The Nigeria Diaspora Network (NDN) has urged youths to participate in active and meaningful grassroots politics.
The Coordinator UK Chapter of the NDN, Offor Okpanachi, stated this on Wednesday in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
“We youths need to get our acts together. Like I mentioned, participating in politics early in life is an enhancer.
“The youth should take advantage of the upcoming 2023 elections to get involved; starting from the ward elections, local government elections and in that order, up to the states’ level.
“One thing I noticed with many youths during the 2019 General Elections is that most of the youths who have never held any political position in their lives wanted to be the president.
“This is where we are getting it wrong. We must learn to start from the grassroots and walk our way up.
“That way, nothing takes us unawares.
For example, in the UK, in line with their desire to get youth’s participation in politics, there is also a strong political strategy in place.
“It is what I will call a ‘Catch-Them-Young Political Strategy.’
“They have the British Youth Council, the UK Youth Parliament and the Scottish Youth Parliament.
“Now, this is the catch – although these political groups do not have any direct power, neither can they make any law in the UK, these organisations give young people the opportunity to work and interact closely with the government, i.e., with the members of parliament, ministers, mayors, councillors, etc.
“This strategy gives those young people the crucial idea and experience on what governance is all about, how the people are governed and how good governance is bringing about direct change and a tangible outcome.
“So at the time these young people try their shot in politics, they had already had the knowledge, they already understood governance and they have a starting point experience to prosper,” he said.
Okpanachi, who is an Anti-Money Laundering professional and client relationship specialist, said it was disheartening that instead of the youths to get involved in meaningful politics, majority are used as political thugs.
The coordinator commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing into law the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Bill as part of efforts to give the young people opportunity to participate in politics.
NAN reports that the NDN is a group of Nigerian professionals in Diaspora, working tirelessly towards a transformed Nigeria by advocating for good governance with the aim of sharing opinions to tackle pressing social, economic, democratic and cultural issues in Nigeria.(NAN)