The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said on Monday youths in Nigeria don’t value democracy because of unmet expectations.
Gbajabiamila, who spoke at the opening of the Legislative Mentorship Initiative for some youth, added that the country needs a leader to reassure the youth on the value of democracy.
He noted that young Nigerians have become disillusioned with the slow progress offered by democracy and demanded radical changes.
The speaker also decried the poor attitude of the youths to democratic ideals and governance.
He, therefore, advocated the inclusion of the youths in key political positions in the country.
Gbajabiamila said: “A significant portion of our population today are young people who have no experience of a military government and are not conditioned to see democracy as an absolute good for its own sake.
“They bear no allegiance to politics and politicians, and their judgment of governing systems and institutions is determined by whether those individuals, systems and institutions meet their expectations.
“They are not as inclined as generations before them to excuse the failures of democracy because the alternative of military rule is worse. And they will not accept incremental progress when radical reform is necessary and possible.
“There is a danger that this generation embarks on this course without the proper grounding in history, politics, and statecraft necessary to prevent unnecessary pain and worthless suffering.
“We must include young people in the political and governing process. We do this by creating avenues for leadership development.
“We must continue our ongoing efforts to improve our electoral processes. Election outcomes must reflect the will of the people, and citizens must have confidence that they can hold political leaders accountable through the ballot box.”
By Abdulkabeer Ambali
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