30 Percent Or Nothing!

I have for years worked and brainstormed with several leadership enthusiasts, internationally acclaimed activists, innovation/change...

I have for years worked and brainstormed with several leadership enthusiasts, internationally acclaimed activists, innovation/change agents, prominent political leaders and personal development coaches from across the globe (from Brian Mayne (Lift International, UK), General Tunde Reis, Fela Durotoye, Pastor Adeolu Akinyemi, Mrs Yinka Reis, Pastor Yemi and Amanda Amusan, Pastor Goke Coker, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, Dr. Doyin Okupe, Chief Tom Ikimi, Senator Ben Obi, Chief Mike Oghiadhome, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, just to name a few) and can state categorically in the words of Honore De Balzac that;
"Poverty is a divine stepmother who does for youths what their own mothers were unable to do. It introduces them to frugality, to the world and to life" - Honore De Balzac.

This constitutes the foundation of most of our leaders thus making some better for it and most paranoid, thus petrified at the thought of returning to the struggles of the common man, leading to the preponderance of corrupt practices.

Nigeria has experienced a population explosion for at least the last 50 years due to very high fertility rates, quadrupling its population during this time. Growth was fastest in the 1980s, after child mortality had dropped sharply, and has slowed slightly since then as the birth rate has sunk slightly. According to the 2012 revison of the World Population Prospects the total population was 159,708,000 in 2010, compared to only 37,860,000 in 1950. The proportion of children below the age of 15 in 2010 was 44.0%, 53.2% was between 15 and 65 years of age, while 2.7% was 65 years or older (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Nigeria#Age_structure). With this analysis, today's picture can be safely inferred as, a total approximate of 70% of the population of Nigeria are youths!

Jaye Gaskiya once wrote that (http://saharareporters.com/2014/08/12/condition-youth-nigeria-and-urgent-imperative-political-action-jaye-gaskia)

"As the world marks the International Youth Day [IYD], it is important that we pause, and take a deep reflective look at the condition of youth in Nigeria, in order for us to be able not only to track the likely trajectories into the future, but also to be able to set appropriate parameters to chart a new course to the future through the present for our nation, and its youth and youthful population. It is imperative because the quality of life and scope and scale of the future greatness of a nation can be determined by the quality of investment in the condition of its youth today. A nation that trivializes the current condition of its youth is merely laying the foundation for the decline and irrelevance of the nation in the global community of the future" - Jaye Gaskiya.

While the purpose of a thing, person or organization is unknown abuse is imminent thus the account of the gross abuse of the youths in Nigeria. The innate value of most teenagers and above seem to dwindle as they age, especially if untethered to (or heirs of) the corruptly enriched ruling class, or scions of the precarious and dwindling middle class, or the negligible fraction who through exceptional courage or brigandage have managed to pull themselves up by the straps; except for this small category of youths; the condition of the overwhelming majority of youths is dismal and abysmal. Unfortunately they have been used for too long, as thugs, militants, and most recently terrorist in the North.

"Without highly educated, highly literate, highly skilled, intellectually brilliant and self-confident youth, a nation is toying with its future, and undermining its existential capacity" - J. Gaskiya.

The author (Gaskiya J.) went further to inquire, So where do we go from here? If this is the appalling condition of youth 100 years after amalgamation, and 54 years after we flagged independence; how can we undertake a radical break and rupture from this historical trajectory? How can we ensure that we set different parameters, that can set us on a new course, that will ensure a different, and qualitatively more humane outcome for the condition of youth over the next 100 years?

The answer as it seems in his opinion lie in the political arena in the first instance rather than in the economic arena. Those who control political power not only shape economic policies, but also own and control the levers of the economy and consequently also, the wealth of the nation.

I have said in most of my speeches that "anyone who says they are not interested in politics is like a drowning man who insists he is not interested in water" - SEGA.

"The historical task facing this generation of Nigerian youths is to become politically active, in their own interest, not in the interest of godfathers and other icons of the degenerate ruling class. The duty and obligation we owe to ourselves is to immediately set about building a mass, popular national political youth platform.
It will be counterproductive to establish a Youth Party, it will not be representative of all age groups in society; but it will be far more potent to seek to put together a National Political Youth Platform, that will articulate the political and economic demands of youths, that will articulate the generalized condition of youths, and that will actively engage with the political processes, including political parties and electoral processes promoting the interests of youths, and supporting the aspiration of youths in the political process who subscribe to the program and manifesto of the movement.
Such a National Political Youth Platform must be built as a united front of youth organisations for a political purpose, including for pursuing youth participation in politics, and in the processes of governance.
It must mobilise and organise non-partisanly across the country; and it must use the strength of its supporter base, the scale and scope of its organizing and mobilization to negotiate and engage with all the political parties, ensuring that the concerns of youths are forced unto these parties; and even making strategic decisions for example to support particular parties or candidates in particular elections, if such parties or candidates adopt the platform and program of the youth movement.
This task is a daunting task, infinitely more strenuous than simply seeking accommodation within the existing parties and their structures. This National Political Youth Platform should seek not only to gain decisive influence within the youth wings of political parties, and seek to be a beacon of hope and direction to all politically active youths regardless of their current party affiliation, or their current nonparty member status.
This will be a far more effective and powerful transformative weapon than simply acquiescing to the economic empowerment mantra that seeks to depoliticize and in practical terms, disempower youth" - Jaye Gaskiya.

Another school of thought started a campaign mandating all political parties to consider a 30% involvement/inclusion of the youths in elective and appointment offices or risk the non-participation of the youths in general come 2015. This took a dramatic trend on Twitter on Sunday 24th August at Number one (#1) most Twitted/popular hashtag #30PercentOrNothing in Nigeria and Number Four (#4) in the world.

It is left for the political parties to either define the structure of their membership to reflect this demand or lose out immensely on the votes of the youth demographic either to the complying party or to an independent youth party which may spring any time from now.


Jaye Gaskiya contributed the referenced piece "The Condition Of Youth In Nigeria And The Urgent Imperative For Political Action" On SharaReporters (http://saharareporters.com/2014/08/12/condition-youth-nigeria-and-urgent-imperative-political-action-jaye-gaskia)Follow him on Twitter: @jayegaskia & @[DPSR]protesttopower; Interact with him on FaceBook: Jaye Gaskia & Take Back Nigeria


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  1. We will keep pushing our youth need to be more involved in politics this article is highly inspirational God bless the writer



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