Thursday, 19 November 2015



Dear Nigerian Young Compatriots,
            We bring you warm greetings and profound salutations from the constituency of young Nigerians. We salute your loyalty, determination and resilience in your resolve to uphold, pursue and promote those fundamental values, ethics and ethos that are proven to be building blocks for sharpening societies and building formidable Nations. Despite our long history of premeditated neglect of young people in Nigeria, we have kept faith and continually sustain hope in a renaissance of the Nigeria of our dreams.

It was John C. Maxwell, that said “To live a worthy life, meaningful life, a person must be part of something greater than himself”. After the tough, harsh and seemingly impossible battle of colonialism and violent oppression, our founding fathers together as one people began a journey at independence, a journey with a vision to create prosperity and build a country that is to be an envy of all Nations. The expedition of this great Patriots and Patriarchs of liberating Nigerian's from ignorance, stagnation, poverty, socio-economic and political exclusion has since become a mirage, with the young people at the receiving end.

Our experience as young people in Nigeria has been that of a history of generations of broken promises. We have seen hopes dashed, trust betrayed, opportunities mortgaged and steady steps towards development compromised. We have seen great dreams, vision and plans sacrificed on the altar of greed, parochialism, sectionalism and uncontrollable extremist tendencies. We have witnessed with rude shock the perversion of fundamental values of character, integrity, hard work, sacrifice and patriotism. The young is now left with a society that is best described as “without form and void”.

The great question is “where is the hope of the younger generation”? Where is our hope when we do not have fair employment policies? Where is our hope when we do not have quality education, where our graduates are said to be unemployable? Where is our hope when we are killed during employment processes (2012 Immigration Recruitment Massacre) without having justice? Where is our hope when we are falsely and unjustly accused and are left to rot and die in jails without justice? Where is our hope when our young brothers and sisters are left to the option of prostitution, armed robbery, militancy, insurgency and kidnaps for survival only because we have been abandoned, relegated, alienated and deprived of economic opportunities? Where is our hope when 10% of Nigerian's control the entire wealth of our country? Where is our hope when financial institution wickedly refuses to give loans to small businesses but give billions to their capitalist cronies without collateral and interest? Where is our hope when only the wealthy access good health care? Where is our hope when the young are used to fight all the wars, battles and die while the old sit to share the plunders of victories? Where is our hope when even in the current political dispensation of change which the youths solely initiated and established but are now disenfranchised and short-changed in the formation of an all inclusive government? Where? Where? Where? Young Nigerian's Where is our hope? One wonders why some youths still support the very generation that have consistently unleashed devastation with impunity on the young generation.

Firstly, we need a mental shift in Leadership Engagement. This focuses on a total recalibration of our psychological infrastructure on our concept of leadership. It must be focused on service, sacrifice, patriotism, modernity, innovation and love for humanity.

Secondly, the acceptance of the reality and necessity of a generational shift in leadership is pivotal. This is critical and most significant to the 21st century knowledge economy trends in leadership delivery. This emphasizes the strategic and deliberate injection of young creative minds in governance and the economic process. This key element emphasizes the charismatic leadership traits of strength, fresh ideas, new initiatives, relevant and modern approaches, speed in result delivery, and sophistication in respect to skills and talent, technological and knowledge superiority as a result of the 21st century knowledge economy.

It was Martin Luther King jr that said “the solutions to the problems of any generation lays in the young of that generation”

Recently, exploring the riches of historical intelligence, Professor Wole Soyinka elucidated in the most profound and clear manner how young Nigerian's in their various historical dispensations played strategic roles in re-engineering the socio-cultural, political and economic heritage of Nigeria. For instance, after the death of Herbert Macaulay, the great icons that led the struggle for Nigerian independence were in their 20s and 30s, apart from Zik that was 42. Awolowo was 37, Akintola was 36, Ahmadu Bello was 36, Balewa was 34, Okotie-Eboh 27 and Enahoro was 27.

In 1966, the first coup was led by: K Nzeogwu who was 29 years and countered by M Mohammed 28, T Danjuma 28, Babangida 25, Garba 23, Sani Abacha 23, and Yaradua 23, and brought into power Gowon 32, Ojukwu 33, Obasanjo 29, and Buhari 24.
Most of the military governors who governed the states under the successive military regimes were under 30 years. The brief democratic dispensation which interjected the military interregnums also saw some Senators and the House of Representatives in particular populated by members under 30. Under 30's were also not in short supply with appointments - we have examples of MT Mbu who became foreign affairs minister at 23 and Pat Utomi who became a federal adviser at 27 and so on and so forth.

It was Albert Einstein that also said “You cannot solve a problem with the same mindset that created the problem”

The generational shift in economic and political leadership in favour of young people is ongoing and yielding tremendous results around the world. Recently, the general elections in the United Kingdom saw the emergence of one of the youngest parliamentarian in British history, Mhairi Black, a 20 year Old University student and a Scottish National party candidate; she defeated a major Labor Party Leader Douglas Alexander, who serves as the Labor Party national campaign Coordinator and foreign secretary. In South Africa, the major opposition party (Democratic Alliance) recently elected the youngest opposition Party leader MmusiMaimane at the age 34. In Equatorial guinea, the President recently appointed the youngest National Security adviser at the age of 33, KanielaIng, USA 25 (State Senator) in the Hawaii state house of Representatives, JalindaArdern New Zealand 33 (member of parliament), MarietjeSchaake Netherlands 35, (European Parliament), Pierre LueDusseault Canada 23 (Member of Parliament), Wyatt Roy, Australia 24 (Member of Parliament) Australia,Alex B Morse USA 25 (Mayor in the city of Holyoke) Massachusetts, Anton Amade AbeleSweden 22 (Member Swedish Parliament), ProscoviaAlengotEromait, Uganda 21 (Member of Parliament) Uganda. This list of the emergence of young people in the corridors of power globally is endless and inexhaustible.

“The 21st century generation is surely a generation of the emergence of young global leaders”. (Ban ki moon, UN Secretary General).

It is on this noble and empirical premise that we implore all young Nigerian's irrespective of tribe, creed and race to support the candidature Moses Siloko Siasia, Chairman Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF), who has humbly decided to yield to the call of his people to run for the seat of the Governor of Bayelsa State. A state created in 1996 (19years ago) with over four (4) trillion naira statutory allocation received so far, yet pipe borne water is non-existent, commerce non-existent, critical infrastructure in shambles and at the state of hopelessness. Transportation, health and education are in the most deplorable condition. 75% out of school children, 90% youth unemployment, 0% Foreign  Direct Investment(FDI), high level of crime and criminality, and incessant kidnaps and absolute dictatorship. Despite the state’s ranking as one of the largest crude oil and natural gas deposits in Nigeria it has remain a pedestrian state with huge debt profile of over 300billion naira. A journey to Bayelsa will totally demystify what is really meant by decades of neglect. Bayelsans’ are living in abject poverty and squalor.

It was the Great Napoleon that said, “The world suffers a lot. Not because of the violence of bad people. But because of the silence of good people”.

As a young Nigerian's, it is not enough for us as young people to harmonize and form partnerships for advocacy alone. We must synergies, harmonize, and form partnerships to participate in the political process because that is where our collective destiny as a people and as a Nation is decided.

This is a clarion call for all young people to use Bayelsa as a Litmus test to experiment their electoral power. The success of young Nigerian's in Bayelsa will spark an awakening and a revolution in future elections in other parts of Nigerian. It is time for young Nigerian's to make Nigeria work. It is an irresponsible generation that transfers their responsibility to the next generation. We will not transfer responsibility, we will take responsibility.

We also entreat all young patriotic and positive minded Nigerian's to give all the support that is required both morally, materially, professionally and financially for the success of this historic movement. We will not use stolen or looted funds to enthrone the people’s choice. We will use the peoples widows might (peoples meagre resources/money) to enthrone the people’s choice. As it’s popularly said “He that comes to equity must to equity with clean hands”. This is the only and surest way to hold our governments accountable.

I will end this little missive by this great words of inspiration from a great patriarch   “Life does not give humans what they deserve but what they demand and take from it”.

Our collective aspirations and vision as young Nigerian's cannot be given to us; it can only be taken by us together as a team and as a movement.  

Together we shall make Nigeria Great Again!

Dr Nuhu Atta
Executive Secretary, Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF)

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