Youth generally implies the period between childhood and adulthood. According to the African Youth Charter(Ndekezi, 2019) youths are people within the age of 15 and 35 years. While the concept of good governance and leadership is intertwined with development of any democratic state. As an end-product, development will never be actualized through good governance and leadership without the youths. Therefore, the integration of youths is a prerequisite for any nation to survive in this century of ours.

Being one of the richest states in Nigeria, Oyo state have a population exceeding 8 million(NIPC, 2020), with youth representing more than 50 per cent of it. The state as much other states in Nigeria as the world is endowed with the greatest asset of development and also the biggest risk, which is the youths. An instance is in Burkina Faso, a young revolutionary leader, Thomas Sankara, who later became the president at the age of 33 fought for participatory democracy, justice, anti-corruption and the liberation of Africa.

Conversely, youths would be the biggest risk where they are used for drugs, armed robbery and terrorism, especially when they are manipulated by warlords, politicians and terrorists with selfish will or power.

Although, the major elements of good governance are transparency, efficient and effective administration, accountability, freedom of expression, good quality of life of citizens, and improved public services among others(Srivastava, 2009), the Pace-setter state along with other Nigerian states experience some constraints ranging from lack of rule of law, corruption, ineffective service delivery, lack of transparency and accountability by public office holder(Waziri, 2009) to poor governance, leadership and development.

Fortunately, with the incumbent administration which began in 2019, there is now a springboard for development as the administration is ready to transform and promote good governance. Thanks to the Governor of the state for being hell-bent to his words when he declared that; “The pacesetter state (Oyo state) would be known for good governance all through his tenure and stressing that his administration was bent on delivering good governance to the people”.

His excellency also maintained that as long as he remained in the saddle as the governor of the state, the state would continue to be renowned across the country and the world for good governance and excellent service delivery to the people (Feyisipo, 2020).

Role of the Youths
In achieving good governance and leadership for development as emphasized above, the role of youths cannot be underestimated. Because a better future prospects can only exist for any state where the youths are contributing immensely in its governance and development.

To start with, youths are needed to participate positively in the mainstream politics . It is not new some of them are disastrous while others are civil. However, political violence has been the essential role youths have played over the years. Even in the recent wave of social disorder, youths are mostly manipulated and weaponized by dominant political elite to rig elections, maintain a strain status quo of political leaders, and to achieve forceful decisions(Aboyade, 2020). The ongoing issue of protest in the state show how grossly the youths have been negatively used to disrupt public peace.
In addressing this issue, there is need for providing platforms convincing youths to positively participate in the state’s politics. This is achievable by laying a clear cut political ideology of major parties where youths are used to perpetrate political violence, and also by creating a youth wing in these parties with proper education of the essence of good governance, leadership and development.
This step could also create an innovative credible force towards political renewal and intrusion into government process through awareness programs, which may direct their mindset positively in contributing to the state’s development.

In light of this, an additional role of the youths is to parade themselves as agent of political socialization. This is in the sense of forming political values and how political culture is diffused in the society. This process would ultimately determine how youths form their political attitudes and political culture collectively in the state. It would also make the youths preserve good conscience by insisting on due process and fair play in promoting good governance.

Another role of the youths is making use of innovative technology to promote good governance and leadership process in Oyo state. According to Sanni(2019) “the political and economic survival of any nation relies on its ability to cope with the challenges of the 21st century and these are to be seen in the areas of new media/socia media, artificial intelligence, robotics and ICT driven new knowledge systems”.

The question now is how can the youths promote good governance, leadership and development through technological innovations in Oyo state?. With the youths’ technological savviness, transparency, accountability and citizen engagement in governmental affairs would be interesting and sustainable. Youths could use technology to help increase civic engagement through using of social media to encourage citizen participation in election and governance.

Moreover, public awareness would be raised more which might help in influencing policy-making decisions by the government via online surveys and social media. Through crowdsourcing specifically by the youths, the people of the state could engage the government more effectively on their views on its policies or stringent issues, which can help shape the functioning of the government and ensure transparency.

For instance, bringing the case of December 2016 in Cote d’Ivoire, the citizens were able to denounce some weird provisions of the draft Constitution of the country which was not presented to the public through an anonymous digital activist groups(N’Gotta, 2016).

It is beyond the need of microscopic scrutiny that the role to be played by youths in promoting good governance, leadership and development in Oyo state is imperative. Especially if the youths are engaged in political processes such as holding public offices, and political issues. The roles provided in this paper would be pragmatic by strengthening youths in the state through safeguarding their rights, and encouraging outstanding youths in various fields.

The writer can be contacted via pelumiabdul01@gmail.com; 09080481955

P.M Ndekezi, “Youth Participation in Governance in Africa” available at https://minds-africa.org/youth-participation-in-governance-in-africa/ accessed 05 November 2020.
NIPC, “Nigerian States: Oyo state”. Available at https://nipc.gov.ng/nigeria-states/oyo-state/ accessed on 05 November 2020.
M. Srivastava, “Good Governance- Concept, Meaning and features: A Detailed Study” https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1528449 accessed 06 November 2020.
F. Waziri, “Leadership and the Challenges of Good Governance in Nigeria” available at https://www.proshareng.com/news/Nigeria-Economy/Leadership-and-the-Challenges-Of-Good-Governance-In-Nigeria-/14388 accessed 07 November 2020.
R. Feyisipo, “Oyo State would be known for Good Governance throughout my Tenure- Making” available at https://www.google.com/amp/s/businessday.ng/politics/article/oyo-state-will-be-known-for-good-governance-throughout-my-tenure-makinde/amp/ accessed 08 November 2020.
O. Aboyade, “Youth and the Political Involvement: A Case Study of Oyo State” available at https://www.academia.edu/32741476/YOUTH_AND_POLITICAL_INVOLVEMENT_A_CASE_STUDY_OF_OYO_STATE accessed 09 November 2020.
S. Sanni, “The Nigerian Youths and the Imperatives of Good Governance” available at https://www.thecable.ng/the-nigerian-youth-and-the-imperatives-of-good-governance/amp accessed 09 November 2020.
S. N’Gotta, “YALI Voices: How can we inspire Young People to use Technology for Promoting Transparency and Accountability in West Africa” available at https://yali.state.gov/yali-voices-how-can-we-inspire-young-people-to-use-technology-for-promoting-transparency-and-accountability-in-west-africa/ accessed 10 November 2020.

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