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Intellectually shallow youth is the bane of Nigeria's development

25 January 2016, 17:10 Oseni Obaro

Youth are the building blocks of a Nation. It is a fact that the stronger, vibrant and politically aware the youth are the more developed the Nation is. It is not so surprising when a former military head of state in Nigeria passed a verdict about the Nigerian youth, describing them as unfit and unprepared for leadership. A senator once said that all an average Nigeria youth cares about is watch foreign league football, so he simply used the huge constituency allowance given to him for tangible projects that could benefit the people to build a football viewing centre for the youth and they were all singing his praises.

By every standard, Nigeria can be said to be a youth country. We became the envy of most nations of the world when the outcome of the result of the 2006 population census revealed that over 60% of our population are youth. This means that the youth of Nigeria has got all it takes by their population advantage to drive, alter and make its voices to be heard politically, economically and socially. The activities of the youth recently in terms of political awareness and deep understanding of issues that affect them leaves more to be desired. From the protest which greeted the change of name of the university of Lagos into Chief Moshood Abiola University by the Federal government, the investiture of Chief Bode George by NANS barely few monthly after he was released from jail for conviction of fraud, the investiture of high Chief Raymond Depkeri who is currently under trial for his involvement in the armsgate scandal by the PDP youths to the several different protests and rallies in support of alleged corrupt individuals like Chief Olisah Metuh by some youth best describes the Nigeria youths population as one that is low thinking and lacked the intellectual and moral capacity of capability to fight for what is right and effect government policies by proffering useful ideas in issues that will be capable of placing the country in a sound path of economic, political and social development. Most Nigerian youth are so disconnected from happenings and activities of government, they do not know or care how they are being governed. A visit to the social networks like, Facebook, Twitter, Eskimi 2go etc shows obviously that Nigerian Youths are very low in quality. The way youth argue blindly, insults and attack each other on salient National issues in nothing to write home about.

When one considers the contributions of world leaders like Nelson Mandela of South Africa who as a youth in 1944 already holds and played role in his political party the ANC; Martin Luther King (jr) who at a youthful age of barely 26 led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott, led the struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia (Albany movement of 1962) and helped organize the 1963 March on Washington where he delivered his famous speech “I have a dream” at age 34; Lee Kuan yew who rose to become the prime minister of Singapore at age 36 in 1959; Justin Pierre James Trudeau who is currently prime minister of Canada being the second youngest PM at 43 after Joe Clark who turned 40 a day after becaming PM. Here in Nigeria; the likes of Muhammad Buhari became a minister of petroleum in 1976 at age 34 and became head of state at 41; the likes of Olusegun Obasanjo, Michael Okpara, Obafemi Awolowo, Yakubu Gowon, Odimegwu Ojukwu, Bola Tinubu, Olusola Saraki and a host of leaders held national leadership positions in their youth age. It is therefore sad and unfortunate that majority of the Nigeria youths nowadays father than aspire for leadership and clamor, advocate and demand change and good governance that would translate into good leaving condition and an egalitarian society for all have turned themselves into thugs, miscreants and ready tools to be used by unscrupulous and corrupt politicians to always disrupt the peace of the society and peaceful coexistence of Nigeria just to cover up their atrocities.

It is worrisome that instead of clamoring for an all inclusive and better and more federal government presence through a peaceful agitation and round-table-brotherly dialogue some youths of the South east under the guise of Radio Biafra, MASSOB and IPOB have continued to champion the course of secession from the Nigeria state, threatening the very existence of Nigeria and Nigerians. An intellectual struggle through calls for a referendum to truly determine whether the people of the south east wishes to exist as a separate republic is in under, but the current approach of constituting nuisance and crippling the economy of a part of this country by blocking major roads and closing markets has further exposed the shallowness and intellectual bankruptcy of the Nigerian youth.

The role of the youth in nation building occupies the central place; the countries which utilizes their youth in a right direction are more developed. The energy, agility and brightness of the minds of youth act as a torch bearer for a nation, on the contrary, the country which fails to realize the importance of the youth lags behind in every department of life…. This is the bane of the Nigeria State.

- MyNews24

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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