Youth leadership in Nigeria and the Muhammed Kadade’s example, by Abdulrazak Iliyasu Sansani
I am not a card-carrying member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), or any other party. But I was on the cusp of becoming a member of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in 2010 as a young man, who was majorly stopped by the constitutional requirements of being a card-carrying member, which I did not fulfil certain aspects of. And of course, other thoughtful considerations have prevented me from joining any party officially.
So, when the CPC, merged with the ACN, ANPP, and a faction of APGA: the urge to join was renewed and only took God’s guidance for me not to have joined it or any other party. All these I have always done with patriotic conviction and buoyed by the zeal to help my country in my own little ways.
I am not a blind follower of any cause and certainly not a supporter of broad generalisations. This explains why I have never jumped on the bandwagon where youth leadership is equated with ideal leadership, especially with optimal performance, which I have clearly shown why it is not so in so many of my writings in the past. I still believe that good leadership can be gotten in both the young and old. Throughout history, this has been proven to be spot on.
But when it comes to the issue of any leadership position that is reserved for youth. I am wholly in support of only youth leading in that instance. With all due respect, I do not subscribe to old men holding offices kept for the youth, which was absurdly becoming a given.
Hence, on 31st October, early Sunday morning, when I received the news of the emergence of the new National Youth Leader of PDP, Muhammed Kadade Suleiman, whose age has been reported in so many newspapers, blogs, tabloids, etc to be 25: I received it with great delight. It is a refreshing deviation from the past that had largely made a mockery of the contribution of the youth in respect of all the major parties in Nigeria. While this doesn’t repay all that, not even close. But it is the right step in the right direction.
If they were certain positions mainly preserved for the elders, I would have had the same abhorrence, if the youth destroys this arrangement and occupy offices that are exclusively for the elders. I am a stickler for rules. Thus, I respect conventions and believe everyone should only get what is reserved for them.
In essence, I celebrated the victory of the PDP National Youth Leader, Muhammed Kadade Suleiman with the clarity of the triumph of the right thing over absurdity. Some have argued about his influential or rather affluent family background being the two reasons for his success.
Whatever it is, there are numerous families with considerable influence in the polity who have had scions, who are political aficionados, and have vied for positions less significant than this and lost. They would have grabbed with both hands this grand opportunity, should it have been just for the two reasons above.
Therefore, the People’s Democratic Party, no matter your grouse against the party, has done something strategic and commendable. And for some of us, we applaud anything good and positive. We leave the rest for the pundits, political scientists, and seasoned politicians to analyse.
I hope Muhammed Kadade Suleiman does well in this big assignment and I pray that his emergence will pave way for the massive influx of good and responsible youth in leadership positions. In the end, I also believe that the young and the old shouldn’t be denied a constitutional right to vote and be voted for simply because of their age. Merit must always be the watchword whenever we commence leadership discussion anywhere.
Abdulrazak Iliyasu Sansani writes from Turaki B Jalingo, Taraba State.
Youth leadership in Nigeria, the Muhammed Kadade’s example, by Abdulrazak Iliyasu Sansani