Gana woo Nigerian youths to embrace politics

…Says a leader devoid of good ideas is not fit for leadership.

A leader bankrupt of good ideas is not worthy to be a leader, Professor Jerry Gana the National Chairman, Steering Committee of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) stated this Tuesday in Abuja, at a youth forum organized by #GanaYouthChat to commemorate June 12.

Speaking at the youth forum held at the Aquarium Consult Auditorium, Asokoro, Abuja, Prof. Gana called on Nigerian youths with good ideas to embrace politics.

He observed that Democracy is the best form of governance so far by humanity as it is the only form of government that can promote freedom of expression, freedom of choice, freedom of association and right to life.

Stressing the close link between democracy and development, he stated that – ‘Democracy is supposed to produce good leaders who have good ideas to make development sustainable; and when an elected leader is not doing what you (electorate) wanted him to do, you can use your vote to show them the way out’. Your PVC is your power, he added.

Speaking on his political career, Prof. Gana stated that he joined party politics at the age of 34 and in 1983 at the age of 38 he was elected into the Nigerian Senate under the platform of the Nigerian Peoples Party.

He challenged the youths to embrace party politics because they have good ideas, creativity and energy need to transform Nigeria. ‘A good leader is one with good ideas and any leader who does not have good ideas is not worthy to be a leader because leaders must know the way, must have ideas and good programmes’, He added.

Responding to questions on his contributions towards strengthening democracy and development in Nigeria, Prof. Gana narrated his political journey in and out of government, including as Chairman of Mass Mobilization for Social Justice and Economic Reform (MAMSER), Minister, Ministry of Integration and Corporation in Africa and Minister of Information.

According to him, as Chairman of MAMSER “I and two other eminent professors, Prof Tunde Adeniran and Prof. Humphrey Nwosu of NEC produced the electoral guideline and strategy that led to the first globally adjudged free and fair election in Nigeria on June 12, 1993. He added that the option A1 which was later dropped remains the best strategy for Nigeria politics and election.

Earlier, in her remark, Ms Idayat Hassan, Director, Centre for Democracy and Development, highlighted unemployment, leadership distrust, bad governance, poor education, money politics and god-fatherism and lack of internal party democracy as some of the factors affecting youths’ participation in politics in Nigeria. She called on the youth to identify with committed leaders like Prof. Gana, who is very committed to the cause of the youth, to guide in negotiating for space in Nigeria politics.

She further bemoaned lack of strategic leadership quality on most Nigerian youth. According to her ‘as youth do we have the strength of character? Do we have requisite discipline and consistency? As a collective, we should start asking these questions because it is when we achieve discipline, when people can see a consistency in our actions, it is when they can see our strength of character that our demand for space in Nigeria politics can be a reality.

Speaking on the objective of the gathering one of the key organisers, Mr. Chijioke Obioma said the forum aimed at presenting the Nigerian youths opportunities to engage, interact and ask questions on issues bordering on politics and governance. He further, stated that the choice of Prof Gana for the maiden edition was because of his outstanding leadership quality and consistency in charting path for nation building, even at the risk of his freedom in over three decades.

He observed that the platform was initiated to strengthen synergy between the youths and the older generation on cross-generational transfer of ideology and character. We want to harness the energy, strength and creativity of the youth and the wisdom, experiences and commitment of the older generations to breed quality and innovative leaders through constant engagement and interactions, he added.

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