NIGERIAN ‘YOOTS’

When Emmanuel Macron won his country’s confidence to be their next President, Nigerian youth shouted for the umpteenth time how the youth need to take over the affairs of this country up to the Presidency, how they’ve been unfairly treated, blah, blah, blah.
They were grieved. For sometime now, there has been chatter; attempts at building a coalition of youth, feeble protests that the youth of this country have not been given opportunities to hold political office and areas of responsibility. It didn’t help much that Emmanuel Macron is the President of France at 39! It just added salt to injury!
Our elders have long been blamed for hogging the driver’s seat, using and disenfranchising the youth. They have been blamed for every evil that has befallen the Nigerian youth.

They say when you point a finger, three more are pointing back, the thumb firmly holding them in place. As the youth point accusing fingers at their elders what could the fingers pointing back be trying to point out? We should take an honest assessment of our youth and sincerely decide for ourselves if indeed our youth are ready to take over. What manner of youth do we have?

I was at a meeting yesterday where the future of the health of women, children and adolescents was discussed. It was the underlying issues that came to the fore that were staggering.
There is an estimated 222M adolescent population in West Africa of which one out of every five is a Nigerian. This figure is projected to get to 330M by 2030. IMF projects that at the rate we are going 80% of the adolescents will be Nigerian in 80 years. The number of youth classified as Not-in-Education-Employment-Training (NEET) was staggering. Our most productive age group has become the Devil’s workshop.
The number of youth on drugs, in drug trafficking, mental health issues,  involved in transactional sex, casual sex, experimental sex, rape, in cults, in gangs, are thugs, armed robbers, middle(youth)men etc is dominating their lives and defines the age group more. Did you know that they have discovered that lizard poop can be used to get high? It was distressing listening and imagining that we have young people controlled by getting down on their knees to gather lizard poop; not for some scientific breakthrough but to get high!
Our youth are currently defined by material and worldly possessions/acquisitions that they don’t give a damn what they have to do to get them. Three young people recently killed an honest hardworking father of two delivery man because of phones. They dumped his body like a piece of trash in a well. Or the school in Bauchi that had the seniors getting married to each other? The latest in Ikoyi; the planned rape of girls in broad day light.
Most of the conversation on social media is about boys, vanity and acquisitions. Living a Channel O life style. ( can’t remember any current musical channel).
Able, agile youth are sitting at home waiting for the Government to call and give them jobs. We have men of 25 still living at home. Ok, the economy is not helping? Let’s again be honest most are waiting for jobs and are beggars with choices. There is no philosophy, no planning, no future projection, no life goals, no spirit of perseverance, sacrifice. Even the aspiration to be rich is based on getting into office not building ideas.

A look at Emmanuel Macron’s life reveals the amount of work, focus, dedication, sacrifice and self-denial that he went through to get to his goal. We are not even equipping the next generation to stand on their feet.

I really don’t know what more to say.
The tragedy of it is that we do not have an equipped youth ready to step in and lead. A fully grown man of 25 years is still thought of and referred to as a ‘boy’. In other climes, the media would refer to an 18 year old male as a man!! Unless the youth begin to take themselves seriously, begin to say no to shortcuts, no to being stereotyped and break out of the mould we will keep on being thought of as boys and girls making a whole lot of noise. That’s the truth. We can’t be agitating for opportunities and we are on a binging trip. Each time the name of Dino Melaye’s name comes up, you hear, “he’s a thug, lowlife, agbero. How did he get there?” He didn’t make it any better when he released his fast selling music video! We go down the same road for literally 80% of our politicians and leaders but we forget that these people came out from among us-us includes the youth especially as the constituency that went out to vote.

Don’t get me wrong; there are many youth out there that are running things, doing well in school, own businesses, are responsible, leaders, good followers but they are the minority. It will be hard. Their peers do understand the need to develop and so won’t support them. ThTs why it will be easier for the wrong ones to be perpetuated into power.

I really could figure out whether the Senate President Bukola Saraki was making fun or being serious when he said a 30 year old will be President of Nigeria. Whatever the reason, he is right; the statistics at least say the youth are teeming. The burning question is when and which generation of youth will turn the tide? The two prominent youth groups we have in the country are in factional wars to the point that both factions of either group will not be in the same room. Please note at least one of these groups is just an NGO/ Association.

#Not too young to run but are we good enough to run?

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