(Not) too broke to run you say?

Courtesy of Yiaga.Org

“On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.” (William Shakespeare)

Earlier this week, the Nigerian Senate passed a resolution to amend the section of the constitution on age limits. The amendment has now lowered the age to contest for the position of President from 40 to 35. Age limits for other positions were lowered as well.

If you have been a follower of youth politics in Nigeria and you’re active on social media you would have come across the hashtag #NotTooYoungToRun. It has been a major agitation among Nigerian youths for a few years now.

As the jubilation died down, in the wake of the feat, a few raised a vital point. They observed, maybe a bit too cynically, that the measure only passed easily because Nigerian lawmakers and elite in general are angling to install their children into positions of power.

Now I am not one of those that believes the involvement of youth in politics is a silver bullet for our national problems. News flash: there is no silver bullet.

Here is a key takeaway; if we continue to engage these guys on any given issue, there will be a breakthrough eventually. We now need to be strategic and only push issues that will have the most positive multiplier effect on the wider society.

This is why I am not bothered by the fear that the fallout of this will be the infamous political class empowering their offspring. There is no evidence that they weren’t going to do that with the status quo anyway. So while I am for healthy cynicism, I want us, as young(ish) people to think strategically and on our feet.

I hope the legal minds among the group can begin to wrack their brains to explore what possible ways this win can be leveraged upon. We must never cease to think about leverage for whatever we get. That is how we can ultimately make room at the table for ourselves.

I want to congratulate the team of young men and women that made this possible and hopefully this measure passes in the lower chamber and state houses of assemblies, that’s where the real fight is.

In the end politics is a game of chess, the other side is only as good as we are bad.

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