I was prompted to write this piece with a heavy heart considering the happenings in my dear nation in the recent past dating as far back as 2009 to date. In my days as a youth, these years are the most challenging years to my dear nation security wise. These challenges has been detrimental to my nation economically, culturally, socially, religiously, socially and has been a great threat to my country’s ever yearning national integration.
Meanwhile, the most important point here worth of mentioning and which was neglected by ALL is the fact that my age class (Youth) are both at the giving and receiving end of all forms of unrest spread across my dear country Nigeria. From the longest lingering militancy in Niger-Delta to the recent deadliest insurgency of the north-east (Boko haram) and the dispersed cases of kidnappings, banditry, cattle rustling, religious based violence and the so called farmers-herdsmen clashes spread across almost every nook and cronies of my dear nation.
Youths are at the giving end of the above mentioned if not completely, then on 90% bases. What I am saying is if you take a rough census of all the bad elements responsible for all the above scenarios you will no doubt find out that over 90% of them are within the age limit of being referred to as YOUTH. The big question all has been asking was "Why?" the reasons are vast but the most pronounced are: Unemployment, intolerance, illiteracy, poverty, among so many others. But my concern here and the main point I wish to highlight here is the fact that we (the youth) are both the victims and the victimizers.
Youth are at the same time at the receiving end of almost all unrest which may result in lives and properties. Taking an example of all the bomb blasts at parks, markets, offices and any other public place, you will find out that the vast majority of the injured and dead are YOUTH. That again brought me to yet the same conclusion the youth are both the victims and the victimizers.
Nigeria as a Nation is blessed with highest manpower (majorly youth) in Africa whom happen to be intelligent, creative, innovative, bright, positive and energetic. This is not to say there are no trace elements of cultism and other vices. But the most worrisome part of all is the visionless attitude of almost all (talking about 90%) of our teaming youth. Those of us involved in youth activism are mostly doing so to gain some coins and connection. Whatever/however important a reason is for a Nigerian based youth body to struggle and resist, be very sure that the leaders of the movement will only do so as further as they receive their bank credit alerts. The moment that is done, the true spirit of that agitation/struggle is gone believe me I am talking from experience. Organizations like NYCN, NANS, NYP etc. are believed to be conceived to put forward on constant and consistent bases the needs, rights and privileges of Nigerian youth, but believe you me on a high proportion they are not. It has for a very long time been on "what will I get?" bases.
There is no easy way out to the above dark picture I have painted about us (fellow youth) but I am optimistic that identifying the true damage being inflicted by ourselves to ourselves will go a long way in clearing our eyes to see truly what is happening. Availability of quality education at an affordable (or free) rate, creating and improving on social welfare packages (Like N-Power) by the Government, skill acquisition programmes to youth by all stakeholders (public and private), Job creation are some of the ways to address/reduce violence among youth. The operations of NGO's be true to its cause because we all know great majority of civil societies organizations operating in Nigeria are more or less like NANS and the likes, purely for gain from national and international donors.
I will not conclude without appreciating the activities of many youth based organization (including students based) who uphold to their true missions of enlightening, educating and reawakening our teaming youth to rise to the current challenges. ALL HOPES ARE NOT LOST. We can still make Nigeria great because not PMB, we the youth are the drivers of true national development.
Oh! God of creation, direct our noble cause, guide our leaders right, help our YOUTH in truth to know, in love and honesty to grow and live in just and truth. To build a nation where peace and justice reign.
God bless NIGERIA
God bless AFRICA
Comr. Usman Musa Maizare (Zonal Organizing Secretary NYCN, Zamfara Central)
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