Comrade Joseph Koriyol is the leader of Tiv Youths Worldwide. The Voice Political Desk’s Terese Tse engaged him recently in an interview on the quest for youth leadership in Benue State. Excerpts:
Youths are agitating for political leadership, what is your position on this?
In my opinion, democracy is defined as the government of the people by the people and for the people. But from the inception of democracy in 1999 till date, youths have not been given that opportunity to participate fully in decision making. And with critical analysis you will discover that our leaders have not represented the interests of our country. But we cannot conclude that youths may do worse even if one youth has failed us. Let me give you an example in my home state where Suswam performed creditably as Governor of the State more than his elders. So, in summary if youths are agitating to be given opportunities for leadership come to 2023, there’ is nothing bad giving them a trial, but I must tell our youths that power is not giving, you fight for it.
What gives you the confidence that youths would do things differently if given leadership?
In every hundred percent situation, once you’re able to have 75-80% trust, you are already on the right track. The recent #EndSARS across the country by the unemployed angry youths was a sign that our youths are tired of this kind of leadership style from political leaders. Demeji Bankole did his best as the Speaker, House of Representatives as a youth.
There is a growing demand among the people of Zone C for power shift. What is your reaction to this clamour?
To be honest to ourselves, Benue State is backward just because of zoning. If we stick to the issue of zoning, are Zone C people not part of Benue? Don’t they have competent hands to rule the state? I am not criticizing here but What have our Tiv brothers done positively since inception of democracy apart from failure upon failure? Can you compare Nasarawa and Benue States in terms of development? For Once let us do away with the issue of sentiments and tell ourselves the bitter truth, Idoma people deserve to be given the mandate to rule this State in 2023.
What do you think can be done to make politics delightful as a form of governance?
There should be rules and regulations for elected office holders, in that way any leader who fails to provide dividends of democracy to his people should be recalled. And Politicians should not look at their offices as an opportunity to enrich themselves but to serve humanity and community in particular.
What would be your advice to Tiv youths particularly as consultations for 2023 heightens?
Tiv youths must as a matter of fact do away with the mentality of going from one Politician to another begging for money and making them believe that they could be giving overwhelming votes. The future and development of the State is in our hands, Tiv people were not known for begging,. Let me tell, my fellow youths that it is not every Political battle that we will fight. , if any Politician sends you to go and kill his opponent, tell him to send his children, we must stop being cheap before these Politicians who do not even want to see us at their gates shortly after assuming office.