Youth proving they are not ready

13 January 2021 | Opinion

In 2018, Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari – under pressure from the country’s fed-up youth – signed the ‘Not Too Young to Run’ bill into a law.

Today, this piece of legislation is a full act of parliament, seeking to reduce the age limit for running for elective office in Nigeria.

African leaders, including our own here in Namibia, often question the readiness of young people to take over the country as leaders.

While campaigning in the north last October ahead of the regional local authority elections, Swapo vice-president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah questioned the ‘calibre’ of young people to rule, judging from their behaviour on social media.

Nandi-Ndaitwah would feel vindicated this week if she saw the amateurish exchange of words between the Swapo Party Youth League and the Affirmative Repositioning over Sunday’s land grabbing in Otjomuise.

The calibre, to borrow from Nandi-Ndaitwah’s vocabulary, was jaw-dropping. A man or woman in Windhoek’s informal settlements looking up to these young leaders to provide them with a solution to their landlessness must have been disappointed because nowhere in this exchange did their plight feature.

We have seen political nemeses Hage Geingob of Swapo and IPC’s Panduleni Itula publicly exchanging pleasantries and wishing each other a successful 2021 – something alien to the youth in this country. Personal insults and celebrating the downfall of their opponents seem to be what keep the youth alive.

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