The “Not—Too—Young—To—Run” Law A Scam?
Animate or inanimate, if there is anything, in recent times, that happens to be the most monumental regret in the history of the Nigerian people, it is obviously the mandate offered to the son of Duara—in whom even rats and cockroaches placed so much hope on for their economic turnaround. He was elected on a popular vote; not only because the people were desperate for an alternative to the retarded one of Otueke, but also because they placed so much hope on the loudness of his war song against corruption.
But he was a lead actor of a wonderful script of administrative negation, and a painting brush of economic fantasy. He knew what a political frustrated Nigerian hungers to hear, and this knowledge, he explored and expressed, again and again and yet again, with the farthest cord of his vocal. He did not only promise to pay a stipend of 5,000 naira monthly to the unemployed youths—an experience that would translate into 125 billion naira every month and 1.5 trillion every year—he also added to provide free education; free daily meals for millions of Nigerian public school children; free tertiary education; free health-care and free houses. Although the country is more than resourceful to fund those social programs, the characters of the kingmakers as well as the king have enough to tell.
You would agree with me that the Oyomesi was the council of elders that not only played a colossal role in the installation of the Alaafin, it also served as an instrument of checkmate to the power of the latter. Hence, it wielded a spartan influence on the economic and political decisions of the Alaafin. Even though he knew personalities as Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Rotimi Amechi, Abubaka Atiku, amongst other taboos, who constitute the eldership of his Oyomesi, currently owe their existence to the lifewires of corruption, and that such state funds to sponsor the itemized social programs would apparently be diverted to the purchase of more wires to life their lives of corruption, notwithstanding, he enjoyed his campaign of lies, exploiting the desperation of a mammoth crowd of gullible citizens who, thoughtlessly, eventually installed him the highest seat in Asokoro.
Not too long however, the crisis of governance that usually characterizes the instalment of a visionless being began. The nation cried daily for a cabinet to pilot its affairs. And then, after a protracted silence, a list of well known unrepentant political maggots was presented as dignifying team to rescue the country from its socio—economic quagmire. Then one after the other the social programs began to pull off their guises to reveal their real identities. The schools feeding programs suddenly developed cholera and died. The social security and welfare packages of arranging stipends for the unemployed youths had an heart attack, battled so strongly for survival, but unfortunately eventually died. One dollar now equates to three hundred and fifty naira, while starvation and thirst, penury and misery became the only companions of the Nigerian people.
But, of course, just as their kinds, political lies and deceptions, regardless how intelligently weaved, and superfluously articulated, exist on ephemeral grounds. So, the people then realized that they have been lied to. The deepening crisis of economy with leadership misdirectivity that has continue to plague the country, as well as the glaring incapacitation of the anti—corruption general to institute its redemption, was the razor that tore Buhari’s veils off the eyes of the people. What followed were series of actions against the failed government.
Anti—Buhari Rerun protests flooded the streets of Nigeria and even faraway United Kingdom. Besides that, pocket of protests against his intolerance to Human Rights and Free Press took over the country; from the illegitimate violation of El-Zakzaky; the warlord of the eastern heartland, Nnamdi Kanu—to the covert coup detat against social media dissent, and illegal detention of innocent journalists. Undeniably, during this phase, Nigeria was heavily boiling with agitation which are being led and organized by young Nigerians.
To compound matters, two notable kinsmen of the messiah fell down a mighty tree into the already rumbling waters of Nigeria. Balarabe Musa and general T.Y Danjuma! While the former called for revolution in the north, the latter deflated the ego of the nation's security institutions—including the Army wherein he served—as he overtly called on the people to disregard the government and defend themselves against incessant killings. All these tripled up the tensions that did not only threaten the 2019 ambition, but also the continuous existence of his present. If he must maintain his authority as president and if he must secure his 2019 election, he must as a matter of urgency devise plans to surmount the agitation of the people. That plan was manifested in a new form of deception; this time as a law and he titled it: “Not Too Young To Run”.
When Preident Buhari signed the NTYTR bill into law, the intention was to cow the mass agitation of the people, boxing them into submission. And expectedly, immediately after the accenting, the wind that followed blew a crowd of citizens into the Nigerian bweries, and blew them out after loading their heads with drums of liquor. Then, these drunk citizens begin to issue divorce letters to their brains. They turned that moment of accent to the beginning of a prolonged festival. They painted every street in beautiful colours with their tantalizing red and white attires, moving here and there with smiles on their faces, exchanging gifts to each other, with a glass of wine in their hands.w
“Not—Too—Young—To—Run!” one of the drunk would call from the drunk crowd. “A New Dawn For Nigerian Democracy!” so would the drunk crowd respond. “Not—Too—Young—To—Run!” again the drunk voice would call. “A great news for our 19 years of uninterrupted democratic governance!” again the drunk crowd would respond. And so did the drunks continue with their call and respond. These were the same citizens mounting up heavy agitation against the Buhari led government.
But the truth obvious to the critical section of the Nigerian youths, including to the ruling class, is the dangerous anger of the youths, the terrifying tension that has enveloped the nation, and the staunch determination of the youth to overthrow the government. Hence, the ruling class implored that law—that psychological gimmick—to calm that anger, tension and that determination. Otherwise, what mission does the new law seeks to fulfil?
It was reported in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) world fact book report in 2017 that the total Nigerian population is estimated to be 186,053,386 people, out of which 112,000,000 live below poverty line, which is living on less than a dollar per day. Ages 14-24 make up 19.48%, 0-54 makes up 92.92%, with unemployment rate at 14.20%. So if indeed the NTYTR bill was for the political emancipation of the Nigerian youth, how many of the so-called youths can afford the huge financial demands associated to the running of an election in Nigeria?
What magic can a young person, placed under the nation’s paltry N18, 000 minimum wage, perform to afford a presidential or governorship form? Democracy simply recognizes the presence of choices. Where is the upholstery of democracy in Nigeria, when aspirants aren't considered on the richness of their developmental ideas but on the fatness of their pockets?
The drunk youths applauding the accenting are doing so on ignorant basis. To them, NTYTR is a commendable act from the government; a major giant stride from the Mr. Buhari led administration. He has given them the avenue to contest in the country’s election. Why then should they not jubiliate? In fact, they organized rallies with wide banners that carried different inscriptions: “President Buhari, Messiah of the Nigerian Democracy.” “Sai Baba, Friend of the Nigerian Youths.”
But they went too far with a particular inscription that insults the sensibility of the Nigerian people, and neccesitates the urgent need to warn them to caution. They did away with inscription demanding the Revival of the country’s economy, or the immediate prosecution of the notorious murderous gang otherwise known as Fulani Herdsmen. Rather, they bared to the word a preposterous inscription that read: “Not—Too—Young—To—Run: Nigerian Youths Support President Muhammodu Buhari Second Term!”
However, there is an adage that says “if one’s neighbor dedicates his morning to eating a maggot infested kolanut and one refuses to warn him from such deadly act, his cries of pain would not let one sleep at night.” This is the spirit with which I have written this article. The Nigerian youths must be warn not to give in to the cheap deception of the ruling class.
Rather, they should continue to organize themselves, not around mere political rethorics, but around a well defined political and economic programs that would ensure a redistribution of the country’s wealth from the claws of the greedy and unconscionable few to the hands of the poor and downtrodden majority of Nigeria. Most importantly, such means upon which the defined programs would be actualized must also be well defined. That is the only solution to the trucks of maladies plaguing our dear country; any other agendum, just like the noise of the “Not—Too—Young—To—Run”, is a scam!