Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives, says democracy guarantees nothing but the opportunity to succeed and the risk of failure.
Dogara said this in Abuja while speaking at a regional conference for young parliamentarians.
He said the young parliamentarians forum has been a “huge success in Nigeria, as it has it has served as a driving force for the Nigerian parliament in pursuing youth-friendly legislation” and motions in the past three years.
“The climax is the passage of the ‘Not too Young to Run’ constitutional amendment bill by the national assembly with more than the required two-third majority of members,” he said.
“Lastly, it is no news that Africa is in need of selfless leadership, therefore, you must begin to tune your mind to how best you can serve your country and it should start at this conference. To lead tomorrow you must be prepared for it today. What is the essence of fighting for leadership positions not prepared for?
“Let me warn that democracy only provides you with the opportunity to succeed and the risk of failure. In as much as most governments are being encouraged to be involved in youth engagement, young people on their own part must be sensitive to the fragile nature of democracy, especially in the African environment.
“We must not allow ourselves to be used as instruments of political or economic instability; rather every young person must wear a robe of vigilance as eternal vigilance is the price we must all pay in order to safeguard our democracy and the liberty that it offers.”
He said it is a curse to have leaders who are not prepared for their positions.
Dogara added that while preparation does not guarantee that an individual would succeed in leadership, failure to prepare is a guarantee for failure.
“I believe that it is a curse to have leaders who are not prepared for their positions. While preparation does not guarantee that the person so prepared would succeed in leadership but lack a preparation is surely a guarantee for failure. This is partly the curse of leadership in Africa,” Dogara said.
“It will take the youth who must build solutions for tomorrow’s problems today to rise to the occasion and end this palpable leadership curse on Africa. So many generations of Africans have had their youth stolen from them by the very people they called leaders.
“The time has come and now is the time for us to empower and free the creative energy of our youth if the outcome in Africa must be radically different from what obtains at the moment. This can only be achieved through networking among African youths such as we are doing today.”