Dons task youths on leadership opportunities
Scholars have challenged Nigerian youth to prepare to take responsibility and demonstrate leadership qualities.
The university scholars also reminded that leadership opportunities are offered only to purposeful and resilient youths, who are ready to positively impact their immediate society.
They made the submission at the opening of a two-day roundtable discussion on, “The Nigerian Youth and Leadership Development,” organised by the Centre for Gender Studies, Bayero University Kano (BUK), in collaboration with Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung.
Director, Centre for Gender Studies, Prof. Hassana Sani Darma, stressed that Nigeria youth require quality leadership skills to build a successful future.
Darma noted that youth needed to be engaged meaningfully to harness their potential while disabusing their minds from violence. She said: “We want to continue to engage the youth in the leadership process, to be more enlightened, empowered and address cases of violence involving youth in the society. We intend to build their skills so that we make them more responsible in society.
“We also plan training them to be advocates of moral standards and agents of positive change in their society. By that, we would be building a prosperous and productive society and leadership for the near future.”
On his part, Dr. MaiKano Madaki of the Department of Sociology, BUK, advocated youth participation in politics, regretting that the political atmosphere in Nigeria is hostile to youth participation in leadership positions.
Madaki argued that the country may continue to wallow in leadership challenges until the political tradition of recycling old personalities in the corridors of power is subdued with energetic patronage of the younger generation.
He expressed worries over the lack of opportunities and enabling environment to harness leadership qualities of the younger generation, noting that Nigeria was still running a mono-economic system devoid of the required experience and scientific knowledge to drive economic growth and development.
Madaki said: “The youth of this country has limited opportunity to take part in the leadership position in this country despite the potential and capacity. Again, the political system we operate in Nigeria does not provide an appropriate atmosphere for people with vast experience, reputation and knowledge to run the social-economic development of the nation.
“What we have is a status quo where the elite and wealthy individuals continue to recycle themselves in the corridors of power at the expense of the youth, making them inactive and redundant. Already the political system is not favourable for the youth rather the system is meant to serve the rich, elite and powerful people in the society.
“It is so expensive to become a leader and where would the youth mussel the capacity to fund the expensive campaign. The youth-only have the potential and skill, which are still raw and yet to be harnessed while the leaders are seating tight to retain the seat while making it extremely difficult for the younger generation to occupy leadership positions.”
To address these challenges, he canvassed institutional change that will create a favourable atmosphere where the youth will claim ownership of space to demonstrate their potential.
He added that the issue of godfather-ism has to stop in the democratic system and urged Nigerian leaders to create the opportunity to make a change in the leadership process.
“We need to start the process of changing the old order and changing the orientation of our political class because leadership in Nigeria is not exclusive of the rich, that will simply undermine the chances of the younger generation,” he said.
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