To many Nigerians, another oldish person ascending to the presidency in 2023 is nothing short of a step backward. This is not unrelated to Einstein’s Parable of Quantum Insanity, in which one of the world’s greatest philosophers once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
Those who care about Nigeria, the most populous black nation, and those whose memories steadily carry the bag of history are no longer on the side of seeing the country go down a repeating lane in 2023 to vote back a generation that appears to have outlived its prime and may no longer have anything to offer but worsening the people’s deteriorating condition.
Nigeria is a country that appears to be disjointed. It appears to be insane for a country in the twenty-first century not to have young people who are the controllers of the digital age in power. This is a country where the youth are spectators as the old rule in their analog-style, plunging the entire country into headship and severe insecurity.
But there is hope and the game changer is coming like a tsunami because the people are sick and tired of mismanagement. It’s not grapevine anymore. It is no longer news that a young Nigerian, now known across Africa as a security icon, has taken it upon himself to lead the young people to power.
On a sunny day in Port Harcourt’s garden city, a Niger Delta youth leader was asked what he thought about Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the executive governor of Kogi State, running for president of the next national government. Without equivocation, it was stated that while Bello performed admirably as governor, he remains the only hope for young Nigerians to occupy Aso Rock. The young man went on to say that Bello is the bridge between the young and the old, the unifier of all regions, tribes, and gender. But the youth leader wouldn’t leave without leaving a question for the interviewers – he said if it’s not Yahaya Bello, then who?
Just yesterday, hope for women to reclaim their rightful place was dashed when the National Assembly rejected a bill requesting special slots for women.
Data from around the world show that women are underrepresented at all levels of decision-making, in contrast to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which set an internationally agreed target of equal political participation and power-sharing between men and women in decision-making.
Yahaya Bello has long been a proponent of gender equality, and he has made Kogi a model state in this regard. Consider how quickly women’s self-esteem and political participation could improve if such an arrangement were replicated at the national level.
Bello represents the future of women and youth. It appears to be their time, and we all know that God rarely ignores their prayers.
Here comes a country in which there is no longer a divide between those who lead and those who follow. Here comes a country where people’s genders and religions are irrelevant, and only justice, equity, and fairness matter. Nigeria can regain its sanity if it refuses to repeat the old ways.
Yahaya Bello is coming. Welcome the hope and gap bridger.