This is the month of May, today is the 29th, and the appropriate greeting as a Nigerian is “Happy Democracy Day”, but I guess saying “Happy New Year” is not out of place, since I was here last in the year 2016. Yes, I know, I have promised I will not disappear several times and I actually did disappear, but if you know me very well, you know I usually keep my promises, and it is because I try so hard to keep most of my promisesthat I have not been able to keep this one – you know, promises like never let the family lack, never let my day-job suffer, never let stress send me to the hospital, never pass up an opportunity to network in real life, etc.
So, here I am again confused as to what to write about, not as much what to write about, but what to write about it – I want to write about the future of those of us Nigerians forty years and below- should I join the others and continue to wail and rail against the our present sad situation, or should I, like an eternal optimist that I am, choose to tell people that things are improving and they will continue to improve even when I know in reality we are moving at the pace of a faulty unicycle, when we really need to move with the speed of Virgin’s Booms. Let me make this very clear, I am not laying claim to superior knowledge, but I can boldly say it without any qualms that the youths are definitely not ready for the change we all crave.
The premise of my assertion is my interactions with the youths, they more often than not leave me feeling the situation is irredeemable because the discussions are never logical and the larger part of the time is spent arguing for superiority by tribe, age, religion, education, and political affiliation, rarely display intellect or discuss ideas. They spend most of their time defending those who have put them in this quagmire of existence and I am always confused as to if they do not realise that those who constitute the political elite are the same people who have thrown us all into this abyss of wavering hope.
Societies grow when there are systems and structures which allow ideas to thrive, multiply, and morph into tangible development. Structures such as economic, education, healthcare, judicial, and so on. Those structures exist around here but only in a state of flummox. We have schools but not education; we have hospitals but no healthcare, we have a government structure but no economic development or judicial confidence. I fervently hope the youths realise that most of those who make up the political elite will not be here in fifty years, but most of us under the age of forty today will be here with our children, our grandchildren and possibly grandchildren. What kind of country will we have by then? One where the majority are uneducated, and sick, and uncouth, and unable to contribute meaningfully to the economy.
This is the time for the youths not just to stand up and be counted, or profess eternal optimism, but to get involved in grabbing the reins of leadership from the charlatans we have at the helms now and chart a new course for the country, for our children, and for generations unborn.
NB: Subsequent articles will detail my suggestions on how we take over our destinies.