My name is Maiyaki Dauda Abdullahi. I’m from Lokoja, the Confluence City Capital of Kogi State,Nigeria. I’m a Unifier and passionate advocate of Young minds in Governance and Policy formulation. I’m excited about of the NotTooYoungToRunLaw of May 31st, 2018.
‘I could walk a mile in your shoes, but I already know they are just as uncomfortable as mine. Let’s walk next to each other instead.’ – Lynda Meyers.
Modern scholars appear to have a consensus that Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France before the French Revolution was not guilty of all she was accused of, convicted and executed for. Her greatest son was a lack of understanding of what the ordinary people of France were going through under her husband’s reign. Though largely disproved now, she is said to have said, when informed that the people were humgry and had no bread to eat, ‘let them eat cake’.
Perhaps if she was more in touch with the people’s realities she would have known that cake was a luxury common folk could never afford.
The Nigerian story post-Independence is, to put it mildly, an uncomfortable one. We have stumbled aplenty and made mistakes but we are here, still going…
Only a leader who was born into our journey and has experienced no other life but our life – one who has, as it were, walked alongside us all his life as we covered milestone after uncomfortable milestone on this winding path to nationhood will understand what we yearn for in 2023.
The New Nigeria we desire cannot be premised on the experience of those who enjoyed free education, foreign scholarships, good jobs waiting on graduation, official vehicles, official quarters and stigma-free foreign travel among other benefits of Nigerian citizenship in the years immediately preceding Independence.
To possibly understand what today’s Nigeria entails, you must not have mitigating memories of what it is not. You must have no seduction to ‘rebuild’ or ‘restore’ Nigeria, only an overwhelming addiction to ‘build’ a New Nigeria which has never existed in your experience.
To get Nigeria right, you must be someone who has only seen the good incidents of citizenship in other countries, YEARNED so desperately for it all your life but never gotten to experience it.
In other words, you must be like the leaders of Singapore or Dubai were 40 to 50 years ago when they left homelands where all they had ever known about citizenship was bad to search for what good citizenship entails abroad in order to come home and replicate it.
Neither former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore nor Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of the Emirate of Dubai went searching in Nigeria and other places for things their countries once had and lost. No, if they came here or went anywhere on their quest, they were looking for what their countries needed to launch out in a new direction entirely, having determined that the old would never be of any help.
Come 2023, if you are the leader Nigerians are looking for, you must be someone who is so consumed by your yearning for the elusive benefits of a working nation that you are sold out to making them a reality too for your homeland, Nigeria.
Serendipity happens, but it is clear that we cannot blunder in functional statehood and dignified citizenship by trial and error. Experience says so. We have had strong leaders and weak leaders, educated and not so uneducated, military and civilian and of all regions and religions and yet the journey is stagnated.
The conclusion is you cannot be the solution to a challenge you know nothing about. I am not mincing words when I say anyone older than 60 by 2023 has no business seeking to lead this Nation or any component part of it.
Our journey from here lies squarely in our hands but our minds must first accept and believe that we can get the job done. It is on record that at least 90% of those with PVC which is the power to choose our leaders are below 60 years of age. It is only fitting that majority carry the vote. It is an incongruity for 10% to be wagging 90% unless the 90% choose not to deploy their voting power.
We can see what is going on around the world, including our country with the #EndSARS protests. Spontaneous youth uprisings are a sign that we have been docile for far too long and our disenchantment with the status quo is overflowing in anger. A more excellent way is to gather our moves in tranquility and execute them as a strategy.
It is time to awaken the giant within us and make sustainable plans to take political power at the centre without destroying our commonwealth. We can do it. Youths led by Yahaya Bello did it in Kogi State in 2015. Nigerian Youths can do on a larger scale in 2023.
Maiyaki Dauda Abdullahi
Phone – 07063638350
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