Com. Habila Isah Kayit, BAYODA National President
Been a paper presented at Nyet Bajju End of Year Fiesta on 30th December, 2017.
It is with great joy standing before you this day to speak on this timely topic, “2019 election: The Southern Kaduna Youth in Focus”. I am indeed blessed to speak at an event of this magnitude organized by one of the well articulated and cultured group “Nyet Bajju”. I associate myself completely with this group and I recognize the contributions of this group to our collective existence.
I am glad today that political orientation and development has shaped most youths in our society. Information Communication Technology has further made this possible as such, youths from Zonkwa, Manchok, Kachia, Kwoi, Kagoro, Kagarko, Abet, Gidan Waya among other communities relates freely with one another through their mobile devices and are better informed on global trends and national development. This has been made possible through the social media. Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Istagram are some of those veritable platforms that have made information sharing among the youth possible.
Political participation is an all encompassing process. Every stage of this progression is very important. Therefore, for any positive change that will affect the youths, it can only be possible when you have youths fully represented at every decision making platform such as party structures, conventions and primaries.
The demographics of people who mostly come out to vote in most general elections all over the world are the youths and women. It will interest you to know that during the preparatory period which involves the political party’s conventions and primaries you can barely count the number of youth and women in such gathering. This is to say when the time to discuss and to determine the future of the country the youths are nowhere to be found yet youths are leaders of tomorrow.
Is the above a coincidence? Hell no. The youth have not shown commitment to take over the entire political space in southern Kaduna but have agreed to be used as tools in the hands of some greedy and incompetent politicians. They must create a niche for themselves by daring into the impossible. It is often seen as a tradition that some certain positions are meant for elders. Who said so? When has age become the criteria for leadership position? The youth can only make a difference when the status quo is changed and the new determining factor for selection into any leadership should be base on competence and commitment to make a different. I completely support the drive to have younger persons into leadership positions but again it has to be competent youths who have something positive to contribute to the society.
It is sad to note that in this 21st century youths are patiently waiting to be handed over power by the elders. This day will not come or else we will remain leaders of tomorrow while in our late thirties, forties and fifties. No wonder you don’t have younger persons in political parties leadership and they dare not seek for higher political position because they may be tame as been over ambitious and too young for such position while our counterparts from other part of the state are busy building up younger politicians to take over from them.
The elite have always been the major decision makers in politics but they cannot execute whatever political plans by themselves. Who are the people this ruling class use to influence elections result? Who are the people that are used to snatched and course confusions in various polling units? How many of those ruling class children are involved in all the shoddy deal? What makes it possible for the greedy politicians to influence the youth negatively?
When the enlightened youths distance themselves from the political system, we will have the hooligans and unlearned brothers as tools in the hands of politicians. Most enlightened youths have created a divide between them and other brothers living in the villages making it very easy for the self service politicians to have a swell day during elections only to be seen again to those communities during re-election.
Focusing on the Bajju communities, the youth have a responsibility to do more. Going by the present happening most importantly as relate to the present government in Kaduna state, it has been said that the Bajju people are most favoured but sadly we are yet to feel the impact of those in government at our communities. Only a handful of them have shown commitment and determination to interface with the people and help in raising leaders.
It will interest you to know that Hon. Ezekiel Baba Karik, Dr. Daniel Manzo, Samaila Aruwan, Gill Adamu, Hon. Dominic Bincike, Hon Christopher Sarki, Hon. Thoma Gyang, Hon. Sabo Douglas among many others are Bajju people serving in key positions in Kaduna state and lately I learned Air Commodore Jekada Rtd is the closest person to this government from Southern Kaduna. God elevated them into such positions not only for their stomach and immediate family but also for humanity. Charity they say begins at home. We barely can feel the presence of most of the above mentioned personalities at home.
We have always been blackmail of not supporting this government despite having a huge number of appointees. These assertions are mostly said by our brothers and kinsmen in government. But i make bold to say most of these appointees have deserted home and have not been too helpful to our communities. Sadly, some of them are not approachable and they hardly identify themselves with the Bajju people. With the exception of Hon. Dominic Bincike and Thomas Gyang who gave out scholarship, influenced a project and supported community hall respectively, we are yet to hear, see or receive any positive report as we superintend the community’s activities.
They are suppose to interface with the community by introducing and enlightening the people on government programs and opportunities available through town hall meetings and constant engagements with community leaders and also receive feedback which will help them understand community needs in the course of their duties.
Our elected representatives are also not immune from the issues raised. The House of Assembly member representing Zonkwa Constituency Hon Irimiya Kantiok has lost touch completely with the people. No wonder his voice was not heard even when his constituent were been caged for 17 days for no cause. Hon Sunday Marshall Katung lately has been doing alot to promote youth activities through his skill acquisition program, fertilizers distribution and free medical diagnosis and treatment.
It is unbelievable that the Bajju elite and politicians alike have failed to support the BAYODA voters registration scheme which is aimed at empowering constituents to register their voters card. It is unfortunate that if care is not taken Kajju communities will lose some polling units because of this negligence. It will interest you to know that only five people supported this initiative despite the need to create political capital for Kajju through voter registration. Even the beneficiaries of the political are very mute on this. The next generation shall hold you accountable for allowing their voting centers to be taken from their immediate community.
On this note, your wealth is valueless if it cannot help community growth. The height of irresponsibility is when you neglect the needs at home front when you are in position to assist.
May I use this opportunity to thank Barr Elisha Kurah (SAN), Barr Ezekiel Goje, Amb. Joshua Dauda Ishaya, Nathan Pama, Iliya Timbuark, Rijo Shekari and friends of Hon. Sunday Marshall Katung for supporting this initiative.
While the stage for 2019 election takes shape, we must:
- Register our voters card and come out amass to vote during elections.
- We must get involve fully in every political activities at all stages
- We must not allow ourselves to be used by politicians
- More enlightened youths must go back to their villages and sensitize their communities
While I remain optimistic that 2019 elections will not be business as always, I wish you all a prosperous new year in advance.