At a time when the Muslim ummah, particularly in South-Western Nigeria is facing unprecedented challenges and some brothers with critical thinking are advocating a paradigm shift from gerontocratic leadership currently in operation, the youths or those within the most productive age brackets are themselves not willing and ready to take up responsibilities and continue to favour the extension of the old hegemony.
The funniest thing is that the traditional chieftaincy institutions where we expect this practice to continue have embraced the new idea of fielding their younger generation.
The importance of fielding a healthy, charismatic and vibrant younger generation cannot be overstated in view of plethora of evidence in Islamic history that most of the achievements recorded in the propagation and spread of Islam were achieved by our leaders in their most productive ages.
I’m not being selfish, I’m no longer a youth, yet I’m advocating for the leadership of the youth.
The youths all over the world have the capacity for creative thinking and critical inquiry. They are charismatic and mostly healthy. They go for what they believe in and achieve them without looking back. To this end, the task before us is to reorientate them and begin to push them forward to perform responsibilities.
To really understand what I’m saying, let us go back to the seerah and review the age of the Prophets of Allah, the companions, Islamic scholars and Muslim leaders who made tremendous contributions to Da’wah, scholarship and leadership.
Even in social lives, majority of the makers of civilization, scientists, philosophers and social reformers were youths when they achieved what they achieved.
We just must review the narratives and let the youth lead. We cannot continue to be afraid of leadership by the youths just because few of them fumbled.
By this submission, I’m not advocating a complete hands-off approach, I’m only saying we should let the youth fly and when they are about to sink, we should prevent it and if they have already sunk we should rescue them. In that way, they will continue to learn and advance.
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