What happens when young people fail the leadership test


The original topic for those post is "Young People and leadership: the Challenge of the Future. But then I decided to tweak it a little.

For many people, it sounds like an academic topic fit only for Bsc Projects or even Masters Thesis especially for those in Management, Social Sciences and the Humanities. Well, you may not be wrong if you think so.

But, this is the topic that a group of students chose as the theme for discussion at a Mock MUN session which we held on 2nd September 2015, as part of activities marking the end of the 2015 Summer Coaching at the Holy Family Catholic Church, Festac Town, Lagos Nigeria where I volunteer teaching Civics Education and Government to both Junior and Senior Secondary School Students. I have done this for more than 8 years, committing 4 hours everyday for 5 weeks.

Youths are known for their resilience, beauty, creativity, exuberance and innovativeness. There is a whole lot going on for the young adult at the moment as he faces the present challenges of unemployment, exclusion, abuse, loneliness, confusion, indecisiveness etc. If these are present challenges then imagine what would happen in the future.

Today, we hear of industrial monopoly, feminism, capital flight and the steady growth in children born out if wedlock; insecurity and terrorism and the subtle reversal of our rights in the name of curbing terrorism and these growing trend portends a lot of dangers for the youths of today.

They say youths are the leaders of tomorrow and even though that tomorrow isn't guaranteed, we argue that we are leading from today. Now hear what Former Gov.Babatunde Fashola before he became Minister of Power, Housing and Works (Super Minister) at the 2015 commemoration of the International Youth Day organized by Rise Networks held on 31st August 2015.

" keep the fighting spirit alive , do not wait for the govt to do it right, instead of complaints you should support, instead of pointing fingers, you should Create solutions, Instead of always talking about our problems you should ACT NOW!  Youths can be active in public life and politics. It's not until you're the governor or president that you can impact society. 'There are only 109 seats in the Senate' and those are our representatives and they will be 109 except you want to sit on the floor'.  We have been told also not to wait for employment as the firms can't employ everybody and that FOOD is something that everyone will buy".

Now these words even though they are factual, does not explicitly convey the truths. Young people are active but when you deny them the space to act, how can they? Why I agreed that the Government has failed but then, we should not dwell on that or using that as an excuse of not progressing  but to Strive towards success.

The future though bright and hopeful is only for those willing to get the best of it. If we continue with the current trend of industrial monopoly, sit-tightism, recycling etc, the greater percentage of the global wealth will continue to be concentrated in the hands of the few of the world's population and thus the major source of income will be wealth inherited. 

Yes there is light at the end of the tunnel, the future is bright yes, but it is scary; as young people we must wake up and begin to demand the right leadership from our leaders just as we too must develop ourselves to meet the opportunities coming our way.

We may preach and advocate the #NotTooYoungTpRun  campaign but then, how well have we risen above the challenges of personal example which in itself is the hallmark of leadership as stated by legendary literary icon Chinua Achebe when he wrote about the trouble with Nigeria.

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