By Eric Elezuo
Following the meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and selected members of Nigerian Youths from the All Progressives Congress (APC) where he told the teeming youths to be prepared for leadership, Techpreneur and Founder Digital Democracy Project and Rate Your Leader app, Mr. Joel Popoola, has advised the President to lure and prepare youths towards leadership with the democracy app, Rate Your Leader.
Popoola was speaking in reaction of the President’s demonstrated sincere desire to see that a younger generation takes over the leadership of the nation as he prepares to wind down his administration.
“It is a good thing that the President is desirous of relinquishing power to a prepared generation of youth for leadership, however, these youths must understand the seriousness of leadership before they could undertake the task.
“The President should therefore, as a matter of urgency make leadership attractive to these youths by allowing the use of Rate Your Leader app which allows elected and elector interaction devoid of abusive languages,” he said.
Popoola noted that most youths are intimidated by the larger than life status of their elected representatives, and see them as demigods who cannot be reached or spoken to. But with the app, the communication gap between the politicians and their constituents is bridge, and each could feel the heartbeat of the other.
He therefore, urged the President to leave a legacy of enduring participatory democracy where all eligible registered voters have direct unhindered access to the representatives. “By so doing leadership will automatically become attractive to the youths, and they will prepare to serve without persuasion”.
Buhari had at the meeting acknowledged the contributions of youths to the development of the country, saying they would certainly take control of the reins of power one day, and asked them to brace for the leadership role ahead of them.
“Whether we like it or not, we will someday hand over to Nigerian youths. And you have to brace yourself for leadership,” he said.
He stated that to prepare themselves to lead a country like Nigeria, the youths must keep a broader view of the country by preaching religious and ethnic unity.
He noted that having learnt a bitter lesson from the 1967-1970 Nigerian Civil War, people preparing for leadership roles must not allow anyone to deceive them by promoting disunity among Nigerians.
Buhari said, “Some interest groups will come up with ethnic, religious issues, but you have to look at the broader picture.
“We had a civil war that killed over two million Nigerians, and we learnt our lessons. Nigeria is one country, and no one should take our firmness for granted.”
He also recalled how he joined politics, saying he took the decision after coming of out jail, post the 1985 military coup.
Buhari added that his background was checked and it was discovered that he committed no crime while serving as petroleum minister, military governor and head of state.
“After I was released and nothing was found on me I took an interest in politics. This is what pushed me into partisan politics; to serve with integrity, the President said, according to a State House statement by his media aide, Mr Femi Adesina.