The Role of Nigeria Youths in Nation Building By Whyte Habeeb Ibidapo

It is said that blood is thicker than water. It is what defines us, bind us and curses us.  For some, blood means a life of wealth and privilege. And for others, it is a life of servitude. A man should take pride in what he builds, but it should be remembered that what he does to where he hails from is the only real wealth he can claim. I am not immune to distress and like most real Nigerians, I find it hard to shake the feeling these days that our celebrated democracy has gone seriously awry. No thanks to the big destructive daddies. They are the set of leaders who practice a brand of politics that goes beyond the greed for lucre. The evil they commit is never lost; each evil act has a root, and every bit of evil they sow, in time will always bear fruits. I can’t help feeling that the politics of today suffers from a case of arrested development.

It is not that a gap exists between our professed ideals as a nation and the realities we witness every day. In one form or another, that gap has existed since Nigeria’s birth. Civil war have been fought, laws passed, systems deregulated, unions organized and national protests staged to bring promise and practice into closer alignment. All good efforts have been interrupted by bad deeds of the ‘oga at the top’ or the other. The main trouble is the gap between the magnitude of our challenges and the smallness of our politics, and the ease with which we are distracted by petty and trivial things and chronic avoidance of tough decisions, our seeming inability to build a working consensus to tackle any big problem. It should be noted that the country’s tectonic plates had shifted. Politics is no longer simply a pocketbook issue but a moral issue as well, subject to moral imperatives and moral absolutes. This is why it is the business of everyone. We do not have enough time to wait for a politics with maturity to balance idealism and realism, to distinguish between what can and cannot be compromised.  Whenever we dumb the political talks or interest, we lose. For it’s precisely the pursuit of ideological purity, the rigid orthodoxy and the sheer predictability of our current political talks, that keeps us from finding new ways to meet the challenges we face as a country.

But even then in depth of my grief, not all was darkness. I found the socialize medicine that can be used to cure Nigeria’s present predicament if put into proper use. This medicine was gotten from the books of history that relates to Nigeria as a country. History has it that Nigeria is a great country and has produced great people. One of the striking accounts revealed is the age of her good leaders. The fact remains that the era Nigeria had the best governance was when many of her leaders were in their youthful ages. It shows that Nigeria was best ruled by the youths. The poser now is where are the real Nigerian Youths with guts? I mean guts for genuine leadership tussle and not gut for the love of the full pocket filled with the remains of a looted treasury. What are the youths doing to help restore the image of this country? I learnt from the books that an individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.

It can be well argued that the youths are trying their best through their various initiatives. Being busy is not the same as accomplishing something. These organizations are set up with good paper work but when they start operation, it is nothing to write home about. They are only dedicated to find their way to a politician that would use them as tool of destruction during electioneering processes. Afterwards, they give awards to them for looting their country’s treasury and making the entire citizens hopeless. Though, some are pretty doing well by pursuing the goals of their initiative and they never compromise standards. They all exist around us, whether for good or for bad.

It is time for the youths to wake up to the reality and forget the theories. It is time for us to act what we say. It is time for us to stand up for Nigeria. It is time for us to come together and support good initiative that would further the course of this noble country. It is time to create the real order which is ‘change’. We are the true leaders and it is through us that the true leaders can emerge. The real time for sacrifice is now. The law of sacrifice is uniform throughout the world. To be effective, it demands the sacrifice of the bravest and the most spotless. It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face was marred with dust, sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and come short again and again; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end what triumph of achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who know neither victory nor loss.

The dream of our great nationalists who fought for Nigeria’s independence from the British imperialists must be restored. They envisioned a nation anchored on egalitarianism, justice, fairness and good governance. It is our duty to make change our new order of pursuit. We must arise and obey the call in full to serve with heart and might so that we can build a nation where peace and justice shall reign.

Whyte Habeeb Ibidapo

@whytehabeeb on Twitter


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