The narrative of the #EndSARS protests is being whitewashed by the federal government, albeit, one thing is clear: the youths are more awake than ever. The Indomie and BBNaija generation have come to save their reputations. In times past, Nigerian youths have displayed apathy towards politics but it seems like a shift has emerged. Activist Aisha Yesufu was correct when she emphasized the value of meritocracy saying, ‘the son of a [nobody] can become somebody without knowing anybody’.
The #EndSARS protests began like little drops of water till it spread through the country as a way of railing back against police brutality and bad governance. Enough is enough! With the awakening of youths interest in politics, what are the rational next steps
- Garner Political Knowledge
It is not possible to create change or impact in a system one knows nothing about. Nigerian youths can garner political knowledge by first learning on the country of the country’s history as well as events that have shaped it. History will aid in understanding the past, present and predicting the future.
- Get a Permanent Voter’s Card(PVC)
A PVC is what qualifies one to vote and be heard. Now, votes will count more than ever as youths are already demanding for the opening of Independent National Electoral Offices(INEC) across the country. It has been the custom of voters registration to commence three months to elections rendering the process tasking. The chances of voter registration commencing soon are high and enrolment is vital for all.
- Get Actively Involved in a Political Party/Movement
Belonging to a political party is not the same as being involved. The latter requires one’s contributions(in any form) and commitments to the sustenance of the party. While a member, one can also contest elections. The party on the other hand is saddled with the responsibility of educating and enlightening members on the political system and equipping them with the necessary prowess to function effectively in the office. Before joining a political party, make sure its ideology aligns with yours and if it ceases to, take a walk.
- Have a Plan
When you wake up today to realize that the problem is still there. Any youth nursing the idea of vying for office should have a plan that would serve the people against the norm of parties handing over manifestoes to candidates. The need for a plan addressing the what, how, why and when that would promote the good of the land and its people is of utmost importance. Although the recent protest yielded positive outcomes, one of its weaknesses is the lack of a plan.
- Hold the Government Accountable
With the emergence of citizen journalism, the flow of events can be altered by asking questions and keeping the government on its toes. In the protest against police brutality, the high and mighty in power could not help but succumb to the demands of the electorate. The #5for5 demands issued to the government served as a checklist with each box gradually ticked. For a fact, elected officials do not own themselves. They are servants of the republic and should be treated as such.
The list of preparing the youths to take over Nigeria is inexhaustive but these are some vital points to remember not forgetting to seek the wisdom of older generations that can be trusted.