The world around us is beginning to witness massive emergence of young political leaders on whose shoulders lies the destiny of their respective nations. They include Vanessa D’Ambrosio of San Marino (29), Kim Jong-un of the Democratic Republic of North Korea (32), Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar (35), Jigme Khesar, Namgyel Nangchuck (35) who became the King of Bhusan at the age of 25 in 2006, Emil Dimitriev of Macedonia (38) and of course France’s Emmanuel Macron (39) Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand (37) among others.
In what has become a gradual revolution of the young generation of leaders around the globe, 31 years old wonderkid, Sebastian Kurz is close to moving from being a Foreign Affairs Minister to becoming the youngest elected Prime Minister (Chancellor) in Austrian/European history once the mail-in votes are counted.
On the African continent, we currently have Joseph Kabila (46) of the Democratic Republic of Togo, who became President at the age of 29, Mswati III of Swaziland (49), and the world acclaimed footballer turned politician, Senator George Weah (50) if he wins the re-run on November 7 would represent our youngest crop of leaders.
To recognize the efforts of Nigeria’s young crop of emerging political leaders at various levels who have made appreciable contribution to the Nigerian nation at both State and National level, the Emerging Political Leaders Summit calls for nomination for EPL Ambassadors, to be unveiled during the Summit on the 20th and 21st of March 2018.
Note: Only 20 nominees would be selected from each state of the federation and the FCT.
EPL Summit 2018 Secretariat
Amsalco Plaza by FCDA beside ecobank
Area 11 Abuja.
Nigeria has remained a country of enormous potentials for several decades. The consensus among local and international leaders of thought is that Africa’s most populous country and largest economy ought to have performed much better in terms of human development and economic indices.
Leadership failure is largely at the heart of the current woes bedeviling Nigeria, with little being done to build a new crop of leaders, the nation seems fixated. The citizens have come to have very low expectations of their leaders.
There is a need to raise the bar of engagement about Nigeria and find effective solutions to her challenges across board. There is also a need to properly situate the country, within the context of her past and present, to fashion out a more desirable future for the citizenry to enable the nation take her place of pride in Africa and the world.
The world today is driven by knowledge, but the Nigerian political leadership is still fixated on how to share crude oil rents. Nigeria has tried but failed to build a stable economy driven by the sales of an unstable commodity and a near zero attempt to build human capacity.
The pointers indicate that the current economic realities relying solely on crude oil will remain unstable over the long term and there is a need for paradigm shift to a more sustainable source of revenue in the new digital age. This new narrative demands for a new set of leaders with a different orientation towards economic and political problem solving, and a new engagement model with citizens, hence the need for this summit.
The Emerging Political Leaders summit provides a platform for qualitative conversations and discourse about Nigeria as an alternative to the current system where there is a disconnect between citizen’s expectations and service delivery by our current crop of leaders.
Participation is a fundamental democratic right. This program is expected to consciously remove existing barriers to emerging leaders’ political participation. It will foster Emerging leader’s collaborative participation and intellectual engagements with other stakeholders, wherein young people will effectively take part in regular political decision-making processes.
The EPL Summit is neither a one-off nor a short-term intervention, but a long-term engagement amongst the Emerging political leaders to build a consciousness amongst the vast majority of Nigerians.
The EPL is not a political party neither is it sympathetic, and it won’t be in future, even, to any political ideology. Beyond the summit, the discourse will continue via our online platforms and at sub-national levels to build accountability in governance by activating the powers of the office of the citizenry and by building the capacity of the citizen to exercise that power for the benefit of current and future generations, for they are the MAJORITY.
The Emerging Political Leaders summit will be open to young persons from age 18 – 55, from all over Nigeria to participate, with a view to coming up with actionable steps that are disruptive in contention and context towards changing the lot of the average Nigerian.
These should include but not limited to the following:
Nigeria, most populous black nation with over 170million people practicing democracy since 1999. Much of the trouble our country is in today has to do with the Leadership Mystique: the idea that someone somehow depends on the subjugation of other people. It’s a bipartisan problem. Nigeria is hibernating and need to be activated meanwhile the activation code is ME and YOU – The Majority (The youths are the Majority, the women are the Majority, the downtrodden are the Majority. The voters are the majority.) Why then are the minority controlling all the processes?
Food for thought! Democracy is the government of the people, by the people for the people! but who are the People?
It is possible for a diverse and divided people to form a coalition in times of great need and unify around an idea. No doubt we all agree we have never been this divided since independence and there’s absolutely no chance that anyone of you is going to convince all others that your way is the right way. This movement is only successful if it starts with an idea strong enough to take root in the minds of the population and inspire and motivate people to spread it. The Goal of this gathering of Eagles is to leave a better NIGERIA for our children and grandchildren. We all want the best for our children and this idea brings all to the table to work as one. People are dying and the time to act is now. We need to protect the future of our kids knowing fully well our Government structures have failed. There is so much anger everywhere with various hate speeches.
The Vision is simply to pragmatically see things as they are now rather than how we hope they might be.
We have fooled ourselves as a people for so long and there is a need to differentiate between that which can and cannot be changed in the short term. Our dreams must not be utopian so permit me to task us to be realistic.
it is no news that the current system is not sustainable and cannot deliver the Nigeria of our dreams. Today each and every politician seizes power to their personal interest at every opportunity. Thus the need to consider the restructure of what is while working towards what can be: Autonomous Regions. (In my opinion in the broad base) but that’s in the long run, but the time to rewire humanity is not during the period of crisis as such attempts has historically ended in tragedy.
Action Plan: What are the rules of our engagement?
“If not us, who? If not now, when”?
The emergence of Emmanuel Macron in the last French election has stirred up conversations across the world and Nigeria has had a fair share of such conversations with Nigerians wondering if such would be possible in their beloved country. It is pertinent to situate this revolution in the context of present day global socio-political and economic realities. The Brexit, emergence of Donald Trump in the US and the surging popularity of Macron’s main opponent Marine LePen are a clear expression of undercurrents of disillusionment with the elites and each of the protagonists of these struggles leveraged in a different way on these to take the system. This phenomenon is not new in global politics, nor is it alien to Nigeria, but due to a dangerous mix of illiteracy, poverty and weak institutions which manifest in lack of access to the barest essentials for modern living, we have been prone to having the genuine grievances of the masses being hijacked by demagogues and opportunists who revert to status quo once in power.
The lesson for Nigerian Emerging leaders ought to be how we can channel outrage and disillusionment with the current reality to articulate positions of strength, bargaining for better deals from the system for the vast majority of our people and generations yet unborn. Nigeria can be great and the time is now. Let the Emerging leaders arise and be counted. It is time to activate the office of the citizen.
The concept of Emerging leaders in governance in Nigeria is not new. Nigeria has had at least three heads of state under the age of forty and a cursory look at other levels of governance show clearly that we have had a fair amount of young persons in leadership at different times.
The conversation ought to be around a critical examination of our past experiences with Emerging leaders in leadership positions, with a view to understanding their successes and failures for better performance, rather than blind clamour for Emerging leaders in leadership.
Nigeria and Nigerians have been betrayed more by institutionalizing governance by whims at the expense of rule-of-law. This manifests itself in institutions that are run based on the benevolence of a few individuals rather than established standards of conduct that are blind to status or other primordial sentiments.
Strong institutions remain the plank upon which long-term stability of a nation is built as institutions ensure that a sense of justice pervades the conduct of government business. We shall be considering the key institutions of governance with a view to fashioning out definitive frameworks to help ensure that they are beholden to the Nigerian nation rather than narrow constructs of vested interests.
The campaign and electioneering process in Nigeria has consistently failed to deliver the best minds that Nigeria has to offer. How a nation whose citizens are at the cutting edge globally consistently produces a leadership that fails to provide the very basic services for modern human living ought to be baffling to a thinking society, but Nigerians have been reduced by poverty to demanding only for the barest essentials of existence. We must, as a matter of urgency begin to put our best feet forward for political office and the forefront rather that continuing to promote the lie that politics is for the inherently dishonest ones among us.
The need for a more robust pool for the electorate to choose from cannot be overemphasized. We need to evolve a more transparent system that situates the power to choose at the discretion of the majority of our people. We must ensure that the people are also equipped with the information to make informed choices for leadership positions.
The true dimensions & deeper meanings of the cliché “health is wealth” seem lost on the managers of Nigeria, but it is not in doubt that the capacity to deliver effective healthcare at affordable rates is a very important measure of the level of development of any society. The health sector in Nigeria is full of paradoxes that are confounding and perplexing. It is perplexing to observers of Nigeria that the funding is top heavy, with a focus on tertiary health institutions while the primary health institutions that ideally should treat over 70% of common ailments suffers neglect. How the largest exporter of medical personnel in Africa is also home to a large contingent of medical tourists beats reason. There is a need to address the underlying issues in this abnormality in such a strategic sector.
The fixation today is on recession and how Nigeria can come out of recession, rather than understanding our current economic architecture and how we got to where we are, with a view to building a more resilient economy that would be better able to resist the shocks of the normal boom and bust cycles of commodity prices.
On the economy, the EPL will be looking at the underlying factors that moved Nigeria from a decade of growth to recession and how it is that despite the high economic growth rates there has been a concurrent increase in poverty rates. Our intervention will seek solutions and strategies to bring vast amounts of economic activities taking place in the informal sector into the formal economy.
An education system that consistently fails to produce graduates that can add value to the society, but rather continues to deliver worrying levels of unemployment and underemployment cannot be said to be worth all the humongous sums being poured into it annually. The argument has always been for more investment, but the fact is that under the present structure and curriculum more money will translate to more problems.
EPL will give priority attention to education with a view to evolving a better skilled populace that exports the products of knowledge rather than the current obsession with exporting commodities which bear an inverse relationship with human development.