We should empathize with President Muhammadu Buhari’s honesty and his current self-inflicted brouhaha. Buhari is being badly managed by his handlers. I also strongly sympathize with my contemporary Nigerian youth group for being numbed to truths. Are we jinxed? The current demographic makeup of Nigerian youth is flourishing in the democratization of divisiveness, ignorance and naughtiness. There is no cohesive strategy on the part of the youth for unity and development.
Ignorance could be blissful to those who think they know-it-all, but it is dangerous to those who can discern it. It is mind boggling and very disturbing to see how we have veered away from the road to rediscovering ourselves. I honestly identify with the serious ones among the youth, and I know where the shoe pinches. But I am so terrified of the polarization among the Nigerian youths. This margin of polarization keeps widening every day.
Yes! Some of us are “lazy” hard working young men and women. We still manage to thrive in the midst of unreachable potential and economic prosperity in Nigeria. We struggle daily to survive in the midst of plenty and hopelessness (plenty of commonwealth only available to the political elites and their cronies). There are some pertinent questions, among others begging for answers from responsible citizens and other stakeholders in Nigeria:
1. Do we blame the youths for the deliberate impoverishment and dehumanization of the Nigerian youth and Nigeria in general?
2. Can the youths be blamed for the deliberate indifference of their leaders to safeguard their present and future?
3. Is the youth responsible for the sustained hedonism and ostentatious lifestyles of its leaders?
4. Is it fair enough for our leaders to evade their responsibilities and blame them on the “grotesque laziness” of the Nigerian youths?
5. Does the present youth have the same opportunities their leaders had while their leaders were in their youthful age?
All these amongst others are fair questions to ask our leaders who are either avoiding or abdicating their duties and responsibilities to the youth. Mr. President’s disarming and pungent statement is a mixed grill that is being consumed willy-nilly by everyone. It is also a great elixir and catalyst for the youth to take back their future with urgent responsibility. The controversial statement by our president, and our dirty linen washed in the international gathering was an instructive submission that lacks blameless responsibility and diplomatic diction, but it is also a great edification for those who can unearth hidden treasures from the wisdom and gaffes of our leaders.
This writer has been privileged to be in the United States for more than a decade now. Anytime he travels home is always an admixture of sorrow and happiness. Sorrow in the sense that the country is worse than he left it; and happiness in the sense that he comes home to feel the social life he has greatly missed from his root.
Meanwhile, if an average Nigerian youth had the opportunities that abound in the developed countries, the youth will be nesting in the euphoria of self-development and tranquility. How our leaders want Nigerian youth to thrive in a wasteland that lacks opportunities is not only pretentious, unimaginable and self-serving, it is disturbing, preposterous and appalling.
It is noteworthy to let our leaders know that we the youth are not lazy in the real sense of it. The long decade of economic mismanagement by our leaders is responsible for the docility of some supposed “lazy” Nigerian youths. But sincerely speaking, the problems and faults rest squarely on the doorstep of the leadership in Nigeria. In retrospect, when a father blames the misfortune and wretchedness of a household on the children, the head of the family should be made to understand that he has initially failed in his responsibility to provide the basic needs of every individual in the family.
What the “lazy” Nigerian youth needs to go forward is to show their leaders that they are not lazy. How to do this? It is by being a responsible youth to take their present and future back from their mindless leaders. I was ruminating over some incredible and successful Nigerian youths in the diaspora; countless numbers of Nigeria youths are phenomena in their various professions abroad.
It hurts to see fellow citizens suffering in the midst of plenty. It bleeds one’s conscience to see the Diasporas’ immense contributions to the development of their resident’s countries in all areas of human endeavors.
Furthermore, if the Nigerian youth could read and comprehend didactic history books and other instructional writings like they consume sport and entertainment news; mesmerize in Owambe parties (Takasufe), and other luscious social nuances on television and the internet, we won’t have any problem plaguing the nation like we currently have in the country. The current Nigerian youths domicile in bibliophobia. They’re bibiliophobes who hate books. They can hardly read long essays let alone reading resourceful books that will fertilize their minds to emancipate themselves. The days of James Hadley Chase, Mills and Boon (M&B), the Alawiye by J. F. Odunjo, Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irunmole and Elegbeje by F.O. Fagunwa are all gone. We are on the brink of cyberpocalyse! The objectifying and sensuality of women have become epidemic. Women have been reduced to a cesspool of sexual orgies and pleasures. The impending social tsunami may consume some people if proper education is not embarked upon.
Nigerian youth would have to acquaint itself with the tumultuous history of the country, but our deteriorating reading culture is not encouraging. The youth must be told that reading and comprehending what they read daily will help them to understand the minds and perceptions of their leaders. They should stop being a willing tool for political expediency.
President Muhammadu Buhari gaffes again in his assertion to brand even a tiny Nigerian youth being generally lazy to provide for their basic needs. It is disheartening to note that every Nigerian is a government of himself or herself in the provision of basic amenities for daily survival. It is also disturbing how our president generously advertises the burdens of the youth in the global community. Nigerian youths are the most energetic, resourceful and opportunistic individuals in any environment they find themselves. We thrive tremendously in any land of opportunity that provides the Nigerian youth opportunity to advance. Examples of hardworking Nigerian youths abound everywhere in the world. We are breaking barriers in human capital development. No matter how some of us the impassioned Buharists try to embellish the statement made by president Buhari at the Commonwealth meeting recently, what is bad is bad; when truth is grossly inadequate to explain our honest intention on germane issues, it is onus on some of us, if not all, to be diplomatic, honest, fine-tune and walk a fine line to make our assertions consumable in the minds of all citizens. The president was avoiding political correctness, in the process, he goofed. The president’s faux pas were needles and rationally indefensible!
Those who are unfortunate to be in Nigeria without any opportunities, like other privileged youths don’t have any choice than to look up to the government for assistance. These are underprivileged people, which include the disabled individuals, the orphans, widows and uneducated Nigerian youths. Some have looked for a job with no jobs available at their disposals. I remember when I had my first degree in Nigeria in the late 90s, I wrote countless of applications to get a subsistence job for sustenance, and to cater for my family with no respite. I wasn’t lazy at the period. I was a hardworking Nigerian youth looking for a comfortable life. It is disingenuous to blame the Nigerian youth solely for Nigeria’s woes, corrupt system with social anomie!
The brutalized and dehumanized “lazy” Nigerian youths are not deliberate indolent youths as viewed by President Muhammadu Buhari, but they are the deprived, helpless and hapless members of the Nigerian society. If they have had the opportunity this writer has in a foreign land, in our country-Nigeria, Mr. President wouldn’t brand some of them as lazy nuts.
The way we demonstrate our ignorance in Nigeria is like democratizing ignorance and naiveté when in actual fact, we have impeccable and brilliant individuals beaming with brilliant ideas to bring Nigeria back to glory. I want to implore the youth that there are better and brighter days ahead if we endure with determined optimism, and use our cognitive thought to thinking responsibly. Mr. President’s tantrum in the global gathering is a serious indictment and food for thought for the Nigerian youth to come together; jettison divisiveness, naughtiness, and cynicism to “take back” their future. Fortunately, we have vibrant Nigerian youths like Omoyele Sowore evolving to take the lead to mobilize and conscientize us, to reflect and take back our future. The youth in Nigeria remains the magnificent representation of the progress of Nigeria.