By Philip Brandford Adams
It is only in Nigeria that the youths are not regarded despite their indispensable contribution to the development of their country, they are the active members of the society but intentionally denied the position or status, which they deserve. Youths are backbone to all nations. They can change the future of the society with their wellbeing and courageous behavior if given a chance. It is dreary and melancholy on how some swarms number of the Nigerian youths who supposed to take the country to a greater height have fallen prey to the intrigues, whims and caprices of the old order due to their Achilles heel of indolent nature which makes them, to be taking for granted and strictly consider as nothing but a poodle and cannon fodder that is often used for a selfish gains by some opportunistic top dogs, and aged political leaders who are already weak and incapacitated to lead. Those leaders are dearth of the leadership wherewithal’s and progressive ideas in developing the country because of their glairing old age, but the refused to allow the younger ones to take over the mantle of leadership from them due to their selfishness and un-patriotic nature. They turn the country’s political offices in to a dynasty empire where they only allow their cartel politico, kith and kin or somebody that can genuflect and dance to their tune to replace them, using their cocktail mendacious selfish claim that the country’s political leadership is their birth right.
Nigerian youths constitute the majority of the voters across the country, they are indeed the integral and linchpin facet of the society; they offer that specific jazzy of theirs which complements the societal wholeness. Nigeria as an entity will not survive without the youths, but it is unfortunate that the youths are often been relegated to the background from the corridor of leadership, they are allured by their aged political leaders and kept in a coop of despair which is gradually becoming their kismet via the cliché, “Leaders of tomorrow” for the past fifty years. It is always seldom and by fortuity for an average Nigerian youths to assume the mantle of leadership whether from the chain of civil service or politics due to the self-centered and clannish fixture of jockeying and maintaining power by the elites.
It’s really befuddle and grody to discover that it is only in Nigeria that where youths have no hope into the future, they have been rejected and dejected for not been given a chance to even their contemporaries around the globe.
With the present implosion of the Nigerian economic and the entire political system which led to the chronic unprecedented poverty in the country, is a clear indication that the plans of the Nigerian elites to maintain their perpetual grip over power have gone awry, since our aged political office holders have shown their incapacitation in leading the country. Nigerian nascent democracy need a young vibrant and intelligent sitters but the question is, are they prepared to take over from their aged political leaders, are they ready to stop acting on the springboard of irresponsible and cowardice? Nigerian youths of nowadays have been often accused of spending their time doing drugs, criminal gangs, kidnappers, nights partying and hired thugs by the failed politicians in order to attack their political rivals on elections days and most especially this days on social media as amateur media aids and inter alia. Instead of been focus and responsible, struggling with all vigor in order to dovetail and become in tune with the dynamic modern world, they end up having no vision and if they do have dreams they do not have the drive to make any attempt at achieving them. Despite the fact that some of our youths have failed, we still have those that are determined, they are educated, hardworking, intelligent with a sharp edge that can cut deep and accomplish their vision through sheer force of will. They have grand ambitions and plans, they have not been stain by the intrigues and cynicism of the old order. Instead, they are filled in the brim with hope, and the kind of energy which can make an insurmountable tasks possible. The kind of fiery passion for great Nigeria which can move mountains.
It is high time for the Nigerian youths to pick up the cudgel and defend the future of their country. The present and the future of Nigeria must be shape by the patriotic young enlightened minds.
By and large, it is time for all Nigerian elites to stop their solo kind of leadership, they should mellow out to their younger ones by carrying them along, and they should prepare them to be good captains of the ship by mentoring them, “we cannot always build the future for our youths, but we can build our youth for the future” ‘Franklin D. Roosevelt’. Young men are the harbingers of the new Nigeria, they are the trumpet-bearers and the leading commanders in a war front. Young Nigerian men and women should know that they are the leaders of today and not tomorrow, all the need to do is to make it happen. They should not be allured or parry away again with the cliché “leaders of tomorrow” when the vision of being a leaders seems to have completely dwindled yesterday and now today we are left like a sheep without shepherd. It seems everything we had hope and envisaged for especially been a great leaders of our country have been fizzled but we will not lose hope. As a young men, you can allow yourselves to stay your course and do nothing or you can rise above what the cynics around you expect and go get educated or get jobs. Show the older generation they are wrong about you. Let them know you have intelligence and skills. Show yourself what you are made of and you might be surprised at how proud of yourself you will become with even a little of accomplishments. Our country is in dire needs of the young men’s ability and capacity in development.
Finally, Nigerian ruling elites owe youths a duty to selflessly provide a healthy and enabling environment for them to test their mettle as business leaders, decision makers, heads of nation and governments. All profession require young, strong, talented, qualified and determined personalities. Young men are the roots of success of every society, all the need is to be guided by their elders. Thus the “power of youths must be harnessed properly to set the society on the path of change” (Dr. APJ Abdul Kamal).
PHILIP BRANDFORD ADAMS
WRITES FROM THE UNITED NATION UNIVERSITY FOR PEACE