Alhaji Shehu Dalhatu, Chairman, Maitama Sule Leadership Lecture series organised by the Students Wing, Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) at the College of Education, Gumel, Jigawa State on Wednesday, advised the students as future leaders to work by casting their votes for competent leaders that would restore the lost glory of the region and the country as a whole since 1999.
According to Alhaji Dalhatu, the majority of those in leadership positions in local government councils and state assemblies are below the age of 40 and wondered why students in the same age bracket are not working to check their excesses and ensure the right thing is done for the development of the country.
He stressed, “Councillors and state assembly members are your contemporaries that are below the age of 40 and they are the ones that rule Nigeria directly being closer to the communities. You must create a network of students to checkmate bad leadership and call out bad leaders who only remember the people when they need votes.”
He stated that the students are the ones used to conduct a national census, conduct voter registration but used to put bad leadership in place, calling on them to take control of their destiny and future as every revolution throughout history begins with students.
He also reminded the students that they are the natural and legitimate claimants to the task of shaping the destiny of the society, stressing that the present crop of aged leaders is fast passing out in the country.
The chairman described politicians as “unscrupulous”, adding that they tend to manipulate the cleavages of religion and ethnicity to cause mass disaffection and bring about sharp divisions in society for their selfish quest for power and wealth.
In a keynote address, Dr Saidu Ahmed Dukawa, a lecturer of the institute, observed that to underscore the importance of students’ vigilance over the direction the country is headed to, statistics have shown the rise in students enrollment from 2000 in 1900 to more than two million in 2020.
He stated that the students must take charge of their own affairs by identifying themselves and knowing where they head to, saying that to be able to take control, they must understand the nature of the polity by participating in the political process.
Dr Saminu Umar, another lecturer, lamented that at no time has free and credible elections ever been conducted in Nigeria by what he referred to as lying political elite who manipulate religion, ethnicity and regional sentiments to distort the minds of the electorate.
He recounted that religious and ethnic bigots have exploited cleavages of religious, ethnic and regional nature to influence the average impregnable minds to get them to elect people whom they would otherwise not vote.