Wed. 13th August was marked as an International Youth Day. It strikes me to dedicate this excerpt, to the Nigerian youth of today, the African youth of today. In the spirit of Victory of the power of God, we humans must be conscious of the fact that the youth is the strength of the society and without strength; victory is far from being achieved. And when there is strength and there is no motivation then your energy might end up being wasted. Another important factor about the youth’s vigour is that it requires a good percentage of mental cum moral sanity for the youth to be in his best and be happy.
Hence, it is obvious that the central driving force of every society is the youths. The youth of today is the energy and human resource that is so inevitable and must be maximized. In our own generation, we no more admit that the youths are leaders of tomorrow, we rather believe that the youths of today are the leaders of today. Leadership is not something that happens in a particular tenure or regime. Leadership is a factor that is cultivated. It aims at rendering services, preserving integrity, consolidating on past gains, building strong institutions as foundation laying for future generations.
In the youths of today, leadership is cultivated as a living character. By our zeal to utilize opportunities and time and with our reverberating energy to work and create positive impact in our society and then correct past errors as much as we can from our knowledge of history, in this way, we believe we can forge a promising future for the young and the unborn and offer our generation the best.
Despite this insight and motivation, the youth of today finds himself at the crossroads of unemployment and political manipulations; scarcity of resources and opportunities coupled with the temptation to indulge in the old ways of corruption and compromise or mediocrity, the youths are greatly hindered. It is this hindrance that we must all rise up against and say: ‘No to it’. Our determination to achieve breakthrough can never be lost in the youth of today.
The youth of today has faith in God’s given capacities, talents, skills, intelligence, craft and other gifts which God has bestowed on humanity through nature. The youth of today is not biased on the grounds of religious, ethnic or political divides, hence, these sources of political and economic blackmail and sabotage cannot work on the mind-frame of today’s youth, except for those who want themselves to be misled. With this submission, our political enemies may choose to exploit our ignorance and the greed-temperament of some, and degrade our rights, and lure us into political thuggery, cultism, prostitution, drug abuse and other forms of social vices just to score cheap political goals. This they cannot achieve without our consent and so we must not give in to such temptations. The majority of us are standing up for the benefit of all of us, and for the unity of Nigeria. We must accept that Nigeria is our common goal and destiny. Her problems are our personal problems and her glories are our collective glory.
The youth of today can never be intimidated and the best way to avoid intimidation is through standard and holistic education and improved research. The youth of today is unique and remarkable because we draw our strength and inspiration from History, Culture, Science and Communication Technology. Our Confidence in Democracy and Rule of Law is impeccable. We must work to ensure that our democratic and judicial system must be perfected and also build strong and reliable institutions for the sake pf posterity.
With the ongoing transformation programme as the developmental agenda of the present administration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, we must fight peacefully to ensure that youths have a full stake in governance. We have to key in properly into many of the Federal government’s numerous initiatives and policies, so as to ensure that we the youths are the vanguards of good governance, true freedom for our lovely nation as well as service delivery for the masses in Nigeria.
HOW CAN WE ACHIEVE THESE OBJECTIVES?
We shall ensure that we are law abiding and operate within the confines and stipulations of the law. We shall also ensure that we establish a favourable ground and exercise our franchise in the right direction by using our constitutionally approved mandate to elect credible leaders who are men of impeccable integrity into political offices, since the youths constitute a larger potion of the voting population and human work force in Nigeria. This entails that we must first fulfill our constitutional responsibility by procuring our voters cards and other of such necessary documents. (Those yet to get their voters cards must do so with immediate effect).
We must ensure that we are not used or exploited or used as political thugs or our intellects exploited to work for the “wrong people”.
We must utilize our energy and resources to invest in the promising venture of agriculture as well as agricultural technology. This requires the virtue of patience.
We must encourage indigenous productions and promote the growth of local industries by patronizing ‘made in Nigeria’ products and lower our appetite for foreign made goods. We want our society to be more of exporting than importing society to boost our economy, promote local entrepreneurs and reduce economic marginalization.
We must agitate that the constitutional clause which leaves the seat of the presidency to only those that have attained the age of 40 can vie for such post be removed. This will enable the youths to have an unlimited stake in the transformation and leadership process. If Gen. Yakubu Gowon can rule this country at the ripe age of 37, why would this 1999 constitution segregate against the youths and distance them from leadership by its present legislation?. Now that the National Conference has been concluded, would the fortune of Nigerian youths change for better?. The youths are voicing out their concern to have full stake in the leadership process and this would be considered towards constitution amendment. We must not be plunged into ‘gerontocracy’, the rule of old people.
In summary, the present administration has tried to inculcate youths in the process of transformation and it is worth commending. For those who are following up in their face book page for Nigerian Centenary, and the actual events in Abuja, it has been so rewarding (especially to the youths) because, it has given us a lot of open opportunities to express and showcase our talents especially in the areas of academics and entertainment. It has given out so many prize and scholarship opportunities to Nigerian youths.
More so, there have been several symposiums like Nigerian Internet Governance forum which held in Lagos and African youths in Agriculture which held in Abuja. This led to the creation of Youth Employment on Agriculture Program (YEAP) and also others of such initiatives which targeted the youths and which has been so rewarding to those who had been opportunity to attend and creates avenue for massive youth employment. Furthermore, the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) have carried several workshops towards equipping Nigerian youths and empowering them by giving them different categories of training to help them in being resourceful and productive.
On the other part, many Nigerian youths are industrious, self-employed and very resourceful. Hence, they survive even without any ‘perceived’ government benefit. Nonetheless, the government of the day should step up action to ensure that the youths are well inculcated in government because they can ‘make or mare’ a nation because of our numerical strength. A large population of unemployed youths becomes a liability to the nation but a working youth population remains a great asset to the nation. The youths themselves, we must seek out measures to take to be more helpful to the government especially by making sure we are updated with governments’ polices and he hold our governments accountable always. That is the lot of the youths of today. We must above all, maintain mental and moral, sanity, to meet this demand and be happy and make our generation proud. We must work hard for the unity of Africa and for her political and economic emancipation.
– Ibegbunam Azubuike Henry firstname.lastname@example.org