A former Minister for Youth and Sports Development, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi has tasked Nigerian youths on the need to go beyond political engagement on social media and take practical steps towards political participation and collective action. The former minister gave the charge while speaking at a program organized by The Avalon daily a digital news platform, as part of activities marking this year’s international youth day.
Abdullahi noted that while Nigeria’s young population wield immense power through the use of digital technology, it must also take practical steps to occupy the political parties and restore strong democratic values, credentials, and ideals.
“If the youths are to lead Nigeria’s quest for prosperity and transformation, it will be because of this unique power that has been wielded through the use of social media and if they are going to fail on this mission, it will be because of the misuse of this same power. If Nigerian youths want real political power, it can not be done through social media engagement alone, they must get into the political space”, he said. Abdullahi said the illusion of participation where young people only engage on social media without practical effort has led to what can be described as action paralysis, adding that “oftentimes where the action is demanded, Nigerian youths are contented with social media engagement solely”.
He encouraged young people to join a political party of their choice and actively participate beyond social media. Abdullahi also called for value reorientation and reengineering particularly at the individual and family level, noting that “the national transformation that we all seek can only happen through the transformation of individuals, it is only by the transformation of individuals that we can hope to restore politics back to its original purpose which is to promote the dignity of humanity and justice”.