"You are the future leaders", Nigerian youths have been told, but it is either the future is far or their pocket is too young to run, considering the cost of running election campaigns and other activities that occur in vying for a political office. 

The Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sanusi II, apparently knows that the youths have been sidelined in political affairs and he is making a request from the old politicians that have continued to rule the young ones at a period that young persons are ruling in other nations. 

Sanusi wants the older generation to trust the younger ones with governance while they are still alive, so there will not be large a vacuum when they are gone.

Sanusi made call on Thursday, at the 2019 Murtala Muhammed Memorial Lecture, organised by the Murtala Muhammed Foundation (MMF) in Abuja.

This year’s lecture was themed: “Towards Credible, Peaceful And Participatory Election; Moving Nigeria’s Democracy Forward’’.

The Emir said that it was “extremely important’’ that older politicians gave the younger ones the chance to man the affairs of the nation, not because they were the majority, but because they had shown the commitment and capacity to provide the kind of leadership Nigeria required".

He recalled that most of Nigeria’s heads of state, such as former president Olusegun Obasanjo, Generals Muhammed and Yakubu Gowon, who took the reins of power during their time, did so at a young age; and also did incredibly well.

Also speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the foundation, Mrs Aisha Muhammed-Oyebode, said the platform provided by the lecture series had contributed to shaping public discourse that mattered to Nigeria in particular, and Africa at large.

Muhammed-Oyebode, who is the daughter of the slain Head of State, noted that positive interventions and outcomes in society had been achieved as a result of the follow-up on action points, suggestions and commitments made during previous editions of the lecture by the organisers.

She described this year’s edition as apt because it was only two days to general elections in the country.

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“This year’s annual lecture is especially timely and relevant. Indeed the issue of peaceful democratic transitions has been on the front burner in Africa in the past few years.

“This year alone, we have different levels of elections in at least 16 African countries.

“Sadly, these countries facing elections in Africa, Nigeria inclusive, are often flagged as volatile states in the international community.

“It is thus important that Nigeria sets a good precedence for other African countries to follow with the peaceful conduct of the elections this weekend,’’ she said.

The CEO said though her father led a military administration, he believed strongly in Nigeria’s democracy and subscribed to the cardinal democratic principles of civilian supremacy and military neutrality within a participatory democracy.

“General Muhammed believed that African countries had the capacity for self-rule, and the ability to lead progressive governments that delivered on the dividends of peace and prosperity to the people of Africa," she told the gathering. 

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