By Jasper Azuatalam
The young people have energy and are at the peak of their lives. They are supposed to be the active class of a viral population. The future of a nation and her well being rests, on the shoulder of their young population. The strength of a nation is in her youths. These are sayings that are generally accepted as facts.
However, these appear not to be the case of the present Nigerian youths. The Nigerian youth of today is fun and pleasure seeking than work. They seek things that will give pleasure than things that will add value to their lives. They show little or no concern to the way the affairs of the country are run, but are given to frivolity.
An average Nigerian youth will pay and spend hours watching a football match, but will not spend such time to attend national events. An average Nigerian youth can pay to travel to Europe to watch the final of UEFA champions’ league, but will not apply to attend Obamas conference in America for free.
About 2000 Nigerians applied for the last one, if it had been a call to apply to watch the UEFA champions league live, more than 10 million young Nigerians would have applied.
The young people of today out of their yearning for fun and pleasure are complaining that they have not been given opportunity to grab power. They accuse the elders of holding on to power and not giving them the opportunity to get power. This shows that the only reason they want power is because they consider power as a direct access to fun and pleasure.
They do not talk about taking responsibilities, creating opportunities and favorably competing with the elders. Those who seized power today were not given, they fought for it, but the Nigerian youth of today want to sit back and have power thrown to them.
Before you seek to lead the nation, how many young people are leaders in their families? How many young people are doing better than their parents? If you are not doing better than your parents, then you are not ripe for them to hand over power to you.
If the young people of the late 50s and 60s were busy watching Premier league, Champions League, Night of a thousand laughs, AY Live, Warri Again, and all the fun filled cinemas and clubs like the young ones do today, we would have remained under the colonial masters.
An average Nigerian youth will pay N200, 000 for a table to watch comedians crack jokes, travel to Europe to watch the Champions league and catch fun at the most expensive club in town, but when you call the same class of young people to attend a symposium or summit where experts will teach skills, provide insight on leadership and nation building, they will not find such a place attracting, even without a fee.
If these crops of young people were the same before independence, Nigeria would have remained in the hands of her colonial masters till date. Those that fought for the independence of Nigeria were all young people. The eldest was Late Nnamdi Azikiwe who was 46yrs old. Awolowo was 37, Akintola 36, Ahmadu Bello 36, Balewa 34, Okotie-Eboh 27, and Enahoro 27, when they led the struggle for independence after the death of Macaulay.
In 1966, the first coup was led by: Kaduna Nzeogwu 29 and countered by Murtala Mohammed 28, Theophilus Danjuma 28, Babangida 25, Nanven Garba 23, Sani Abacha 23, Shehu Musa Yaradua 23, and brought into power Gowon 32. The subsequent coups brought into power: Ojukwu 33, Obasanjo 29, and Buhari 24. The brief democratic dispensation which interjected the military regimes also saw the House of Representatives in particular populated by a majority of members under 30 years as well as some senators
These people were not only leaders and active in the nation; they were first, leaders in their families. They were the bread winners of their families. Many of them had parents that were alive and healthy, but they took charge of their homes, took responsibilities and relegated their parents to men and women who give elderly advice to their young ones.
Nnamdi Azikiwe’s father did not play any role towards independence, but the son took the challenge and fought for independence. An average Nigerian youth of today at 25yrs old is still being fed and provided for by the parents. Many still live under their parents’ roof and have no responsibility of their own, let alone, a family of their own.
Today’s youths are docile and indifference to the well being of their nation. They do not care when things are going wrong, they do not make efforts to get things right and they don’t strive to create opportunities. They are complaining and giving excuses why they are not productive. They are waiting for the elders to step aside and call them to come and take over leadership, but they have refused to acquire skills and prove their skills for leadership.
They do not ask and demand for equity, good governance, accountability and Transparency, instead, they have taken to ethnicity, tribalism and religious bigotry. They are only good to be used as thugs, kidnappers, terrorists, voters, but are not good to be voted for. Fix a football match and Nigerians youths will gather in their millions, but call for a protest against missing funds and other corrupt practices, they will go about their normal duties.
No one will relinquish power to you. No one will throw power to you and no one will hand power over to you. You must show that you are capable, you must compete favorably and you must step out to participate before you can be eligible to take power and leadership. The only way forward for Nigerian youths is to step out, take part and take charge.
Comrade Jasper Azuatalam is National President of the Movement for Accountability and Good Governance.
Get more stuff like this
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.