The initiator of the Youth Revolution Movement (YRM), David Esosa Ize-Iyamu, believes in social mobilisation of Nigerian youth population, to evolve a Nigeria where everything works. He is an astute administrator and a detribalised nationalist, with an unwavering passion for well-planned growth and development. In this interview, he told a group of journalists including City People’s Chief Sub-Editor, TAJUDEEN ADIGUN, why the Nigerian youth population should be active participants in the electoral process culminating in the 2019 general elections.
What is the Youth Revolution Movement all about?
The Youth Revolution Movement (YRM) is set up to prepare Nigerian youths for leadership and governance, starting from active involvement in the electoral process, from voter’s registration, through standing for election, to providing effective leadership wherever they are. Simply put, YRM seeks to transit Nigerian youths from being passive onlookers at the electoral process, to being committed active participants, who become the change they seek.
The YRM is neither violent nor militant, but a peaceful, yet has a firm and structured drive towards positive self-determination, national pride, social consciousness, and actual measurable change.
It is no secret that the youth population is the largest subgroup in our national demography, but unfortunately the larger percentage of this subgroup exhibits severe apathy towards leadership, politics or governance. I don’t blame them really, as their non-challant attitude is a direct consequence of absence of inspiring leadership that we all are experiencing and groaning under.
I believe that the youth have to be given a renewed hope in our country. They must truly believe in Nigeria again, and buy into owning this process of national re-evolution. Nigerian youths today are well informed, and aware of the leadership role that youths across the world are playing in driving social, political and economic changes. For instance, Nollywood was created from scratch by Nigerian youths without any government’s support. YRM is out to mobilise Nigerian youths to take the centre-stage in crafting the future of Nigeria.
How do you intend to awake youths from their political apathy?
Well, it is unfortunate that the existing political class has made it difficult for our youths to have any urge for inclusion. It is evident that the youth have been consistently disappointed with politicians’ promises. The massive gap between those promises, and quantifiable development, has fostered the feeling of political apathy. Sadly, this has dampened the desire for the majority of our youths to take the initiative for improvement or development.
Our youths are no longer moved by rhetoric. Their conversations on social media, on the streets, and in organised fora, show that they crave inspired, responsible, empathetic, and credible leadership. The YRM intends to inform, educate, lead, and sometimes sensitise the youths, to action and participation in the political value-chain. We will show practical and dynamic approaches to achieve solutions to national problems, and inspire the youths to take responsibility for those solutions. The youth must be so galvanised with finding to provide remedies that they would forget about finding faults and sitting on the fence. The truth is that the youth are actually interested in the political direction of Nigeria, but that interest needs to be mobilised from being passive to being active. YRM raises to the fore the latent interest and passion, to present opportunities for involvement, ownership and social advocacy.
What are the key objectives of the YRM? What are you trying to achieve?
Our mission is clear, and it is to prepare Nigerian youths for leadership and governance. We intend to transform Nigeria into a country where the youth are empowered and recognized in the corridors of power. For starters, we plan to move the youth towards willing, enthusiastic and energetic participation in our electoral process. We will reach out to similar youth groups that are springing up across the country, to ensure that the impact of the youth are felt in the 2019 ballots and beyond. We simply cannot miss this opportunity to take back Nigeria, and cause a rebirth of this great nation.
How will you reach out to the youth and get them involved?
My position as the National Youth Leader of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), already puts me on a unique pedestal to be able to positively influence and provide guidance for over 17 million Pentecostal youths across the country. This existing numerical strength of the PFN youth wing structure gives me a strategic platform to mobilise the youths across the regions effectively.
We will be rolling out “#BeTheChange” initiative, where youths would be mobilised to solve social problems in their localities. The idea is to entrench a new culture and way of thinking, where the youths could take positive action for change, as against always waiting for the government to solve problems or do something good we desire. We would guide them on the process of critical thinking, that would help them take action immediately, to fix niggling social issues, be it in transportation, sanitation, environment, security etc.
Youths and youth groups that are willing to join us could register on our website www.yrmng.com, so that they could join the local YRM fora, where details of the political revolution will be shared, as well as the actionable steps for them to be the change. Clearly, getting PVC is essential to their participation in the electoral process, so the YRM would be actively driving PVC registration and collection, to ensure that the greatest number of Nigerian youths are ready to intelligently cast their votes in 2019, and enthrone a new team of competent, capable and patriotic leaders across the nation.
Your plans seem idealistic. Will these plans be enough to ignite the youth’s interest in politics?
Our plans are based on strategic research, and are well thought out by teams of patriotic youths, who have both training and experience in the relevant fields to actualise these plans.
Further fora and town-hall meetings, both online and offline, have been scheduled, to ensure that we take on real feedback from youths, as the YRM evolves and grows nationwide. Simply put, we are ready, and are confident of the success of the YRM.
You may need to do more than just talking and posturing. Surely, the task of real mobilization of millions of Nigerian youths could not be so straightforward…
You are right in the sense that we have a massive task ahead of us, but it is one we are well prepared for, and have invested time and thought to strategise properly. Tension is high in the country, across religious, ethnic and regional divides, and this, on its own, presents problems to deploying national mobilisation of the magnitude that we envisage.
The good news is that we have the competent leadership within the YRM to significantly inspire commitment, passion and the necessary hard work crucial to achieving our objectives.
Nigerian youths have the numerical advantage in the electoral equations, and with resolve and determination, the YRM would guide the youth to take our national destiny in our own hands. The youth have the requisite education, street-level know-how, agility and energy, to peacefully, resolutely and uncompromisingly take on leadership roles.
As laudable as your objectives are, critics will not spare you…
It is normal to have nay-sayers, no matter what you are involved in, and the political arena is no exception. Our intentions are genuine and positive, demonstrably so too We are committed to our cause, and will not be distracted by criticisms from those who are unwilling to be the change, or afraid of the coming change in the political status quo. We will use those criticisms to further stay accountable to our mission, and measure our progress always.
How soon can the impact of the Youth Revolution Movement be seen or felt?
We can and will change the system. In a short term, all our youths from age 18 to 40 (at least), will be mobilised to register and get their voter’s cards, identify with a political party, and this will cause the existing political class to pay attention, and on election day, we will come out en masse to vote intelligently come 2019.
Nigerian youths will no longer remain confined to the boundary of followership, while unpatriotic, insensitive and incompetent politicians make a mess of our collective fortunes as a nation. We will be a great generation that lays the foundation for coming generations to be even greater. We will determine our own future. There is no going back on this. It is the time for the youth to reclaim Nigeria.