Nigerian Youths and the Clarion Call
All over social media, you see happy pictures of Nigerian youths who either just completed their compulsory youth service or just got deployed to serve. Congratulations pouring in from friends, families and well-wishers.
These are the youths who diligently have obeyed the clarion call. Some leaving their comfort zones to serve in remote and dangerous areas of the country. In a period when a lot of youth corps members seem to be losing their lives, we congratulate those passing out like real victors. We appear to be forgetting however, that a vast majority of these youths are passing out into hopeless unemployment.
While some of them with good connections might have secured nice jobs, the reality for a lot of them is the ugly looking Labour market. To address this, Government and concerned individuals have called for the inclusion of entrepreneurship and skill acquisition in school syllabus and even incorporating it into the NYSC programme. But this doesn’t seem to be helping. It is a really bleak destiny for Nigerian youths. More so because Governments at all levels are appearing to be clueless as to the way forward. Politicians seem to be more interested in amassing a personal fortune than seeking the greater good.
I am not writing this to come across as a killjoy. Nigerian youths really deserve to be happy. But it is unlikely that they will be if this present condition persists. Many would ask, what can they do? It is really a sad plight to have insight over much but power over nothing. But the Nigerian youths are not powerless. Only that their oppressors are working hard to keep their power base neutralised.
Yes, the power of the Nigerian youths lies in their numbers. It lies in their willingness and readiness to take political actions that will secure their future. Not the miserable option of sycophantic service some of them are rendering to politicians. But the concerted action that is targeted at destroying the present socio-economic and political edifice which only serves a microscopic part of the society.
Our problem is not that of religion or ethnicity. These are only tools used by the profiteers of our woes to divide us. The hunger that forces Emeka to kidnap is the same that forces Fẹ́mi to cyber fraud. The Almajiri system of the North is replicating itself in the millions of out of school children you find hawking on the streets of Lagos, Ibadan and Onitsha.
Beyond the delusion of a third force, what we need is a systematic mass action to deliver this country from the hold of her oppressors. If our generation fails in this task, remember that we shall bear full responsibility for the sufferings of our children.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Kayode Oyeyemi Akinwumi studied Yoruba at Obafemi Awolowo University. A music enthusiast, social observer and music freak. He writes on various interests including social commentary and popular culture.