youth and politics in nigeria pdf

Youth and politics in nigeria pdf

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Published: 14.04.2021

'Not usual mischief-making'

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Again, they were molested, they were beaten, and they were even stripped naked. But at the very centre of these protests are frustrated youth whose dreams are on hold and whose future is uncertain.

In the years leading to independence, youths were the driving force behind the nationalist activities that led to the dismantling and eventual overthrow of colonialism and the colonial masters. Despite this, the role of youths in African politics has received less than commensurate attention in studies on democratisation. These young Nigerians each used the media to speak against the evils of colonialism and demanded independence. Nnamdi Azikiwe, for instance, was reputed for the use of his newspaper, the West African Pilot. Through these avenues, they created awareness of the evils that foreign domination posed to the country and, despite various constitutional reforms, these young people demanded independence.

'Not usual mischief-making'

From the case studies examined, what have been achieved and what is on track to be achieved, very soon Nigerian youths will be the leaders of today, not tomorrow, in conformity with global best practices and trends. This ordinarily ought to brook no contradiction, in the contemplation of reality as governed by the natural laws of succession, in which one generation plays out its role and yields the stage for another, as a way of advancing the course of the human experience. Well, maybe not as much in Nigeria. Questions around leadership, the provenance of those able to aspire to, attain and exercise it, have captured some of the most vexing and disturbing concerns in Nigeria today, as it did in recent decades. Yet, could there really be a divine right to leadership, which has fossilised, and remains the same through time, despite the changing nature of society, its needs and demographic constitution?

However, the Lagos-based organization at first had generally moderate views and pledged to support and cooperate with the governor. Ernest Ikoli was vice president and H. Davies was the secretary. It was the first multi-ethnic organization in Nigeria and its programme was to foster political advancement of the country and enhance the socio-economic status of the Nigerian citizens. The movement acquired national outlook and became a strong national movement when Nnamdi Azikiwe and H. Davies returned to Nigeria in and respectively and consequently joined the movement.

Set up in the mids to combat incidences of armed robbery, SARS has over the years metamorphosed into a force associated with harassment of innocent citizens, extortion at gunpoint , and extrajudicial killings of suspects. An overwhelming majority of those participating in the protest are young Nigerians. Now, the demands have widened, premised on the pervasive failure of the government to deliver equitable economic prosperity for its citizens and these enraged youths in particular. In addition to calling for law enforcement agencies to respect the rule of law, youth are demanding more respect for human rights and a deepening of democracy. The protesters are also demanding a revival of the educational and health systems and stronger efforts toward job creation. In short, the message of the EndSARS protest is that young Nigerians want to take back their country from the entrenched political order that they believe has not served their interests. Indeed, earlier this month, the governor of Lagos State submitted their 7-point agenda to President Buhari on behalf of the protesters.

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Genyi, About 70 percent of Africa population is 30 years of age or younger. In , youths, who are defined here as those between 15 and 35 years of age, constituted 21 percent of more than 1 billion people in Africa, whereas another 42 percent was less than 15 years old. Slightly more than half of the African youth population is female, and there are more rural dwellers than urban dwellers. Since Nigerian independence in , Nigeria has been struggling to install a viable and durable democracy but its dismal politics characterized by consistent inability to conduct credible and transparent elections in which its citizens have access effectively protected opportunities to exercise their franchise but in the choice of their leaders, has made the agenda of democratic sustainability largely a mirage.


Specifically, this paper examines the history of youth involvement in political change and the challenges youths are facing within Nigerian socio-.


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There have been welcome steps on this front. I n May , Nigeria passed a new law which lowered the age limits for political office from 35 to 30 years in the Senate, and 30 to 25 years in the House of Representatives and State House of Assembly. This was a remarkable achievement for young people in the country , as it mean s that they had opportunities for representation which were not previously possible. While this is a great step towards youth inclusion in politics, it is clear that more still need to be done to put young people at the very heart of politics, governance and decision-making process in Nigeria.

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Youth protests for police reform in Nigeria: What lies ahead for #EndSARS

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