Yes, the title is what it is. We have arrived at an age and time when the age group designated as youths are clamouring for the opportunity to rise to leadership positions. They are eager to ascend the throne and to wear the crown to exercise rule and authority. In some climes it seems the youths are cheated out of governance and as such they are pushing hard on the older folks in power to either make room for both age groups to co-rule and lead Or there be a total takeover of the steering wheel by the youths.
But with all this taking place it begs to be answered; are youths ready for leadership? It is indeed a pertinent question. It is often said that when preparation meets opportunity then success takes place. So, are our youths really prepared? Some youths may have undergone academic training or run some businesses but are leadership an academic adventure or require business acumen? Managing a large population in a country or at any other governance level is far beyond what is imagined. The temperament of a leader, negotiating skills, communication skills, understanding the economy, handling diplomacy, engaging in trade deals, etc, are some of those qualities that leadership requires. But what can be said of youths who are easily temperamental and are quick to be violent?
In the latter period of the year 2020, there was what seemed to have been an uprising by youths in Nigeria who protested against Police brutality towards the youths in the country. The youths were mobilized to hit the streets and make their voices heard. They were interested in having the government scrap the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) from the Police Force. And a few other demands were made. And days into the protest the government gave heed to the call and accepted the demands. Yet the youths seemed not to appreciate the effort of the government. What set-out as a peaceful protest turned violent as the civil disobedience persisted.
What does this tell? Where was negotiation skills on the part of the Nigerian youths? Was the agenda about being violent? Since the government had made a compromise to the demands of the youths shouldn’t it have been a wise thing for the youths to retreat and watch the government implement their demands? This is the burden at hand when we consider youth’s eagerness to take over leadership. Cases such as this are much like a litmus test as to whether the youths can be trusted with leadership. The youths, especially in Nigeria, are missing the opportunities to send a message to their elders about their readiness for leadership. They must not ignore this truth.
Are the youths ready for leadership?