Presidential aspirant and National Youth Leader of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Rev. David Ize-Iyamu, recently launched Youth Revolution Movement (YRM), a new political group. He speaks in this interview on plans by the group to change the country’s current leadership in the forthcoming 2019 general elections. TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE reports
What is the Youth Revolution Movement (YRM) 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 registration, through standing for election, to 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 firm and structured drive towards positive selfdetermination, 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 the larger percentage of this sub-group exhibits severe apathy towards leadership, politics or governance.
I don’t blame them really, as this has been a direct consequence of the lack of inspiring leadership that we all have experienced and groaned under, in our recent history. I believe that the youths have to be given renewed hope in our country; they must truly believe in Nigeria again, and buy into owning this process of national reevolution.
Nigerian youths today are well informed and aware of the leadership role that youths across the world are taking in driving social, political and economic change. For instance, Nollywood was created from the scratch by Nigerian youths without government support. YRM is out to mobilise Nigerian youths to take the centre-stage in crafting the future of Nigeria.
What are the key objectives of the YRM and 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 youths are empowered and recognised in the corridors of power.
For a start, we plan to move the youths towards willing, enthusiastic and energetic participants 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 elections and beyond. We simply cannot miss this opportunity to take back Nigeria, and cause a rebirth of this great nation.
How do you intend to inspire the youth to wake from the slumber of political apathy?
Well, it is unfortunate that the existing political class has made it difficult for our youths not to have any feelings of inclusion. It is evident that the youth have been consistently disappointed with politician’s promises.
The massive gap between those promises, and quantifiable development, has fostered this feeling of political apathy. Sadly this has dampened the desire for the majority of our youth 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 organized forums, show that they crave inspired, responsible, empathetic, and credible leadership. The YRM intends to inform, educate, lead, and sometimes incentivize the youths to action and into participating 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.
How will you reach the youth and get them involved?
My position as the National Youth Leader of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria already puts me in the 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 youth across the regions effectively.
We will be rolling out “#BeTheChange” initiative, where youths will be mobilised to solve social problems in their localities.
The idea is to entrench a new culture and way of thinking, where the youths can take positive action for change, as against always waiting for the government to solve problems or do something desired. 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 can register on our website www.yrmng. com, so that they can join the local YRM forums, where details of this 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 will be actively driving PVC registration and collection, to ensure that the greatest numbers 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. Already, we’re mobilising at least over 17 million PVCcarrying youths to bring about a genuine change in this country.
Your plans seem idealistic. Will these plans be enough to ignite the youths’ 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 the actualisation of these plans.
Further fora and town-hall meetings, both online and offline, have been scheduled, to ensure that we take on real feedback from the youths, as the YRM evolves and grows nationwide. Simply put, we are ready, and are confident of the success of the YRM. Don’t you think that you may need to do more than just talking and posturing as the task of real mobilization of millions of Nigerian youths cannot be that easy?
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 present problems to deploying national mobilization 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 equation, and with resolve and determination, the YRM will 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 as some will rightly or wrongly describe you as a flash in the pan. How would you react to that?
It is normal to have naysayers, 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 YRM be seen or felt?
We can and will change the system. In the short term, all our youth from age 18 to 40 at least, will be mobilised to register and get their voter’s cards, identify with political parties, and this will cause the existing political class to pay attention, and on election day, we will come out en masse to vote intelligently.
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