Home Blog Ignite Change World Youth Democracy Day Online Forum Are young people being well represented in the Nigerian nation structure? Suggest practical ideas for better youth representation in government.

Are young people being well represented in the Nigerian nation structure? Suggest practical ideas for better youth representation in government.


  1. Profile photo of Abiodun Phillips
    wrote on October 20th, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Abiodun Phillips

    The Youth in Nigeria are not better represented in the government system and it is alarming on a daily basis the rate at which there are no employment for graduates and the teeming youth atlarge. The Nigerian government has not deem it fit to constitute a proper bill to recognize the youth of the nation in leadership status making them to be a second fiddle in nation building whereas they have subjected them to being used as political thugs,street urchins(area boys),rapist,kidnappers,ritualist,internet scammers & armed robbers without adding much value to physical development in the nation. Really it is high time for the youth to wake up and stand firmly for their rights and let government & our leaders know that enough is enough for the incessant strike in our higher institution of learning due to poor funding. Lack of social infrastructure,bad road network,poor health facilities,non availability of industries and agricultural development. Like, I always charge my fellow youth to be positive minded in whatever they are doing,read constantly and always learn new innovations and face challenges at any point in life. I will suggest that government should build an institute for youth policy & industrial orientation whereby there will be intermediary between minister of youth & development and also the minister of labour & productivity for economic and social development. There should be constitution reformed for youth quarter representation at all level of government and parasatals. There should be national institute for youth & sports. With these i believed that the nigerian youths will be better represented in the government and the issues of high rate of unemployment and youth unrest will systematically reduce to the bearest minimum. God bless NIGERIA.

  2. Profile photo of mcmary
    wrote on October 20th, 2011 at 1:19 pm


    No. The Nigerian nation structure do not encourage young people, as such they are not well represented. To them (godfathers), young people have nothing to offer. The structure covers only the aged people as being matured and experience.
    My suggestions thus:
    Young people should begin to accept the fact that they are nation builders and leaders of tomorrow by working now for the future.
    They should contribute their quarter to nation building/ development while in school and especially during their service year.
    Young people should partcipate actively in polities from the background and then, to the top.
    Young people should also have a voice (one voice) on issues that concern the nation especially that has to do with youths. Speak for the people.

  3. Profile photo of clinton
    wrote on October 20th, 2011 at 4:25 pm


    We are not in any way represented in the current Political structure of our Nation, even when Mr. President promised to appoint a youth minister in his cabinet owing to the massive support he received from the Nigerian youth, yet he never did. This is one of the Areas a felt very much dissapointed since Mr. President assumed office. Not even the Minister of youth is a young person, even though the minister of Information technology is still young but I was expecting an age limit of 30 – 35years to as serve as minister of state. Therefore, our campaign must be intensified to create more awareness on the need for effective representation of the youth.
    But I will shift most of the blame to the youth, we are so cold and too timid in this country, look at the aftermath of the Presidential election; Corps’ members were killed: the perceived leaders of tomorrow and we never challenge the authorities that be. No mass peaceful demostration in our major cities not even in the state where those corps members came from, no litigations by the youth challenging the government, we did nothing, I mean absolutely nothing to show the government that we must not be treated like sacred cows, look at the issue of unemployment again; what are we doing to show our government that we are not contented with what is happening, we have never for one day questioned some things that are going on wrong for long in this country. Again, look at the Jos Crisis, Boko Haram, kiddnapping and other vices, what have we done? Our government will never take us very serious until we put up some resistance. A 32year Yemen lady won the coveted Nobel Peace Prize in a country where women are treated like less human; what was the difference: COURAGE of course and the willingness to Die in the cause of fighting for justice. To achieve this:
    1. We must be COURAGEOUS enough to take some bold step. Most of our past hereos were very young when they started. Gen. Yakubu Gowon rule this country at the age of 32years, with our present lukewormness can a 45year old rule this country in the nearest future? we can only profer a solution to this puzzle if and only if we wake up today and take RADICAL STEPS to assert our dominance and lend a voice. Let us be heard at least for once. I listen to IBB during his preparation to contest for 2011 Presidential primary of the PDP at Asaba International airport, he said; “The Nigerian youth lack courage, creativity and boldness to come out and put up a challenge, for now I have not seen any with such charisma to vie for the President of this country” this is one of his many statements on the Nigeria youth that have so much challenged me to come out from my COMFORT ZONE. We the youths must come out from out COMFORT ZONES. The time is NOW.
    1. Create more youth friendly platforms like what youngstars is doing today, Enough is Enough platform, Neighbour 2 Neighbour etc. this platform must be use for social re-engineering of the psyche, thought, ideas and mind-set of our youth to come out with one voice and support a youth in their locality for effective participation.
    2. Use of social media: Facebook, youtube, linkedin, twitter, etc to sensitized and create online forums; discusing viable, thought provoking issues that will prompt the young Nigerians to take the centre stage in the affairs of theis nation.

    Clinton/ 08068475053

  4. Profile photo of Samuel Uchenna Okwara
    wrote on October 20th, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Samuel Uchenna Okwara

    Good day my dynamic comrades/ fellow democrats. I’m happy to join you all in this forum that creates a greater opportunity for us all.

    Firstly, I must say that I really missed being in this environment yesterday due to an unavoidable circumstance. Meanwhile, I must not resist adding my voice to the issue discussed.

    Asked if a 6years single tenure will improve our democracy and fast track development in Nigeria?
    My reply: This is very difficult!

    A look at what 6 years- single term offers shows the following:

    1). 6-year single tenure for presidents and governors will make rotational presidency and governorship easier to implement across the six geo-political zones compared to our current 4-year two- term system.

    2). 6-Year single tenure will mean that election will be held across Nigeria for presidents and governor every 6 years instead of every 4 years which will nearly save close to half of the money we currently spend on election for the two offices.

    3). 6-year single term may encourage some presidents and governors to take immediate and decisive steps on lingering political, economic and social policies they believe will benefit their state or the country in the short or long run without fear of negative backlash when they seek re-election for second term as currently exist in our constitution drafted in 1999.

    But then, let us not forget about the implications/ negative aspects which include the following:

    1. What happens if Nigerian electorates mistakenly elects an incompetent president or governor, that means the state or the country will be saddled with that person for seven years. Six years of bad leadership is eternity, it will seem and feel like a never ending nightmare. Some leaders are narcissistic to the point of believing that their policies are correct hence criticism of their policies is regarded as personal affront and unpopular policies pursued throughout their term.

    2. Corruption is likely to increase in a 6 years-single tenure due to the fact that president or governor’s constituencies will be smaller since they just have to concentrate on one zone and will not have to worry about re-election. The evil will embolden the executives at the state and federal level to steal as much money as possible without fear of immediate repercussion from the electorate.

    Tenure elongation I will submit ought to be the least of our worries at this point in time. The President of France has a 7-year tenure from one election circle to another. Has that observation saved France from going under? The simple answer to that question is a resounding “no”. Presidents in the United States have had a 4 year tenure and they have done pretty good with it. It is the same thing in a country like the State of Israel where the mandatory 4 years for Prime Ministers and their Governments could be shortened to a fraction of 4 years, if for any reason the Prime Minister loses a vote of no confidence on the floor of the Parliament. Does that make their countries any less stable or badly governed? Hell no. President Jonathan shooting for 6 years tenure for President and Governors in Nigeria is a no brainer at this point in our history.

    My point is that elongating the tenure of a bad or weak President from 4 to 6 years does not a difference make to the fortunes of a country crying for strong and purposeful leadership like Nigeria. Could you imagine what havoc or damage a weak President like Yar Adua or a terribly corrupt Governor like Ibori would have done to their state if they were elected into office for seven years to begin with? Could you imagine the damage the last batch of PDP Governors would have done to the South West if their tenure had been 7 years instead of 4? Election tribunals trying to adjudicate election petitions against many of them that were rigged into office by the Obasanjo Gestapo would have taken a much longer time to dispose off, and there would have been a total miscarriage of justice for the actual winners of the elections like we found out in Ondo, Ekiti and Osun. Olagunsoye Oyinlola spent close to 46 months out of his 48 months in Osun State before nemesis caught with him at the Appeal Court. Governor Agagu did pretty much the same thing in Ondo. Governor Oni did the same thing in Ekiti State. Governor Obi who is one of the best Governors in the Southeast and many other Governors like Oshiomhole in Edo and many other states in Nigeria would have had their justice delayed or denied if their oppressors were all elected to a 6-year tenure. Those who therefore argue that 4 years are just too short to make an impact are not telling the truth. There is no compelling reason to change from 4 to 7 years. Usually Presidents or Governors in America who don’t perform in four years are often kicked out and rightly so. Elections hold every 2 years for legislators in many State House of Assembly in America. I see no compelling reasons to change the 4 year tenure for President and Governors in Nigeria. As a matter of fact, the job of legislators should not attract as much high salaries and allowances they are currently getting in Nigeria. Those are the kind of issues that President Jonathan ought to be addressing, if he is going to be a truly transformational President he professes. The PDP has no credibility in their claim to transform Nigeria. Their track record in more than 12 years speaks volumes on that. Mr. Jonathan as a product of the PDP cannot do it.

    4 years is very much for one to become the most successful leader in the world or rather Nigeria. Leadership is all in the head. Success emanates from the combination of hard work with opportunity. 4 years is an opportunity to achieve greatly.

    Now, on the issue today, I must say that the youth are not been encouraged at all in the nation structure. A deep look will prove that few youths have been given the opportunity to contribute in the system. This is based on the normal but controversial idea that “the youth are the leaders of tomorrow”. This has indeed given rise to so many problems in the nation as young people who are supposed to be agents of positive change in communities with their unique talents and strengths have now become so destructive in the nation.

    The solution: In order for young people to truly experience social justice, we must create societies in which young people are full citizens, empowered to meaningfully and effectively contribute ideas and make decisions, societies where every time decisions are made affecting young people or their communities, youth are there ready to contribute and take part in the decision making process.

    It is strange that even where the issues to be discussed directly affect youth, many times there are no young people at the table. One need only look at most education boards across the continent to fully grasp the extent to which youth are marginalized even when they are directly affected.
    If the situation is this bad in the so called “youth issues”, then how bad is it on wider issues like the economy, the environment, religion, issues which affect the community as a whole and yet we must target getting youth involved at all these levels.
    As we discuss youth and governance I would like us to look at participation beyond representation. Whereas it is true that we should discuss ways of ensuring that young people are represented in governance structures we should also discuss ways of ensuring that many more youth are involved and participate in governance processes.
    There are many ways and many levels at which youth can get to participate and be involved in the governance process.
    • First and foremost young people need to get involved the socializing dimension of the governance process. This is the stage at which people get familiar with public issues. As compared to other segments of society young people are sometimes at a disadvantage in that they may not have as much access to information on the issues of the day and especially on the public policy making decision.
    • Secondly we must address how youth can subsequently successfully articulate those issues. We therefore need to examine the way rules are constituted to channel participation in public affairs and with specific reference to youth. There is need to reshape the rules to enhance the input of young people in the making of public policy. For instance if the rules governing the formulation of the education policy strictly demand the participation of young people then this policies are likely to be better designed and more responsive to student needs.
    A key issue to address is “How are youth organized to be able to articulate their issues?” Most other sectors of society are usually well organized to be able to articulate their issues, the women’s movement, the workers movement, the corporate sector are good examples, they have all been able to successfully lobby and articulate their issues. These groups are however slightly less amorphous than youth, there is still no clear definition of who constitutes youth and maybe this has made it more difficult for this group to successfully mobilize itself. The issue of youth being amorphous does not only relate to age but even to perception for instance in many countries there is a dichotomy between the youth movement and the student movement whereby the student movement is not perceived to be part of the youth movement. There is therefore need to see how youth can organize themselves and articulate their issues successfully. This may be where such bodies as Junior/Children’s/Youth Parliament or National Youth Council may be of particular importance. Such bodies should of course be backed up by structures that can articulate issues at the local level. Party Youth Wings should also ensure that their parties take into consideration youth issues.
    • Thirdly we must address how these ideas and interests articulated by youth are aggregated into specific policy proposals. Strategies to be used here should then target the policy-making organs at whatever level it may be. The policy making organ could be parliament or the district water board; the issue we have to deal with is how to get youth involved in the particular policy making process.
    One obvious way is to get more youth representation on these organs for instance by having more youth in parliament or on the board of the Broadcasting Company.
    We should also work to getting policy makers and policy-making organs at all levels more accessible to youth.
    • Fourthly we must address how youth can get to influence, participate in and monitor policy implementation. There are various organs that are responsible for the implementation and monitoring of policy formulation.

    God bless Nigeria!

  5. Profile photo of Ernest Onyeka Ezema
    wrote on October 20th, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    Ernest Onyeka Ezema

    Young people are supposed to be a driving force for the development of any nation if given the opportunity to contribute in decision making and also showcase what they have. Young people in the world over are contributing their own quota to the developmental processes of their respective nations, thereby making the world a better place to live.

    In Nigeria, however, the case is different. Young people are given little or no representation in the nation’s structure. This is because our corrupt leaders would not want to be exposed in their corrupt activities if a young person is engaged with them. For instance, in our political and economical structures, young people are rarely found at the helm of affairs; because a young person will always nurse for change at all times and the corrupt ones would obviously resist the changes that bring their nefarious activities to light.

    Youth representation can be better improved if youth can be adequately engaged in decision making both in the government and other forms. Youth representation can also be promoted if youth will understand the need to vote and be voted for during the election; this will give room for young people to be ably represented in government

    Furthermore, young people should have an interest in the politics of our nation, they should also understand the need for participation, and they should not have a lukewarm outlook on issues that affects them.

    Finally , a nation that has no plan for her youths, who will take over the mantle of leadership from her as ambassadors of tomorrow should expect nothing but calamities at all time and should be ready to face different forms of menace.

  6. Profile photo of Chukwu Isaac Chinedu
    wrote on October 20th, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Chukwu Isaac Chinedu

    It is said that the youths of any country are the soul of the society. Youths are the future of the society and the relationship between the youth and the community is as intrinsic as the spine of the particles that makeup the atom. That is to say that the hope and foundation of any country rely on the progress of the youths. But this issue is quite different in our country. Our leaders have failed to understand this. In a country of more than 60% of youth out of the total population, yet it is not up to 5% of the young ones in all the political office. How are our youths being accommodate in our national structure today? It is as poor as church rat. The ministry entrusted to the welfare of the youth, how do they perform? What effort have they made in strengthening our youths and foster democratic function in them? Two days ago we celebrated world youth day for democracy, how was it celebrated in our country? In the national, state and local level, how many youths are in the cabinet. All the promises made by our leaders before election, what effort have they made to fulfill them. To me I say capital KNOWS if I was asked if Nigerian youths are well represented in our national structure.
    When a country is transforming to a democratic setup, its future rest on the foundation of the responsibility taking up by the youths, because they have the integral role in bringing social and political change, either by participating in democracy struggle, fighting against social injustice or involving themselves in the process of community development. But it is quite unfortunate that it is not like that in our country, no accommodation for that by both our current and past leaders.
    The damage has been done, so it is our responsibility to prove to our leaders that we can bring a sustainable development and flourish democracy to our country by getting ourselves involve, because if we continue to wait for our leaders to do that for us we will continue to be in our current state even in next century.
    So I think we can fully get ourselves accommodated in our political structure by the following means
    – Participation: most of our youths are unaware, less concern and ignorance to our country situations and what democracy is all about. Democracy, which is the government of the people by the people and for the people, which means participation. We are to participate by attaining leadership and democracy training and seminar and always have a clear vision of what we want our country to be like.
    – Taking political opportunity: inform, aware, proactive and participatory youths should take political opportunities which exist for us like, counselor, local government chairman. If we do it, it will go a long way to accommodate other youths and through that we can play a meaningful role for our country.
    – Youth coalition for democratic movement: with regard to Nigeria youth population, if we can come together and fight for our right, we must surely get it. To day Nigerian women have got the privilege for 25% of the ministerial office, if we can come together and did like them, we can also achieve that by 2019, and by 2023 we can acquire 50% of the political office.
    – Constitution reform/amendment: one other major reason for poor representation of youths today is because of our constitution. It has made it that a 30 year young person is not qualified to contest for senate and house of rep. amendment of constitution in such area will allow youths to partake in making law that can accommodate the interest of the youth. We can fight for this by making our voice heard through online forum and social media.
    If our youths will stand today with one mind, we will have the opportunity to represent ourselves well and so work to promote our democracy which will lead to
    the development of our country.

  7. Profile photo of Abiodun Ajayi
    wrote on October 20th, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Abiodun Ajayi

    youth must cahnge

  8. Profile photo of eghosa kings
    wrote on October 20th, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    eghosa kings

    Today in the Nigeria society, young people are being side line when it comes to active national issues like government and governance. Young people are believe to have nothing to offer because they are know to channel their strength to evil vices such as cultism, arm robbing, kidnapping, internet fraud, electoral malpractice such as thuggery, snacking of ballot boxes, assassination to measure but a few.
    We are forgetting that even the so call elders are the brained behind this evil act and are using the young ones as tool to carry out this social vices . I will say the educational system in Nigeria have not done anything to address this ugly trend because we only go there to acquire paper qualification not education as it suppose to be. Unemployment is another challenges the young of this nation faces there by resulting to poverty and as the saying goes ‘a hungry is an angry mam’. The kind of politics that is played in Nigeria is a money bag politics whereby the richer takes it all, so even though any young person is politically active, he or she will not have the money to buy the political party ticket at the primary level. Intense of representation, from the local government Councillor level to the presidency no young person is been represented.
    The way follow:
    1. Government should strengthen the education system so as to enable the youth know their right and stand up for it. I like what the Young Star Foundation is doing, trying to enlightening the youth and place them in their right full position in the society, other NGOs and stakeholders should emulate them.
    2. The youth should stop allowing themselves to be used as weapon of mass destruction and focus on creative and productive ventures that will add to the society.
    3. Nigerian politicians should stop the money bag politics and godfather ism in other to create more participation of young people into the political sphere of the Nigerian society.
    4. The federal ministry of youth and development should take ‘the bull by the horn’ by partnering with relevant bodies (NGOs, Media houses) in other to enlighten the youth on need to be politically active. Regions bodies in the country should encourage their worshipers to participate in national issues because some of them see the issue of politics and government as a sin and against regions believe. Live concert, one on one education and debate should be carry out as a way of getting the attention of youth because not all of them have the opportunity of getting formal education and access to the internet.
    I think with this practical steps young people will actively participate in governance and will be given maximum priority.
    EGHOSA (08078087625)