Greetings my fellow Nigerians. Greetings once more to my fellow compatriot youths. It’s no longer news our beloved country is now in the news because of the missing 276 girls that were abducted in Chibok five weeks ago while they were taking their final examinations and since them all efforts to rescue them is yet to yield any positive result. I keep wondering why the once peaceful country is now in the news for negativity. Oh, my beloved country that prides itself as the “giant of Africa”. A country that was once in peaceful co-existence regardless of tribal differences. A country that is richly blessed with rich human and abundant natural resources, in addition to having ingenious egg-heads which the global world have celebrated in the likes of Nobel Prize winner for literature Wole Soyinka, award-winning novelist Chinua Achebe, Emeka Anyaoku- former Secretary General of Common Wealth amongst others. It is no longer news our Nigeria have been mocked all over the world just because of the broken leadership in Aso Rock and different in governmental sectors. It is with a heavy heart I write to my fellow youths, it is with a heavy heart I call on my fellow comrades to rise up to the occasion and salvage the already deteriorating situation. I want each and every one of you reading this article now to sit back and reflect in a minute are you happy seeing your country Nigeria making rounds in the news for negative stereotype? If no, now is the time to act. A little insight into some of the sarcastic news about Nigeria making news globally –
- The President of Nigeria together with the officials of the Federal Government and inclusive of the State Governors are insensitive to the plight of Nigerians especially as it relates to the security, unemployment, infrastructural facilities, education and poverty level in the country. Let me make it apt – We have poor leadership.
- I guess, you all must have seen the viral video of the Patience Jonathan (First lady of Nigeria) where she made an inarticulate and incoherent statement during the press conference regarding the missing girls.
- The immigration saga where we lost many lives in the name of job opportunities
- The unhealthy political rivalry among political parties, which I call dirty politics.
- The missing Chibok girls and the lackadaisical attitude of our leaders.
- The religious wars, which has been instigated by some so-called Northern religious bigots/fanatics, which is purportedly alleged by some politicians due to vested interest.
- Finally but not the least, the failed leadership of our leaders both past and current which has led to corruption and underdevelopment of the country.
If I continue to mention the litany of problems besieging our beloved country Nigeria, the list will be endless as your guess will be as good as mine. Beloved comrades, the time has come for us to act and when is the best time to act? The best time to act time is now. According to “Business Day Newspaper Sunday, May 18, 2014, Nigerian youths make up 43% of the Nigerian population, which accounts for 73 million out of the 169 million population in Nigerian”. Beloved comrades, we cannot sit back and allow our country to be in negative image in the global world. We have what it takes to fix this mess. I so much believe we don’t have dull brians, we only brains undeveloped. I believe we can fix it because, we have what it takes to fix the mess with our collective strength and unity in voice and action. Again, I ask when is the best time to act? The best time to act is now. The world today is been governed by perception. We have to send a message to the global world both in our words and action by letting them know we are on top of the situation. Therefore, the earlier we act the better for us, the better for our children, and our unborn children. It’s a fact the future of any country lies in the future of the youths and ours is not an exception. Nigeria is our country, we can’t sit idly and allow it to decay. It is already deteriorating, but I believe we can fix it because we have what it takes to fix the mess. According to Dele Momodu in one of his Pendulum, “Why this mess won’t go away”. He gave an insight into when Nigerians will have the right set of people in power. With our collective strength, voice and actions, I believe we can get it right. According to Lin Yutang, “It is not so much what you believe in that matters, as the way in which you believe it and proceed to translate that belief into action. We are all accustomed to the slogan Aluta Continua Victoria Acerta which means, “The struggle continues, victory is certain”. The future of Nigeria lies in our hands, be advised nobody and I mean no country will fix it for us. We have to work hard to answer any name which we want folks to associate us with. It makes no sense allowing folks to define us. We have to define ourselves and the time to define ourselves in now. Comrades, are you not bothered and concerned about the direction our country? I have the believe we can fix this mess. I know there are many obstacles facing us, however, I am not concerned about the road blocks, I am concerned about the future of my country. I see positivity and light at the end of the tunnel. According to L.P Jacks “The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; the optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty”. Fellow youths we must make our voices to be heard, just like we are currently making our voice to be heard on bring back our girls awareness. In making our voice to be heard, we must be realistic as opposed to being sentimental. In the words of Anatole Francis “To accomplish great things, we must not only act but also dream; not only plan, but also believe”. In law, we do have a legal aphorism which says Justice should not only be seen to be done, but it should be manifestly seen to be done”. I trust in our capacity to fix this mess which, our leaders have caused us. Guess what, the earlier we stand up to the truth, the better for us, the better for our children, and the better for our unborn children. We have no time to waste, our beloved country is gradually going into memory lane as a country without future. Some countries, see us like toothless bulldogs, some of our counterparts (folks) all over the see us like unproductive people. Beloved comrades, taking a clue from the United States Presidential election six years ago, President Obama was able to win the 2008 presidential election because of the influx of first time youth voters. His theme Yes we can and Change we can, really played a big role in his presidential campaign. He was able to spur the youths into action in addition to opening their eyes to see the direction the country was heading to. Apart from that, he got huge financial contributions from the youths and interested parties who love change. Comrades, we can do the same. I was opportuned to pay a courtesy visit to one of the elder statesman in Nigeria who contested for President in Nigeria in 2011, he is no other person than Dele Momodu when he visited New York. For those of you know him, he is a lover of youths. You will definitely know he is a lover of youths when he made the then 26years old Ohimai Godwin Amaize to be his campaign manager during his 2011 presidential election (targeting first time voters). I call him the patron of youths. Per Dele Momodu, he said “he tried adopting the Obama style of electioneering campaign in raising funds, he opened an account for voluntary contributions, but no penny was paid into the account” Rather they were demanding money as opposed to looking out for candidates with ideas and good manifesto. Beloved comrades, permit me to speak like the Americans ” I gat this” I believe we gat this. We can do it. According to Mihaly Csikzentmihalyl ….. For better or worse our future will be determined in large part and by our dreams and the struggle to make them real”. As you all know the 2015 general election is fast approaching and the atmosphere is already heating up. Please, I am calling on each and everyone one of you to heed this clarion call and let us get it right this time around. The time to act is now. I know it is not going to be an easy fight but I know we can get it right. Martin Luther King Jnr said “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Its a fact i life, nothing good comes easy. We must act with one unbiased mind in order for us to achieve what we want. Be advised, Rosa parks sat so that Martin Luther King Jnr could walk, Martin Luther walked so that Obama could run and Obama ran, so our children can fly.
Let me bring you guys to memory lane on why we should fight and demand what for what we deserve. I say this because most of our leaders are recycled old men who have been in power for donkey years and are refusing to hand over power to the younger folks. The list below shows how our leaders assumed different leadership positions during their youthful age.
Just Thinking Aloud: Why?
Obafemi Awolowo (37),- First Premier of Werstern Region
Akintola (36), – an elder states man and Nationalist
Ahmadu Bello (36)- First Premier of Nothern Nigeria
Tafawa Balewa (34) – First and only Independendent Prime Minister of Nigeria
Okotie-Eboh (27),- One time Minister of Finance
Enahoro (27) led the struggle for independence after the death of Macaulay. Only Zik was 42 at that time.
In 1966, the first coup was led by:
Kaduna Nzeogwu (29) and countered by
Murtala Mohammed (28)- Former Military Head of State
Theophilus Danjuma (28), Former Minister of Defence
Babangida (25),- Former Military Head of State
Sani Abacha (23),- Former Military Head of State
Shehu Musa Yar ‘Adua (23), Former Vice President who brought into power Gowon (32),
Ojukwu (33) Military Governor OF Eastern Nigeria
Obasanjo (29),- Former Military Head of State
Buhari (24).- Former Military Head of State
Most of the military administrators who governed the states under the successive military regimes, most of whom were governors then, were under 30 years. The brief democratic dispensation, which was interjected by the military interregnum, also saw the House of Representatives in particular populated by majority of members under 30 years as well as some senators. Under 30s were also not in short supply with appointments, we have examples of MT Mbu who became Foreign Affairs minister at 23 and Pat Utomi who became a presidential adviser at 27 and so on and so forth.
Why is it that this age bracket is today still sleeping in 3-seater chairs in their parents’ homes?
Why is it that this age bracket is today still collecting pocket-money from their parents?
Why is it that this age bracket is today still writing JAMB?
Why is it that this age bracket is today still sagging their trousers?
Why is it that this age bracket is today still searching for jobs?
Why is it that this age bracket is today no longer qualified to even be leaders of youth wings of political parties?
Why is it that this age bracket is today so docile?
Why is it that this age bracket is today still incapable of feeding itself?
Why is it that this age bracket is today barred by law from even aspiring to certain political offices?
Why is it that this age bracket is today incapacitated unwilling, unable and incapable of asking questions?
So many questions, yet very few answers..
Fathers refused to retire ,doctoring their ages and certificates, so youths couldn’t get jobs , therefore
This age bracket have populated Boko Haram
This age bracket have turned to yahoo boys
This age bracket have turned to kidnappers
This age bracket have turned to party touts
This age bracket have turned killer squad
National confabs is dominated by old men and women
Nigerian youths are just not good enough anymore
They are no longer the future leaders
The Elders are filling their pockets
Nigeria’s leaders of tomorrow (youths) are begging for crumbs
Let us pray, GOD help this country.
This really got me thinking too….. I hope you are good take up the challenge?
Chimamanda Adiche a Nigerian youth and world acclaimed writer had this to say in respect to the abduction of our girls
“I want President Jonathan to communicate with the Nigerian people, to realize that leadership has a strong psychological component: in the face of silence or incoherence, people lose faith. I want him to humanize the lost and the missing, to insist that their individual stories be told, to show that every Nigerian life is precious in the eyes of the Nigerian state.
I want the president to seek new ideas, to act, make decisions, publish the security budget spending, offer incentives, sack people. I want the president to be angrily heartbroken about the murder of so many, to lie sleepless in bed thinking of yet what else can be done, to support and equip the armed forces and the police, but also to insist on humaneness in the midst of terror. I want the president to be equally enraged by soldiers who commit murder, by policemen who beat bomb survivors and mourners. I want the president to stop issuing limp, belated announcements through public officials, to insist on a televised apology from whoever is responsible for lying to Nigerians about the girls having been rescued.
I want President Jonathan to ignore his opponents, to remember that it is the nature of politics, to refuse to respond with defensiveness and to remember that Nigerians are understandably cynical about their government.
I want President Jonathan to seek glory and a place in history, instead of longevity in office. I want him to put aside the forthcoming 2015 elections, and focus today on being the kind of leader Nigeria has never had.
I do not care where the president of Nigeria comes from. Even those Nigerians who focus on ‘where the president is from’ will be won over if they are confronted with good leadership that makes all Nigerians feel included. I have always wanted, as my president, a man or a woman who is intelligent and honest and bold, who is surrounded by truth-telling, competent advisers, whose policies are people-centered, and who wants to lead, who wants to be president, but does not need to – or have to be president at all costs”.
President Jonathan may not fit that bill, but he can approximate it: by being the leader Nigerians desperately need now.
FEMI FANI KAYODE, a former Minister in Nigeria had this to say in respect to the abduction of our girls.
“The bitter truth is that regardless of wherever you come from, whatever your faith is and whichever side of the political divide you stand, we all have a duty to get to the bottom of this matter, join forces, close ranks, find out what is really going on and bring this nightmare to an end. We must join hands with all men and women of goodwill and, together, we must fight this insidious evil that seeks to envelop our land and overwhelm our people.
It is left for the President and his team to rise up to the occasion, tell the Nigerian people the bitter truth about all that is going on behind the scenes, remove the kid gloves, get real and fight the Haramists and their sponsors with all that he has got.
If he refuses to do it or if he is cowered into not doing so by the moderate and dovish voices that appear to be around him, he can be rest assured that sooner than later this country will break up and he will go down in history as the last President of a united Nigeria. Worse still if he is not careful there may be a military coup which will not be welcome by any right-thinking person and which everyone dreads. We must assist him as best as we can to ensure that this does not happen.
I have little doubt that the President knows who those that are behind Boko Haram are: it is now time for him to exercise his full powers, expose them and deal with them in a brutal and savage manner.
It is time for him to show strength and to lead us into this war against terror boldly. It is time for him to be a Commander-in Chief that we can all be proud of. It is time for him to use his full power and to detain and interrogate all those that he suspects may be linked to the terrorists”.
All this points and comments raised above are just targeted towards our President. For me I see them as a wake up call for Nigerian youths. We need to rise to the occasion and rescue our beloved country from shame. To the extent, you want to be energized for the task ahead, please see the following quotes, which I have been able to research on, for motivation each time the morale is low.
- Great works are not performed by strength by but by perseverance – Samuel Johnson;
- Nothing at all will be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome – Samuel Johnson;
- Those who say it cannot be done are merely interrupted by those doing it – Joel Barker;
- Nothing great will be ever be achieved without great men, and men are merely determined to be great if they chose to be so – Charles Gaule;
- The test before us as a people in is not whether our commitments match our will and our courage, but whether we have the will and courage to match our commitments – Lyndon Johnson.
- Ray Kroc finally nailed it. Nothing in the word can take the place of persistence.
Finally, my fellow comrades,I will like to end this artilce with the words of Colin Powell who was the first Black African-American Secretary of State “Organizations do not really accomplish anything. Plans don’t accomplish anything either. Theories of management don’t matter much either. Endeavors succeed or fail because of the people involved. Only by attracting the best people will you accomplish great deeds”. Please fellow comrades, if you feel the same way I like I do; if you have the urge for change; if you believe in the spirit of Aluta Continua victory Ascerta; if you want to show the world we are not docile; if you believe in Nigeria, if you believe we are the future leaders of Nigeria; if you want to possess your possession; if you want to show how productive you are; Finally if you believe the time to act is now, please join me in this clarion call. All hands should be on deck in this struggle. We need to send a message to our leaders. Our voice needs to be heard. Yes we can, change we can. Be positive, be energized, and be fruitful.