By Ifemosu Michael Adewale
Nigeria Youth must reject the cliché of being the leaders of tomorrow, because That tomorrow may never come.
In the last few decades, youth in Nigeria have been neglected and relegated to the background, All facets of life including family, schools, religious organisations and government have neglected youth developments
Youth constitutes the backbone and the future of any nation. The progress and future development of any nation depends to a large extent on the youth. This is why most nations have concrete development programmes for their youth.
The place and importance of the Youth in society cannot be overemphasized. This was adequately captured in Nigeria Youth Policy which stated that: ” Youth are of great asset to a nation. Not only are they legitimately regarded as the future leaders, they are potentially and actually the greatest investment for a country’s development”
From the above, it is clear that young people are the greatest asset of any nation. They are the future of any nation and serve as the bridge that link the present to future generations. They are active, dynamic, and adventurous and can serve as agents of social action and social change.
Any serious country should devote a lot of energy and resources to building the youth to be productive. Any country that refuses to develop its youth will endanger its future. When the leadership potentials of young people are not developed, the seeds of failure are being sown. We cannot really talk about democracy and development without the participation of citizens including young people.
Government has a great role to play in youth development. It is not enough to formulate a youth policy and do virtually nothing about its systematic implementation at all levels of government.
However, there is no doubt that the elders have failed to put in place effective development programmes for the youth. It remains to be seen whether the youth will fail themselves and refuse to develop themselves and become agents of change. It was Frantz Fanon who said “every generation must out of relative obscurity must discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it.”
If the country I yearn to see an emancipation from the shackles of political subjugation that has been our lot for donkey years. I believe so much in balance in governance. I have faith in the strength of youth, our power and vigor.
Our country today is suffering from a deficit of ideas that are reflective of the dynamics of growth and development because we continue to place it’s progress in the hands of burned out, old and recycled policy makers.
The disaster in this is the retrogression in just about every sphere of our engagements as a country that we see, From failing infrastructures to non-existent utilities, poverty of ideas and effete policies.
Recently, the whole world looked on in dismay as an alarming number of our lawmakers and ministers slept through the 2017 Budget Presentation on National Television.
There can perhaps be no better symbolic expression of their lack lustre and inattentive attitude to the affairs of the nation. Nor, could a better statement be made as to how worn out these individuals are. Not surprisingly, they still hold on tenaciously to power out of avarice and because WE let them. Yes, we do.
Those who share this perception of progress have laboured and settled on the choice of incorporating Young Minds where intellect dwells, where instinct is their abode, where wisdom is their bedrock, a Youth with an extremely functional creative instinct whose iron cast commitment to the service of his country is not in doubt.
We cannot continue to cry foul while in implicit in the political exclusion that prevails in the state and country.
The entire state and the body of Nigerian Youths and Students across board must rise to this opportunity before us.
The time to stand up for something is Now, Actions more than words is our identity, if it is to happen, it is up to us.
We must not be afraid to take the right chances as opportunity thrusts it on our path.
I also remain convinced that no custodian of history and Lover of Peace in Nigeria can argue against the need for fresh breath in our political whirlwinds which will give our nation a new face
May right prevail over wrong, equity over inequity, fairness against travesty and us all against the traducers of our will.
God bless the Nigerian Youths Constituency.
Ifemosu Michael Adewale is a writer, public speaker and founder Youth In Good Governance Initiative (YIGGI).