- Any hope for the youths come 2023 general elections?
- How Ambitious is the Presidential Ambition of Yul Edochie & Yahaya Bello
- The key factors holding back Nigerian youths from accessing political positions
Nigeria’s Old Men in Politics
The 2023 General Elections is fast approaching, and the nation’s political class has started active plans towards winning the elections. Nigerian youths are not left out. Some of these youths have started putting conscious efforts targeted at taking over power from older politicians.
Nigeria’s political terrain is saturated by very old people some of who vie for different positions, and others who play the role of godfathers. There has been an endemic tradition of individuals leaving an elective position to contest for another political office.
The above condition fills the Nigerian political system with senescent politicians who have seat-tight syndrome, don’t desire any form of retirement but rather want to die in office.
It should be noted that none of Nigeria’s presidents, since the advent of democracy till date is below 50 years of age. There is always this old man, struggling for the presidential seat of Nigeria in every election.
However, since the 2015 election, there have been considerate efforts from youths in the political system making efforts to take over leadership. In this article, Afroeden takes a cursory look at two young politicians making advances at the 2023 general election.
Who is Yul Edochie?
Yul Edochie is a Nigerian Nollywood actor, born in July 1982 into the family of Chief Pete Edochie, a very popular movie star icon in Nigeria. Yul was named after a Russian actor Yul Brynner, he is the last child among the six children of Chief Pete.
Education and Career of Yul Edochie
Yul Edochie attended the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, where he studied Drama Arts. He got married in 2004 and has four children. He began his movie acting, in 2005 in a movie titled “THE EXQUIRERS”. And in 2007, he came into limelight in the Nigerian Movie Industry”.
Yul Edochie in Politics
The movie star went into politics officially in 2017, when he contested and lost at the Governorship election, of Anambra state, under the Democratic Peoples Congress party. He got only 145 votes during the election. In 2018, Yul Edochie declared his interest in contesting for the Nigerian Presidential seat during the 2023 general elections.
In 2020, when the #EndSARS Protest started in Nigeria, Yul Edochie was among the many youths that lend out their voices, against the police brutality going on in the country. The youths also utilized the protest to seek a change in the Nigerian political system. Yul Edochie at this point went back to his Political ambition of contesting for the Presidential seat.
Yul Edochie resigned from a political appointment given to him by the Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Willy Obiano, as the Senior Special Assistant on Creativity to the Governor. He resigned and defected to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), to nurture his Presidential ambition well.
He has already obtained his father’s blessings who made it known through an Instagram post, that one of his sons has chosen a part which he didn’t think of going all his life. But since he is disciplined and wouldn’t go out of line, he urges him to proceed.
Who is Yahaya Bello?
Yahaya Adoza Bello was born on June 18, 1975 in Kogi State. He is a Nigerian Politician, Businessman, and the current Governor of Kogi State.
He graduated from Ahamadu Bello University, as an Accountant. Yahaya Bello is rated as the youngest Nigerian Governor at the age of 45.
Political Career of Yahaya Bello
Yahaya Bello made his first entry into Nigerian Politics in 2015 when he contested for the Governorship seat of Kogi State. He lost the primary election to Late Prince Audu Abubakar. Late Prince Audu Abubakar, won the primaries of their party, All Progressive Congress(APC), went to poll, and also won the gubernatorial election in the state.
But Late Prince Audu Abubakar died before his swearing-in. And this led to the re-run of the election in Kogi state in 2015. The APC stakeholders reached on this note, had an agreement, and gave the party flag barrier to Yahaya Bello who came second at the party’s primaries. Yahaya Bello went to poll to defeat the incumbent Governor of Kogi State Captain Idris Wada. This automatically brought Yahaya Bello into the high sight of Politics in Nigeria.
Yahaya Bello went for a second term in 2019, after battling the seat with Senator Dino Melaye, at the 2019 election. Since his second term, the Governor has shown interest in the presidential seat of the country. He made this known during the 2020 #ENDSARS PROTEST in the country. He supported the youths in their quest to stop police brutality, bad governance, and seat tight syndrome of politicians in the country.
Since 2020, many popular Nigerian Youths have visited the Governor in his Abuja Residence. To give their support towards his bid for the Presidential seat. These youths are Mikel Obi, Cubana Chief Priest, Kelechi Iheanachor, and many others.
Chances Of Youths Wining the Nigerian Presidential Seat
There is a very lean chance of youths winning the Nigerian Presidential seat, at least not in the next 2023 general elections. There is no argument in the fact that no youth is a stakeholder in any Political party in the country presently. During the 2019 general elections, statistics showed that about 50% of youths contested in different political positions in the country, and only 10% won elections.
The reason can be traced to the trend of electoral malpractices and political manipulations from the primaries to the main elections.
Before Nigerian youths can be elected into major political positions, they must create and nurture a political party that will be ruled and championed by youths. It is not a matter of ethnic or tribal difference, if youths from the East, West, North, and South can form a strong coalition, tendencies are high that they will win major seats during the 2023 general elections.
Challenges Of Youth In Politics
Most Nigerian youths care more about the little money they can obtain from politicians, instead of preparing themselves for a proper takeover. The majority of the youths in the country participate in elections just to get money by either selling their votes or becoming political thugs. This makes it hard for any youth contesting for a political seat, because other youths may also feel that they are they for the monetary gains.
The fear of the unknown is a strong factor that is killing the political carriers of many youths in Nigeria. The fear of death, backbiting, and attacks make the political system of Nigeria uneasy for the youths. The most unbelievable thing here is, leaders who have stayed many years in office without achieving anything utilizes the same youths to create fear in other youths that wants to contest.
This could be seen as the biggest challenge that hinders the political progress of youths in the country. It is very hard for Hausa, Yoruba, Ijaw, Tiv, and Igbo youths to unanimously agree on the issue of leadership.
The issues happening in the nation and the unpatriotic nature of Nigerian leaders have created an indelible spirit of discord and tribalism in the minds of Nigerian citizens.
With the factors outlined above, the chances of youth emerging as president during the 2023 general elections are very small.