Let me join millions of Nigerians to happily congratulate you on your nomination as commissioner designate in Kwara State. It is indeed heartwarming to be found worthy of serviceto your fatherland at a young age of twenty six (26) especially as a young woman in a male dominated political firmament like Nigeria. The governor, Abdul Rahman Abdul Razaq and government of Kwara State by this estimableaction has not only done the youth of Kwara and Nigerians proud buthad set a well deserved standard and precedent worthy of following by other states.Let me remind you that; in Nigeria, only a privileged few have got this rare opportunity. You are indeed privileged.You have no reason to fail the good people of Kwara State, the constituency of the youthsand the governor who has implicit confidence in you. It will be a disservice not only to your boss but yourself also as you take thisinitial remarkable step to political responsibility and service to your people.
The Nigerian youths are often referredto as leaders of tomorrow. This commonly madeassertion is echoed by those in government whenever occasion calls in youth forum without genuinelyproviding veritable platforms or plans to transform the dream of an average Nigerian youth into a lofty reality. The youth on the other hand havecompletely ignored the inherent potentials in them to make the difference by striving hard to ensure that their own dreams come through.However, your nomination has to a reasonable extent changed the old narrative. This nomination is a testimony to the fact that even at a young age; Nigerian youths are capable of leading if given the opportunity.
The future of Nigeria is in the hands of the youth who forms nearly seventy (70%) of the bulk of the Nigerian population. It is instructive therefore, that this stratum of the Nigerian society should be actively engaged and groomed in governance and governance processes. There are many Nnazuas out there that are well equipped with the requisite education, knowledge and skills to lead in Nigeria but thetruth remains that the system and political leaders have failed tocreate such opportunities and the enabling environment.
In Nigerian politics, all is fair in love and war. It was been observed that a section of Kwara populace are not comfortable with this nomination. To them,age and experience bears testimony against you. It is normal to differ in politics especially when choices are made and some individuals or groups felt decisions fail to cover or protecttheir vested interest. Let those in doubt be told that age is simply a number therefore not a barrier to optimal performance but an asset for mobility bestowed only on the youth and sought after by organisations. After all, the old age of Methuselah has nothing to do with the wisdom of King Solomon. Instances of young men and women from Nigeria and throughout the world who performed beyond peoples’ imaginations insensitive public offices abound. One is convinced that history will be kind to you as one of such youth who came, saw and conquered. Bethat as it may, the governor has the prerogative to choose who to work with or sit at the state executive council.Let me remind you that this responsibility is a clarion call to perform even beyond your boss’ expectation. It is a burden you have to carry withself-restraint, maturity, wisdom, equanimity and all seriousness it deserves.
The foundation of your political career is constructed on this role. It is your choice to make or mar it. The doors of your office should be open to constructive criticisms and continuous learning. Therefore, learn to be a good listener in addition to being reasonable and circumspect. Be as wise as a Serpent but as gentle as a Dove. Put on the garment of humility and breast plate of caution and eternal vigilance.As humans, power corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. However, do not fail to remember the transient nature of power. Examples of men who misused power but paid dearly for it abound even here in Nigeria.Do you think history was kind to them? Governance is about people and people oriented policies and actions. As a grassroots mobiliser and an ardent advocate of community development, you are already cut out for the job by having to utilising the existing established network to ensure that the programmes of your yet to be assigned ministry is well implemented. Destiny has place on your shoulder a burden to serve and contribute your quota to state and nation building at a young age. To whom much is given, much is expected. Surround yourself with qualified, professional and credible aides. Always seek help from above and do not rely solely on people and your fallible mortal wisdom.
Occupying political office comes with its own associated challenges. However, you will surely overcome. Such are the best of places to make a difference and transform the needs and demands of the society into workable realities.By this nomination, you are called to serve and touch the lives of the ordinary Kwara people through the ministry that will soon be assigned to you.
Like Sun Tzu the Japanese veteran war strategist, your decisions and strategy is key to the performance of your duty.Sun Tzu’s strategy lesson number six will suffice here: “The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim.”A decision to act only is going to be successful if the action is appropriate for the situation presented. Having a quality strategy is very important, but being able to recognise the moment to strike and execute various aspects of your strategy is a very important skill as well.
This takes practice and requires you to be attuned with what is occurring in your respective marketplace.As a young woman and youth, you are at the moment a city built on the hill: a shining example and role model to most youths who aspire to reach your enviable height and position. Be meticulous as much as fair and just in your dealings withall. Once again you cannot afford to fail. Believe in Godand ask him for the uncommon wisdom he bestowed on Solomon to be able to excel. Always seek His face as you journey in this brand new political experience.The sky is your limit. Congratulations once more!
Eze writes from Lagos