond the crisis caused by the controversial Sharia law, unemployment was also contributing to insurgency in the country.
The former President also said that his fear about Boko Haram had materialised with the group’s links to international terrorists organisations.
Obasanjo said, “The insecurity in the country was caused by the ease of access to weapons after the civil war, and since then, we have been unable to address the issue; it keeps getting worse.
“In 2011 when Boko Haram was just showing its ugly head, I went to Maiduguri to try and find out a little bit more about Boko Haram and to also find out what their objective was, apart from being interested in Sharia. They also complained that their followers had no jobs and stated their efforts to get something legitimate to help their members.
“In the process, the government started chasing them and gunning them down.
“What I feared at that time seems to have been happening. At that time, Boko Haram had not many external connections; the ones they had were Nigerians who had resources abroad, who were helping them. My fear then was whether we would be able to keep them away from Al-Qaeda and other international terrorist organisations.
“We seem not to have been able to do that which has made the situation worse.”
He advised that more attention should be paid to out-of -school children in the country as they constituted more threat to the country in the future.
Obasanjo said, “The Nigerian population today is about 215 million and 15 million children are not in school; it doesn’t matter how we deal with insecurity, either by stick or carrot approach. Those children are the potential Boko Haram 10 years from now.
“If we don’t do anything about those children, we are already nurturing the Boko Haram of tomorrow. We need to look back and reinvent. When you look at some of the things we are doing, then you wonder why we are not succeeding. This is because we are doing the same thing all the time.
“Things that we did the last time that didn’t pay us are the same we are repeating. The idea of treating symptoms rather than the disease will not get us anywhere.
“The disease of Boko Haram and banditry are those things that people expect; they want a good life; they want to get a job; they want education; and they must be given for as long as they are denied these, they will be right to make a demand on society, which it must give to them willingly or unwillingly.”
Fayemi called for a national response to tame insecurity in the country.
He said, “The leadership in most affected states in the North-East, especially Borno, has been up to the task in terms of its response to forging a new compact between state and society. Yet, it is clear that what is required is a comprehensive national response and not an isolated state strategy.
“I believe this must also include a whole country sensitisation programme that understands and subliminally internalises the problem as one that will consume all if not addressed and not a challenge that is exclusively Borno or Kanuri-centric.”