Osun Rescue Mission. By. Pelumi Olajengbesi Esq.
A few days ago in Osogbo, I attended a gathering of prominent youths and leaders of Nigeria at the behest of Comrade Bamidele Seyi, the Youth Leader of the PDP at the book-launch of YouthDecides, written by him. It was a great event and had in attendance some of the best political hands and brains in Nigeria. The atmosphere was naturally lively and bristled with the excitement inspired by the theme of the day. It was apparent from the huge nonpartisan crowd that flooded in that the job of rescuing Osun state and indeed Nigeria had no party colouring. The people had simply had enough and had begun the discourse to agree on terms for the future.
To me, it was particularly striking that there was a keen number of youths in attendance who paid rapt attention to each speakers at the event. I could see in their posture and response that surely the idea of a Nigeria led by a healthy balance of all age group was beginning to take roots in them. This affirmed my belief that we have come far in our advocacy and push for a trans-generational shift in government.
I must say, nonetheless, that actions are much more louder than words. The intention of programmes such as that held in Osogbo mainly emphasises the underlying dynamics of a new Nigeria shaping up. The demand for and appreciation of youthful representation has overtaken not just the youths of Osun state but Nigeria as a whole. This is recommendable and cause for even greater engagement for power is never given, it must be wrestled.
In Osun state at the moment, there is a prime opportunity for the youths of this state to leverage on the pending elections to assert themselves in the politics of Osun. A sturdy revision of the options in the approaching gubernatorial election shows that the PDP presents the most viable alternative to the sordid state of affairs in Osun in the past 8 years. I say this mindful of the fact that those who chant, “ change, change !” are in fact those who have bartered the common patrimony of the country and state causing unprecedented penury and sorrow.
Osun state has never had it this bad. The state barely holds its head up in the comity of nations, having slipped on the slope of directionless leadership. Class and religious disparity have never before been so wide, with the weaponisation of poverty through questionable social schemes aimed at getting the good people of Osun state to be comfortable in apparent lack and reliant on the government for hand-outs. The facts speak and urge against a further repose of trust in the leadership of the state and the youths of Osun state are better positioned to effect the much needed change in the state as a reflection of the necessities of today.
Youths constitute not just an exuberant base of supporters but a pool for fresh ideas and new leadership. The youths of Osun state must rise to the demand of the times and take over the state in the interest of the people. Those who have been entrusted with power have failed to deliver a popular mandate to effect necessary changes in the standard of living of the good people of Osun state. Those primarily culpable in this negligence are members of an age and time who no longer represent in the short or long term, the primary objective of Osun state.
Every rescue mission is an act in revolution, especially the political kind. We must note that. Revolutionaries do not sleep on the oars of change, nor quit the mission in the face of adversity and strong opposition. Going into the next elections in Osun state, the youths must gear up to do battle. To challenge established powers, to gain control of the ship of state and steer it in the right direction. This is a possibility, this we must do.
The youths of Osun state must understand that power is not given, it is taken. If we continue to lie fallow and expect our common dreams to be realised, then posterity will remember us as the generation that slept on their responsibilities. The legacy we should however set for ourselves should be a testimony of the success of our struggles and push for a better Osun state and indeed Nigeria as a whole.
May I further admonish Osun state youths to be well advised of the need to remain strong and undivided. There will be attempts in the nearest future to set us apart by conflicts that do no t bear on the issues we face. It is at that point when the mischief of political manipulators are set rolling that we must re-affirm our commitment to ourselves and the objective of an Osun state that is truly free and progressive.
We must pick up the pace and purposefully engage our society. The time to dally is long gone for the moment calls for true expressions of loyalty to the people and a realisation of the common dreams of the great people of Osun state. For so long we have dialogued with those who do not see the use for words, those who are at cross-purpose with our ambitions and so must revise our methods to achieve what we must.
There is no going back, there is no playing into the hands of exploitative politicians with no genuine intention for growth and progress. We must become the change we dream of for we are not the leaders of tomorrow but of today.
Pelumi Olajengbesi Esq.
Aspirant for the House of Representatives, Oriade/Obokun Federal Constituency.