Voice and Noise on #NotTooYoungToRun; We Should Start With #NotTooPoorToRun– Ogbeni Toogun Skrtel Niyi
Somebody once asked me about my opinion on the #NotTooYoungToRun bill at the National Assembly. I told him in a simple, direct and clear term that it may, in the long run, favours the present crop of old men in our political arena. It will eventually be a charade.
Get it right, Not too young to rule is a good thing that should not be condemned by any sane mind. It is a bill that was conceived and been pursued a good purpose, right intention, and positive motive. If I am 25, eligible to vote, why should I be ineligible to be voted for? Youths with great innovations and ingenuity now rule most of the developed countries. why should ours be different? Do we not have youth with leadership ability and leading charisma? Why then should age be an embargo when you are no longer a teen? It was a good move in its entirety
However, I am taken aback by the fact that if that is the only thing we want to use to dismantle our ‘baba babas’ from the position of power and authority. Then, we should look before we leap as they have what it takes to beat us even in our game.
Even if you beat the age for every position in Nigeria down to a maximum age of 40. Be reminded that these people have the authority. They have the connections, and most importantly, they have the money. The only thing we have are the masses. Even as at that, we have not gotten the masses money cannot buy, everybody gets his price.
Do you think that you are worthy to rule our state at 30 years of age because you already have a Bachelor degree? Let’s say 2 master degrees, and you have acquired the necessary knowledge to lead us. You should be reminded that a particular Kabiru Aregbesola, a particular Kiki Osinbajo, a particular Yusuf Buhari, a particular Idris Ajimobi have the qualifications you possess too. Perhaps from a better, recognized and reputable institution.
While they can afford to spend billion for elections, you will struggle to get a million for the same election. That is, where the deciding factor of the election will come in. Unlucky for us, as fate and our bad luck will have it, money and voting in our country are like goalkeepers and gloves, they go hand in hand.
When you pray, be specific about what you pray for. #NotTooYoungToRun is a good initiative. But I hope we are not initiating what will give our leaders the effrontery and audacity to present their children as their successor knowing that ‘kini buruku owo n be ninu bank‘ to pursue such ambition.
Democracy has proved to be the best form of governance, not minding some negative effects it has caused, it is still better than another system of governance. But while a nation like ours gets their leaders elected democratically, most of those leaders become an instant demi-god, and they do not follow the tenants and ethics of democracy.
In the democracy, it is the people who decide who they want to govern them, those who are either elected, appointed or selected to govern or lead are expected to act and be guided by people’s wants and be serving the people. Our leader’s decision should be based on the wants and needs of the simple majority of people at least, but more often than not, those leaders act in a totalitarian manner, the ideas of the people that elect them matters no more once elected.
Our leaders are rigid; they are dictators, they don’t listen to advice, calling them tyrants won’t be an understatement. Maybe what runs through their mind is; ‘If I can be elected as the leader, then I have the best brain for coordination and decision making’ just maybe, I wouldn’t know.
One of the qualities of a good leader is flexibility, ability to not only listen but follow the advice and suggestions of your subordinates that seems to be superior to yours. It wouldn’t take your position off you; it wouldn’t make you a misfit leader, one head does not, after all, contain all the wisdom.
Leaders cannot always be right, and all the leadership position, either by constitution or convention provides rooms for subordinates, advisers. The Presidency has Ministers among others; Governors has Commissioner, Special Adviser among others, Traditional Rulers has a council of elders, Palace chiefs. In Student unionism, there are executives and congressmen. In institutions, there are management council, board or as the case may be.
All these are in place because those who designed it know quite alright that the bigger the head, the bigger the headache. Hence, the huge headache shouldn’t be shouldered by a single head.
A wise man never knows all; only a fool knows everything. As a leader, seeks, listen and follow pieces of advice. Even a king needs to be taught, and when a king has good councillors, his reign is peaceful.
Then, we are taking it one step at a time. Since we are on the verge or achieving #NotTooYoungToRun, we can as well achieve #NotTooPoorToRun too.
Let’s define it and pursue it!