When 81 of Africa’s leaders fall between 50 and 80 years of age, out of a total of 90, the tendency of an old leadership is easy to see. Can this paradigm be changed?
The current president of Nigeria has been involved in Government since the Military Coup of 1984. His name is Muhammadu Buhari and he was elected president in 2015.
He is 75 years old.
When 81 of Africa’s leaders fall between 50 and 80 years of age, out of a total of 90, the tendency of an old leadership is easy to see.
Can this paradigm be changed?
With the upcoming general elections of Nigeria scheduled for February of 2019, a change could be in the making. More than ever before, “younger” candidates are courting different electoral offices and they all feel they finally have a real chance at achieving success.
It must be noted that a year ago there had already been an attempt at changing the constitutional law which prohibited anyone younger than 40 years old to be able to run for elective office or position.
This year, due to a major outpour of support, including peaceful protests, the government finally admitted to changing the principal option which thus denied people under 40 years of age to become candidates. #NotTooYoungToRun became a reality.
And there has been a tremendous increase in the number of “younger” candidates whom believe they and “their new ideas” can make strides in the electorate, while bringing about solutions to the antiquated policies which seem to have kept Nigeria static during a time when change is happening all over the world.
The Economy needs re-vamping, and in spite of the perfect location in Africa’s West Coast, Nigeria has been unable to take advantage and improve its position in the International Trade coming out of the continent.
New ideas, new solutions, new conversations are needed and the buzz has been growing louder and louder. In café’s, parks and around newspaper stands, young Nigerians are discussing politics and the need to prepare for the future of their country, and more importantly, to become part of the change in that future.
Although the exorbitant amounts of money needed to run political campaigns does create a natural barrier for more younger candidates to decide to take the plunge, a few young business owners, lawyers and other professionals have taken the lead and are creating alternative modes of funding their campaigns. They are becoming more visible and their campaigns have gathered momentum. It seems they will be making strong challenges to the old guard.
These younger candidates not only bring their youth to the political scene, they bring energy, new dialogue, and above all, new ideas. They want to open commerce and increase demand. They want to give new alternatives a chance.
Already the new young candidates are using Social Media to increase the reach of their messages, as well as the pocket books of their donors. They are becoming masters in mobilizing a younger mass of voters and with less capital are already giving the politicians of the Old Guard a run for their money.
The Nigerian elections are just around the corner. Will the old paradigms of the past few decades be changed for a new Younger Order? We shall find out in a couple of months.