The New Today


NNP needs new and younger leadership

The population of Grenada is much younger, however, its political establishment is much older. It is imperative to reiterate the commitment to including young people in decision-making at all levels.

We are bright, innovative, and tech-smart and have a unique perspective on our opportunities and challenges. We do a grave disservice to all in our communities when we fail to harness this exceptional talent and vitality.

Every year our youth unveils impressive feats and innovations conceptualised and executed by exceptional young people. Derick Sylvester showed us how to be a brilliant young lawyer. He found a way to deal with clients respectfully and courteously within the court system. He has shown us how to be kind and generous. He is deeply rooted in St. David’s as a man of the people and for the people.

Our youth are primed, ready, and hungry for the opportunity to lead and serve. We need to take charge of our future. It urges us to take action to ensure young people are truly represented in leadership and decision-making.

Youth Development will inspire more data-collection initiatives to measure young people’s prospects and inform policy around education, employment, health, and political participation.

Nothing should stand in the way of a young person’s access to quality education and training. We are also in a situation where remoteness or socio-economic background is still too a factor in education outcomes.

NNP needs to prepare young people like Derick Sylvester for leadership roles. This party needs to clearly articulate its commitment to increasing the number of youth candidates and the level of real youth engagement with a strategic and measurable set of actions and outcomes.

The Opposition leader should take this opportunity to dedicate his life to young people’s development and recognise that they are critical to our youth development goals.

It is strange, difficult and uncertain times for us all, but we cannot silence or ignore the voice and contributions of a population which represents our future and is, in many ways, disproportionately impacted by today’s global challenges.

Why should we not take part in politics? By the active participation of young members in politics and leadership in the 21st century we are given the message that younger leadership is mature and wise enough to understand their responsibility, and that they would give their mandate after carefully considering the candidates’ capabilities.

It is indeed obvious that the young people who ultimately will become the stalwarts in politics and one day will hold the reins in their hands.

Today’s young men and women are intelligent and educated. We have a high awareness level. We have the aspirations, beliefs, and faith to make our nation a superpower. But surely, it means the power of education and the power of economic prosperity.

Every political party needs a constant inflow of young and fresh talent. The strength of any organisation is the combination of youth and wisdom, and of experience and energy.

The NNP party needs to invest, and should invest in leadership which resonates with new, younger Grenadians and its voters. Not only is it going to invest in the health of our future, it will also invest in Grenada’s democracy.

Senior leaders do not have to give up their constitutional posts, but the party leaders, both senior and junior, need to re-energise and rebuild the party, at the grassroots level, at the cadre level, and from parish to parish.

The Grenadian voters will require fresh energy and fresh faces, and the NNP party leadership will be a combination of both experience and energy, youth and wisdom.

Former Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has himself, on multiple occasions, spoken about the need to invest in new energy and young leadership. It’s the talent, honesty and quality of a leader, rather than age and experience that matters.

This debate has started years ago between the young guard and the old guard, is just an excuse for him to blame the old guard for the recent electoral defeat and divert attention away from his failure to deliver as party leader.

NNP needs to go for deep and honest introspection and adopt a language and culture that connects with the masses, especially the youth. First-time voters overwhelmingly voted for Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell. It is the leader’s courage that matters; age is immaterial.

The need of the hour is for leaders who can lead from the front and have proven competence and intent. There should be only one concern: Can this person bring in new votes?

The NNP needs a new leader who can give the party a new vision, provide an alternative idea of governance to the voters, and give people the sense that the party is both willing and able to serve them. The new leader needs to command the respect of his party colleagues.

It is time for the NNP party to bring a generational change in its leadership. Age is not a factor in politics; it assumes significance in present day politics. Derick Sylvester will be able to attract the middle class, youth, and women voters in Grenada, Carriacou, and Petit Martinique.

The resignation of the Opposition Leader will allow the NNP to transform itself into a party that can connect with the people and understands their problems. The older generation of leaders should be a teacher or a guide to the gen-next instead of chasing party leadership’s post.

The NNP, under a new young leader, will be able to tap the energy of a young Grenada – more than 50 percent of the population is under 25.

For a younger leader, it would be easier to connect with the population and listen to their concerns – from lack of quality education and fewer job opportunities to the need to develop an ecosystem for start-ups.

The successor should not be the son or daughter of a party leader but a worker who has risen from the ranks and is aware of the ground reality.

There is also a need to restructure the party organisation and allow young leaders to come up with fresh ideas on how to take the party forward. If the party wants to bounce back and win elections, it needs to go for a complete overhaul.

Youthful Watcher