THE NIGERIA OF OUR DREAMS: YOUTHS AS ‘CORE’ PARTICIPANTS IN THE NATION’S AFFAIRS
At a tender age, I often heard great elites, kings, and men of high class discuss vehemently on Nigeria, focusing on her politics, government, sports, culture, and others, as they sipped their expensive wine from their wine glasses.
As I grew, it dawned on me that this subject was not just a discussion reserved for the rich alone, but even the poor could talk about it. It was not just for the learned, even the illiterate had a clue. Only age could limit someone from participating actively in this collective patrimony – Nigeria.
As a youth, the essence of these commentaries, agitation, furies, appreciation, applaud, commendation, and approbation is now crystal clear to me like the biblical Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin. I have seen why three or more youths can not sit together without talking about our nation.
Surprisingly, I have observed that the Nigerian youths are only warriors behind the screen, they agitate for good governance only on social media the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and others, while they continuously shy away from the responsibilities which when properly responded to could rescue this nation from metamorphosing into a state of anomie; brainwashing themselves with false hopes and seeking solace under cheap philosophical injunctions and deductions such as ‘the youths are the leaders of tomorrow’. Let me quickly bring to your notice the fact that ‘today is the tomorrow you prayed for yesterday’. So the youths are the leaders of today.
Until we the youths consciously decide to take our place, the ‘core’ of the government of our nation in politics, governance, culture and other aspects, we may end up as spectators who will have nothing but the same bitter generational stories of our nation to pass on to the next generation. We must comply to avert transferring complains to the younger generation.
I often say that commonsense though not common, is the license needed to drive one’s dreams. Therefore, if we want to witness the Nigeria of our dream then we must
- massively and actively participate in elections at the various levels of the government.
From my research, it is alarming that many Nigerian youths who advocate for a better nation, who criticize analytically some leaders of the nation and their appointees alike at the various levels of government do not have a Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC). This is so, not because the government has failed in providing voting materials as well as the PVC’s, but because they have erroneously concluded within themselves not to participate in the affairs of the government. They have unabatedly forfeited their civil right. How will the change come?
- say no to election rigging.
It’s ignorance that reduces a lot of youths from being core participants in the nation’s politics to mere political thugs. If you do not know your rights, you will be treated like a rat. We must be ready to tell corrupt leaders that we are tired of their presstitute, mendaciloquence and zabernism. We are tired of being used as thugs and thorns.
- vehemently say no to ‘vote sale’.
Shamefully as it sounds, at many polling units, citizens sell their votes at embarrassing prices. The highest bidder party takes the vote. This is saddening. We can not afford to keep trading our future as well as that of our unborn children for few nairas and thousands of nairas.
- unanimously say NO to ‘chop I chop ‘ tradition.
I am maniacally bewildered at the ‘chop I chop’ and ‘I alone’ tradition, especially when it involves youths. The youths are learned people, constituted mostly of graduates. It is expected of us to shun this hilarious act. Such acts can not bring into manifestation the Nigeria we yell for.
- stop the spread of fake news.
This is a great social stigma. It tarnishes the images of good people and twists the views and perceptions of the citizens towards their leaders and the government at large. This could result in political apathy.
- shun robbery and criminal activities such as fraud (cybercrimes – yahoo).
It is no news today that the ‘lazy Nigerian youths’ have taken to fraud as a means to quick wealth. ‘If yahoo pays, Yahweh pays better’. Believe in God and work hard you will be successful. It is wrong work that wearies, not hard work.
- discourage and alienate cultism.
Cultism enslaves you. It buys off your freedom and your will from you. A man without a will of his own is just a wheel in the hands of another. A man without a will can not cause a positive change. We need willful Nigerians who will willingly bring the transformation of our dreams to our nation.
- say NO to examination malpractices.
A half-baked bread can never taste like a fully baked bread. Half baked graduates will produce hazardous results. This could be the reason for the loss of trust of the government towards homemade graduates. Hence, they prefer contracting foreign companies and contractors to handle the nation’s projects. It is saddening. This could also be the reason behind the resentments people show towards home-made products. It is painful when products manufactured in Nigeria bear ‘made in China’ label just to attract and convince customers and earn their trust in the products’ quality and durability. Together, we can change the writings on the wall.
In conclusion, a dream will remain a dream and may even be forgotten when the memory cells of the hippocampus of the brain deteriorate like in amentia patients, if necessary steps are not taken to make it a reality. If we are bold enough to talk about it, then we should be ready enough to make it a reality at all costs. If we can see it, then we can cease it.
God bless Nigeria.