2023 Presidency Election: Zoning, Should the Young Ones Be Given a Chance to Rule?

We have probably heard the saying “leaders of tomorrow” a trillion times used in describing the youths and teenagers. Are the youths and teens the leaders of tomorrow? If they are, why haven’t they been given a chance to lead or govern? Or are they to hijack powers from the older generation instead of a free release of power from the older generation?

What type of leader would you love to see in the coming 2023 presidential election? A young generation leader or the continuity of governance in the hands of the older generation?
Let’s take a look at Seun Okin’s (Presenter) interview with Ladipo Johnson (Public Affairs and Governance Analyst) and Daniel Mbala (Lawyer and Member of Lincolns Inn London) on Channels Television that discusses the need for Nigerian to have a young president.

Ladipo Johnson when canvassed with the question by Seun Okin “What do you think in your own opinion is the best to deciding who should govern this country as a president?”, His response was “Well I think we need someone who can challenge the status quo. Someone who is an outlier, who is willing to ask the hard questions; our federating relationship, insecurity, the economy, and many many other issues. Someone who can put all those things on the front burner. A younger, more vibrant, more dynamic person. I think erm, the country needs to consider all these things. We cannot continue to do things the way we have continued to do them and expect to have a better country or a more egalitarian country. It can’t work. We have to be willing to change things and to ask ourselves the hard questions and at this stage, I don’t think we should be talking about north and south, and Christian and Muslim.”

The complaints about the unequal distribution of power within two geopolitical zones out of the three geopolitical zones are what led to the revival of the Biafran agitation and the creation of The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in 2012 by Nnamdi Kanu. The complaints of official favoritism have led to more division in the country. When asked why the talk about zoning should be put on hold, he says “It’s because things are not working. When things are not working, then you start to talk about how to share the national cake.” He explains that although zoning has kept the balance in politics, that it is because “…things are not where they ought to be. If things were working efficiently, the Igbo man wouldn’t care if the person ruling or governing is from Igbira, or is from the north, or is from Lagos. They wouldn’t care because the atmosphere is there, his business is working, commerce is thriving. But because the government hasn’t worked or hasn’t reached its optimum stage, we have people saying it’s our turn, we are left out, and what have you? That is the problem. And that is why the younger generation in this country must get up, get involved, and make sure the agenda for 2023 is properly set…” Johnson suggests that complaints about unequal distribution should be suspended and a focus should be made on a change in governance starting with the 2023 presidential election i.e., the younger generation ruling. He suggests that this would bring hope and a better atmosphere where businesses would thrive.

There has been a demand within and outside the younger generation, calling out to them (youths) to take the mantle and lead. Johnson explains that it is because “on the law of averages, the younger person survives the older person. An elderly person may not take the decision that would be in the interest of a younger person’s next 10-20 years. His decisions may be short-term because he is living for the short term. Do you understand what I’m saying? A younger person is planning for today and the next 20 years.” Drawing from Johnson’s above assertion, this style of making long term decisions among the young generations could stem from the fact that the younger generation, knowing fully well that they are still young and have more years to live on earth, would make decisions that would stand strong in the long run, as they would love to have the road cleared for a smooth movement through the 10-20 or more years of their life.

Daniel Mbala who has also proven to be an advocate for the younger generation to take the mantle of leadership in the coming 2023 presidential election made his stance when asked if he agrees with Johnson’s position in young ones ruling. He said “I do agree that the reason why people agitate for the younger generation of leaders to take over government is that associated with the youth is vibrancy, flexibility, creativity, and in fact enthusiasm. When a young man is thrust into power, there seems to be a reverberation of hope and optimism among the younger generation because it resonates. It sends a message that there are possibilities in this country and I can achieve my dream. There was a time in this country, it was the younger people in the army that were led into the second world war and that began what we call nationalism. It was the younger generation of people that began nationalism across West Africa that led to the independence to the point the colonial masters looked at this younger generation that was about to take the rims of a fresh country. They trusted them and entrusted power to them and they won.


The younger generation of people forms both the parliamentary system of government and the presidential system of government. And you cannot argue that within this period, these younger leaders in government were able to do greater things. At what point did we miss it that we no longer have confidence and trust in the younger generation when you can make a case that the present-day young people are far better and very creative than the younger generation that led to the birth of Nigeria”
This brings us back to the question, what type of leader would you love to see in the coming 2023 presidential election? A young generation leader or the continuity of governance in the hands of the older generation?

For suggestions, comments, contributions, kindly leave them in the comment section below.

March 31, 2021

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