The Tragedies of A Wasted Generation – Ogundana Rotimi

Have you ever heard your teacher or lecturer saying that when he/she was in school, education was not like this; it was much more organized, well coordinated and accorded with more respect than what it seems to be today! Or have u ever heard the elderly saying “during our time things were far better than they are today”. Have you ever asked why they were so then and why they are like this now? What happened to the system? What went wrong? Have you ever tried to envisage these differences that these teachers are trying to strike out? Don’t you think there is need for its rejuvenation for prosperity sake?

Nigeria once enjoyed the privilege of been a great nation where everything was next to perfection, and went on smoothly at least to a reasonable extent.

At this point in time, Nigeria was breaking grounds and attaining higher heights in Africa and even in the world as a whole due to her unalloyed passion to attain greatness. This undoubtedly earned her the status “Giant of Africa” because things were put in good shape and Nigerians worked tirelessly and selflessly for the betterment of the country. Even shortly after independence, Nigeria as a country remained one of the best place worth living – social amenities were standard and indeed functional, the economy which was beginning to hinge on oil was booming and doing wonderfully great. To some extent, government can indeed be trusted and counted on. Unfortunately shortly after then, development and progress were truncated, things took a turn around, and everything began to move from good to bad and now at their extremes. Majority of the things our great grand fathers struggled and laboured for were either knowingly and unknowingly or selfishly damaged and abused by our fathers.

During their early time, our fathers lived in the comfort of their properly structured economy and well equipped educational system that were designed and laid down by their fathers. With a relatively adequate knowledge of the origin of these good fortunes, our fathers enjoyed so much of these without a comprehensive and well calculated plan of sustaining the progress which was already visible. Their attitude on the development that was initiated by our grand fathers left them with the sole choice of leaving nothing behind for us to enjoy. They either damaged them and knocked them out completely or left them in an irreparable condition.

Let’s start from somewhere, take for instance, I have heard my father said that he boarded train from one place to another during his early days, but how many people in our present generation can boast of having been transported by rail. What happened to the railway system? Railway transportation was introduced into Nigeria in the late 19th century, against all odds, it was sustained and our fathers were able to benefit from the comfort and safety of rail transportation. Our fathers enjoyed it but didn’t give us the privilege. They failed to maintain and sustain it and today the railway transport is now a history.

Majority of our fathers are products of free education, they enjoyed free education and scholarships, aside that, the standard of education then was of a very high quality with the students-teacher ratio very compatible. They enjoyed free textbooks and writing materials, their libraries were stocked up with recent books with regards to that point in time, their laboratories were updated with standard apparatus and well equipped and they enjoyed the best of education. However, they failed to maintain the system and left us with nothing to be proud of about our educational system. The same fathers of ours who enjoyed free education now place exorbitant fees on schooling, while our libraries and laboratories are now being inhabited by spiders as a result of their being left scanty.

Ajaokuta steel industry is one of the many industries our fathers met in good shape but damaged completely. Today so many industries in the country have folded up because of negligence, corrupt mentality and bad governance of our fathers.

We would not also forget so soon that our fathers met the refineries in good and proper working condition but what are their statuses today? What our fathers are now known for is the everyday increase in the pump price of petroleum products.

From history, there was a time when the economy of our dear country Nigeria was comparable to the great countries of the world. At that time a Naira goes for about two dollars. Our fathers enjoyed all this. But today the story is no longer the same, our economy and currency have been bastardize, denigrated and dragged in the mud and we are left with no choice than to continue to fly out of our blessed land full of resources – in the search for something – Dollar, which once had no value in our land.

Our fathers left us with no legacy, and it’s appalling that their generation could not be proud of, as long as the history of Nigeria is all about. They introduced massive corruption into the land, they completely knocked out the whole system and damaged most of the things which they met intact and enjoyed, leaving us with little or nothing to hold on to. The sad story is – they are not still ready to leave the system they are still there committing their atrocities.

With little they met, the likes of Chief Awolowo, Alhaji Ahmedu Bello and Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe were able to inject fresh air into the country, left a lasting legacy and made Nigeria the great giant of Africa. With surplus they met this generation leaders, showed their unarguably high level of mismanagement, individualism and selfishness to the world by dragging the stellar name of the country in mud. To substantiate the above statement, It is germane to pinpoint the fact that much of the achievements of Nigeria that took her to the commanding height as the giant of Africa could be traced to the era of the likes of chief Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikwe, Tafawa Balewa and co.

Little wonder why Prof. Wole Soyinka – the 1986 Nobel Laureate in literature, declared his generation, the wasted generation.

This is the time for the present generation to deviate from the ways of our fathers, set the ship of sustainable development in motion, make good impacts and write good history for ourselves so that the next generation can speak well of us and not to follow the “wicked” paths of our fathers that have brought more harm than good to the country.


It is me, @MickeySunny

The views expressed above are solely that of the author and not of or its associates


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