The Yoruba Tennis Club has called for the emergence of a new generation of national leaders as the 2019 general election approaches.
It made the call in a press release signed by Professor Adetokunbo Fabamwo, Chairman, Yoruba Tennis Club made available to the press on Saturday.
The Club said the political landscape is occupied by the same old breed of politicians who had held sway in the terrain since the inception of democratic rule and that there are no obvious or visible signs that there is a deliberate effort to groom younger men and women in the next generation to take over from them.
“As we approach the third decade of the millennium, there is an urgent need to evolve a new generation of Nigerians as leaders at communities , local governments, States, zones and national levels.
It was further observed that the Nigerian youth category has been rudderless since the commencement of the civilian government in the Year 1999, suffering exclusion from responsibilities, compared to the early nationalists who had opportunities thrust at them at young ages.
“It is more unfortunate that the generation referred to does not even appear to be in any particular hurry to mount the saddle of national political leadership. This is against the backdrop of the emergence of the early nationalists like late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Anthony Enahoro and a host of others who rode the political landscape like colossuses in their thirties and forties.”
The Club therefore, called for an urgent, deliberate plan to evolve a generation of educated youths within the 18 to 40 years age bracket as youth community activists who will first and foremost establish relevance in their immediate communities through voluntary and beneficial communal activities.
“Thereafter, having gained recognition and confidence, they will eventually start to assume political roles starting from the ward level upwards.
The club said that at its August Business Luncheon, it identified that the nation got to this point as a result of the over 32 years of military interregnum, money politics/godfatherism and collapse of active students’ unionism which would have been a veritable breeding ground for youth leaders as it was in the days of yore.
“In this regard it was suggested that Non-Governmental organizations and Civil Society organizations that have as their central theme, the emergence of youths as Leaders should be at the fore front of galvanizing and mobilising the youths in each community, to identify and deal with challenges in the community and act as a pressure group and community influencers.”
According to the communique, once the youths are mobilized as community activists in the manner prescribed, with directions from role models, they would spend less time on the prevalent youth vices of cultism, drugs, rituals and political brigandage.