I remain Habeeb Whyte and I am still obliged with the responsibility that life placed on me to suggest a path deserving a collective action from Nigerian youths towards what fate have for us as Nigerians. You would agree with me that we are the architect of our present circumstance and blaming anyone for our actions or inactions would be injurious. However, this present action of voting the ‘change’ we desire is not injurious but a blessing in disguise. Nigeria is our father’s land and so shall it remain. The struggles of our heroes shall not be in vain and that is why we keep advocating for ‘positive change’ and not just change. The much talked about change can’t be taken by face value; it will resonate well on our daily lives, but after a long and painstaking work. In essence, President Muhammadu Buhari’s effort in the last 100 days in office cannot be said to have failed the youth constituency.
I would be right to say that President Muhammadu Buhari was elected because we got tired with lying and looting personnel in the realm of governance. The country desperately needs an honest leader at that period. To the glory of God, we got one and our criticism of him should be to avoid the repeat of GEJ days. We can’t afford another stray administration, Change is not just a word, and it takes collective action. I would not join the bandwagon of those that assume that criticizing a shortcoming of Buhari is an expression of regret for ever supporting him. Of course, we must do criticism but what our government needs as at now is criticism that is founded on intellectualism devoid of bigotry, hatred or ethnic sentiments. Nigerian youth movement will make meaningful contributions to national development if only it is driven by intellectualism. The issue of PMB failing youths in 100 days is a perspective that is out of consonance with the interests of the youth constituency.
PMB in his manifesto before elected said among many things that relate to youth matters that he would harness and develop our potentials to the fullest so as to facilitate the emergence of the new generation of citizens. He said further that he would put in place measures to identify talents and promote Nollywood to fully develop into world class movie industry. All this emphasized statements are directed towards the youths. It is so shameful that most of us are already having heated arguments on whether he has made attempt to make this come to past in his 100 days in office. It is just so painful that most youth movements are not driven towards a defined goal and with clear constructive objectives. Individual youth and youth leaders has personal goal and objectives perhaps but a movement must be unified with a vision and commitment stimulated by some mutually beneficial objectives. My own understanding of the problems are clear and have been stated on many occasions vis a viz;
- That the phones, games, electronic gadgets, cars, clothes, shoes, jewelry, wrist watches, etc. that we crave to acquire and fondly display to the extent of undertaking unethical ‘jobs’ and crimes to earn enough to buy, are made by our mates in Singapore, China, Brazil, India, Korea, and even South Africa. Therefore what youths in Nigeria need is not to be handed leadership. We rather need a development programme comprehensive enough to provide for ideal value-orientation, standard education and training, entrepreneurial capacities, and funding mechanism that will enable us to compete with our mates in knowledge, skills, executive competencies, and industrial diligence.
- That an average actor in India writes films that promote national interests, revamp failing value system, or depicts India’s strength over Pakistan and Kashmir or express the values of Indian culture in comparison with Western culture. Indians won’t kiss in films nor have sex but play love within the parameters of their culture. Where are we? What do our Nollywood actors do? Imitate western cultural behaviours that are illicit in our cultural eyes in the name of civilisation. Nollywood and our music industry, a youth driven sector, as it is only contributes to the bastardization of our future leaders and therefore need serious orientational reform before funding.
- A youth that will make meaningful contribution to national development must have trained and developed his/her mind to be stimulated by patriotism, constructive contribution and a sense of pride attached only to dignity. It has being a count of scores (deaths) in some state capitals among warring secret cult groups and the increase in cyber fraudsters is so alarming. Are these the youths clamoring for youth inclusion in governance? We had seen youth given top executives positions in the dark days of democracy and were at best doing the dirty jobs for their ‘good and youth-friendly’ bosses, I appreciate that PMB has a responsibility to depart us from this trend. How is he going to go about it, I don’t understand but his leadership styles in these 100 days suggested to some of us that he understands the implication of a nation with over 100 million youths population mostly uncultured, mostly half-baked in education and training, and with zero sense of pride in their nation.
I will therefore mobilise Nigerian youths to support the ongoing reforms tar getting firstly our orientation about governance and corruption. Without fear of disagreement I would say PMB has not failed the Nigerian youth constituency. He is already setting the pace for us to be handed a good leadership system. My reasons are stated below:
- Every other sector he had touched has youths benefiting the most. Civil service has over 60% youth population. So, his interventions that put smiles on the faces of workers benefit youths the most. Even the elders in the civil service can now fund their youth-children’s education and upkeep.
- When the Agric sector reform takes off, youths will make over 60% of benefactors.
- If the treasury management reform saves us a fortune in national revenue hitherto unremitted to treasury, Nigerian youths will benefits the most.
- When road accidents reduce, when avoidable deaths reduce in our hospitals, when Boko Haram killings stop, when security of lives reached climax, youths will benefit the most.
- There are youths in every sector of the economic and every aspect of our national life affect youths. So, there is no gainsaying that PMB has touched the lives of youths.
- Our Universities centers on youths. So, reforming education is youth centered project.
The problem is that we assume some individuals that are self-christened and parades themselves as youth leaders to be the youth PMB must talk to or ‘touch’ directly. It is a crooked thinking and Baba himself is aware of this. Our constituency holds the key to the greatness of this country. We must assume the position to help and not be helped. We must reform ourselves before we are been reformed.
(WHYTE HABEEB IBIDAPO is a Lawyer, United Nations Award winner, Africa International Arbitration Award winner, Coca cola/ The Nation Campuslife Award Winner, Promasidor Runner-up for the Best Future Writer in Nigeria, i-Hustle Campaign Initiative Ambassador and Editor Egba Youth Awards Foundation.
Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates