TOPIC – GOOD GOVERNANCE AND NATION BUILDING: THE ROLE OF THE YOUTH
SUBMITTED BY – AJIMOTI OLUWABUKUNMI
“Youth forms the vanguard of the nation which when properly channelized shall be instrumental in the development of the nation”- Dr. Zakir Hussain.
A New Era has been long coming, where the luxurious and comfortable sitting back and complaining of youths will be gone where they will stand up to defend, to serve their fatherland, to rise like the compatriots they are and obey the country’s call. An era where they will embrace the spirit of democracy and take up democratic actions even though the political conditions of most countries of this age do not act as a favorable ground for them to actively engage in this process, as it is obvious that the leadership cadre is filled with aged democrats who think that the role of nation building has been preserved for them exclusively and as such youth should not be given a chance. Perhaps, their stand explains why though youths are said to be leaders of tomorrow, the tomorrow never comes. This is a call to the youth to shake off the sedative feeling that this issue might have caused.
Defining the terms, a youth refers to a person who has energy, enthusiasm, and vigor, filled with tremendous and towering ambitions and driving force to get things done. Youths in Nigeria constitution refer to persons between the age 18 and 35. Good Governance and Nation building consider the prosperity, well-being and welfare of all citizens of the nation through decentralized government, properly guided bureaucracy, disciplined administration, fixed salaries, maintenance of law and order, controlling corruption, consistency in administration, integrity in administration , curbing insurgency, ensuring social security and essentially governing by standardized rule of law with liberty, equality and fraternity before the law and equal protection under that same law.
Looking at the role of youth in light of the above, It is now obvious that the future and government of any nation lies on the good leadership and participation of young leaders, the youths, because youth is the backbone of the nation, they are the building blocks of every developed nation, without them the nation can’t be built. Their role in Nation Building and Good Governance cannot be over emphasized, it involves the active and full participation of the body of youths to promote, express or influence the course of the government positively. Unfortunately, today, they are more interested in other activities that are detrimental to their lives and the nation at large. They spend their time doing drugs, playing video games, partying, living it up, so to speak. If any body in any country is most important, again, it is the body of youths. Service and sacrifice to country and fatherland in the spirit of true patriotism must be a front burner in the heart of every youth and this means that the country’s peace, sanity and orderliness should be the utmost desire of every youth.
Youths must be the agents of change they so desire, they must use all their potentials to serve their fatherland. They must get good education as this is their primary role so that they are equipped to become better citizens and participants in democracy. Youths must help the government at all levels, resisting all forms of exploitation, bribery and corruption by individuals or groups as they take away their voices and rights and totally remove them from the big picture.
Youths must play a vital role in the elimination of terrorism, with their energy, intelligence and resources fully and properly utilized. They will have to aspire for entrepreneurship rather than the conventional employment as this goes a long way in boosting the nation’s economy.
As a result of the body of youths being the country’s power, they can recognize problems and solve them. They pose as strong forces in social movements. Youths must seek to participate in government, politics and policy formulation, shelving aside the responsibilities of joining mainstream politics and forming healthy and progressive alliances with one another even at the lowest stage of student union government of the universities and participating in all issues of national interest especially VOTING. This way, their voices will be heard and their views will be considered.
Youths must search out and cleanse themselves of any quality pulling down the nation, having a change of character and value. For a man who wants equity must come with a clean hand, so goes the saying.
Youths must educate and sensitize the society about their rights and help younger people to attain their highest level of intellectual ability and to become qualified adults.
Conclusively, the present conditions of the world should awaken them from their slumber and make them enquire what the future holds for them because they will be the one at the suffering end. They should open their eyes to the existing conditions, study evil forces that are at play and then, with concerted efforts, arise and bring about necessary reforms. Having said that, the body of youths should pay up their pledge to serve the country and stop being comfortable with dormancy and reluctance and engage autonomy in making decisions, to build the nation
“Oh God of creation, direct our noble cause.
Guide our leaders right, help our YOUTHS the truth to know
In love and honesty to grow and live in just and truth.
Great lofty heights attained to build a nation where peace and justice shall reign” -Second Stanza, Nigeria Anthem.