It is rather disheartening that people are labeling the upcoming Benue Youth Summit as a PDP youth affair. The CPS, Mr Terver Akase has taken time to explain that Youth leaders of all political parties in the state are particularly important and they have been officially invited to be part of the summit. We thank him for the clarification.
It is a free world and people must express their views but the youth of today must thank Gov Samuel Ortom for giving them this opportunity to coalesce and express their thoughts and opinions on how things should be. These are tomorrow's people and they shall inherit the earth and some have already landed on firm ground. The youth must go to this summit with confidence and clear templates knowing that this may just be what we have been waiting for.
We are in a political process and people are supposed to belong to all platforms. It is rather depressing that the youth would consider a summit and platform to articulate ideas a partisan affair. By training, this is an age bracket that should know that political debate thrives on many dialectal fronts and the more opinions, the merrier. The outcome of the summit would be more important and this bold step of offering a platform could have been put in place by the APC or APGA if any of them meant well for the polity and state. Governor Ortom should be praised for his clairvoyance and a peep into the future.
The age limitation of youth is rather contentious but for some of us pushing to get three scores, we can only sit back and rue the fact that our youth has been stolen from us. We did not have any such avenue to come together and offer solutions to how we could be governed. The military establishment made sure that civilian regimes were short-lived. The longest stretch was between 1979 to 1983. This is our generation that witnessed the miracle of late Aper Aku and it will interest those going to the summit that the Benue public was not in support of Aper Aku. This is to remind those who are never satisfied with what any government does, like even now, where positive things are happening, that the verdict is in the future. Luckily, this governor has given the youth the opportunity to offer safeguards and solutions. This historic event and opportunity is God sent and the youth should flock there instead of being finicky and petulant.
There is a a danger that old men who are so regular in government circles would hijack the process, offering expertise that has held us in one spot for the past twenty years, feathering their nests. The organising committee must weed them out from imposing their visuals and visages at the venue of the summit. They can use their expertise behind the scenes and even then, their submissions must be vetted so that they would not sneak in retardations that have been their stock forever. And government will do well to make public summit conclusions and make sure that they are implemented. It will serve no purpose if the summit is just a platform to vent pent up anger with nothing to show for it.
Correspondingly, youth who are utopian and not utilitarian must spare us their ground breaking castle in the air suggestions. We need solutions and not hypothetical suggestions that are not workable. We must learn from Donald Trump. He should have come over to learn a lesson or two on how to rig an election. This should teach us that, the white man can also learn something from our shithole country. We must not be bamboozled by solutions from America and Europe.
* Inyah is a public affairs analyst based in Makurdi, Benue State.
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