By Hashim Suleiman
The usual Nigerian cliché which says ‘The Young People are Leaders of Tomorrow’ has perhaps not seen the light of the day to a lot of people but that is because we have not had time to critically dissect the matter and bring it to the limelight. Consequently, I have today chosen to use an apparent case study to highlight on this issue with a view to fostering mentorship and more effort and consistency from the young demography of Nigeria.
So, apparently, I and a friend had formed an NGO called One Heart Initiative for Equity and Good Leadership in 2014 with a view to mobilizing the youths for unity and demanding inclusion in the system in the short term and a total takeover owing to demography in the long term. In the process of such struggle, we had come across several young people from different walks of life from the partisan ones to those from Civil Society and Student Unions, notable amongst those were Ali George, Ahmed Magem, Presley Akhigbe (Concerned Nigerians and Influencers), Uche Chuta, Ariyo, Deji Adeyanju, Tomide Akinribido and Demola Olarenwaju (PDP Members, though some have since left), the numbers of young people that came from all parts of the country for the National Launching of the programme are too numerous but their patriotism and zeal for a prosperous nation must be commended.
Notably, however, the only APC member who partook in that programme and who chaired the event to the merriment and fanfare of everyone was Barrister Ismaeel Ahmed, the fanfare that greeted his arrival at the event was something that would ring in a mind forever, young people who filled up the Hall at Merit House, Maitama, Abuja was elated to witness his arrival and were all willing to have a snapshot with him both during and after the event, if this was not a classical show of a mentor with goodwill between his peers and beyond, what could ever be more. Barrister Ismail delivered his chairman speech aptly and presented certificates to our national and state officers accordingly, the event was well attended and was an absolute show of Nigeria at its united form.
Afterward, I paid keen attention to Barrister Ismail and did a little research on him while continuing till today. He has been involved in partisan politics since 2003 with the then introduction of the Buhari movement at the age of 23 (wooow), he continued with loyalty to the cause up until 2011 when he indicated interest and won the primaries to contest to represent the House of Representatives seat for the Nassarawa Constituency in Kano State, Nigeria. The struggle continued up until the merger to form APC in 2014 and the young man was quick to form alliances with major stakeholders of the alliance with the chief amongst them being the one with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu because he hosted a couple of the Asiwaju birthday colloquiums, that’s big if you ask me. A simple Google of APC activities videos will reveal a lot of Ismaeel Ahmed standing behind or beside most of the bigwigs of the party.
Finally, the most instructive of Barrister’s political characteristics is the fact that his goodwill transcends his own political party to the extent that most Civil Society organizations who wish to organize multipartisan events will most likely invite Ismaeel owing to such goodwill. Let me refer you to my 2015 article to APC where I had advised them to utilize the young brave guys titled “The Youth As a Source of Resource for APC Success in Governance” as a buttress to this paragraph, which can be read here: https://oneheartnaija.wordpress.com/2015/05/20/opinion/. He has the ability to mobilize people from other political leanings into APC but the apex of such may not have been noticed owing to the lack of commensurate political empowerment perhaps. If I was APC, as part of my strategic future development, I will rally the capture of the young population into the bank of the party around Barrister Ismaeel Ahmed by ensuring he was appropriately empowered to instill and renew the hope of the teeming young population just because they believe in him to the extent that they have christened him ‘Leader’.
May Nigeria succeed overall!
Hashim Suleiman can be reached via email@example.com