Nigerian media practitioners have been enjoined to bring back the glory days of responsive and responsible journalism that hallmarked the struggle against colonial rule in the pre-independent Nigeria. Moses Siloko-Siasia, Chairman of the Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF) made this call at a dinner with media executives in Lagos where the "Nigerian Elders Give Young People a Chance" campaign was launched recently.
Siloko-Siasia, who bemoaned the preponderance of the old and fading generation in the country’s leadership sphere called on Editors, Journalists, Bloggers and all Opinion Moulders to embrace the time-tested ideals of patriotism that fired the journalistic zeal of several Nigerian Nationalists who through media activism, created a Nigeria that made it possible for young professionals to hold commanding positions in the polity.
Explaining that the campaign was in tandem with the group's determination to engender a generational shift in governance, the NYPF leader urged the elderly among politicians to give the youth the chance to take over governance “as most problems currently bedeviling the country stemmed from the same people who had remained in leadership since independence and are still there directly or indirectly.”
"We are in a fast-paced world and any nation that does not create room for its young people to take over governance is living in the past.” "The tempo of global development today is high and only a young and vibrant leadership can cope. "It is high time Nigeria's young people were given a chance to assume leadership positions through elections and appointments," he said.
|Members of NYPF|
On the strategies to end the seeming dominance of gerontocracy visible in the sphere of Nigerian governance in recent time, Mr. Moses Siasia identified education as key to ending the vice grip of the fading generation on the economic system and governance.
He stressed that, the current generation of young people inherited a dysfunctional, decrepit, antiquated and antediluvian educational curricula in a warped system, “so we believe that we must start from the primary level of education to inculcate young Nigerians with the right values and ideas for purposeful governance as over the years, we have seen that our elders have refused to give young people a chance” he added.
While responding to the call for institutional support for the NYPF campaign, the Director General of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Mr. Sola Omole said that Young Nigerians have to prove their competence capacity to rationally challenge the ongoing status quo, “they have to bring all they have acquired skilfully and intellectually to takeover governance of the country.”
He stated that countries where young people are movers and shakers of the economy and governance exist because these young people fought to takeover by revolutionizing their system with modern ideologies and technologies. Mr Omole reiterated that the solution to the problem of Nigeria is for young Nigerian to be passionate towards making a change and demonstrate the capacity for the change.
On his own part, the Editor of Guardian Newspaper, Mr. Martins Oloja commended the NYPF for taking the campaign to the media, assuring the forum that the campaign will resonate with the media.
The Editor, called on the NYPF to rescue the system of education as the system is producing graduates that are not capable to create the capacity for change. He continued to stress that the Higher education system of the country has degenerated and those in leadership positions are not doing anything about it.
He called on Nigerians to hold their leaders responsible for education, to take the standard of our education from primary to secondary school level very seriously, reintroduce teacher-training colleges and many institutions that are needful in providing a higher standard of education.
Managing Director of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Olorogun Ima Niboro, said that the system has been eroded to the extent that what is left is shaking.
He emphasized that the framework of spending 6 years in primary school, five years in secondary school, one year for A Levels and three years in the university should be introduced because the framework produced professionals who were capable to create the needful change in Nigerian governance.