The battle for the 2019 general elections will be fought squarely between the ‘lazy’ and angry Nigerian youths and the old and tired politicians. It is the new versus the old order. Before President Muhammadu Buhari said in London that a lot of Nigerian youths are indolent and always want free things because Nigeria is an oil-producing country, there is already boiling anger among the youths in the country.
The youths are angry with the political leadership of the country that has consistently failed the youths by not giving them the desired opportunities to utilize their God-given potentials. Most of the unemployed Nigerians are the youths that Buhari said constituted 60 percent of the nation’s estimated population, which was recently said to be 180 million by the National Population Commission (NPC).
Although the new figure is hotly disputed by many Nigerians, there is nothing they can do except there is new headcount that all Nigerians will accept. A lot of anger, especially by the youths, had trailed Buhari’s London gaffe, which his handlers said was quoted out of proportion. No doubt, some Nigerian youths are damn lazy. But their number cannot be up to the 60 percent mark.
Many Nigerian youths are very industrious. They work from morning to night to eke a living from unwilling soil and suffocating polity. They are the ones that sell spare parts and medicines in all the open markets in Lagos, Ibadan, Kano, Onitsha and Aba. They are the ones that hawk their wares on major highways in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and many other places.
They are the ones that work as auto mechanics, plumbers, tailors, electricians, carpenters and masons. They are the bus conductors, bus and taxi drivers and even trailer drivers that move goods from Lagos ports to other parts of the country. Some of these youths, a minute number, engage in yahoo-yahoo or 419, kidnapping and other crimes not necessarily because they want to do them but simply because the leaders of the country have failed to provide the needed jobs and refused to create an enabling environment for the youths to exercise their talents.
Some of these youths are hired as thugs by the politicians during elections only to be abandoned soon after. I can go on and on and yet the list will not be exhausted. They are the ones that invented Nollywood movies. They are the ones that created the new wave-making Nigerian hip-hop music that our politicians use during political campaigns and party primaries.
They are the ones that populate the thriving Nigerian media industry. The Nigerian youths are the famous bloggers, social media practitioners and entrepreneurs of high repute. They are our engineers, teachers, doctors and nurses that now seek for greener pastures in Europe, Asia and America because our aging politicians have made Nigeria never to work. Some of the youths are highly educated yet there is no job for them. Nigerian youths include those that brave the odds to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe to eke a living.
They are those that drive cabs and wash plates abroad and remit thousands of dollars every year to their relations at home. Most Nigerian graduates from 1990 to the present are all victims of the unworkable Nigerian system. They were highly educated but could not find work to do. They wanted to set up businesses but could not get loans.
Nigerian youths include the over 10 million out-of-school-children in Nigeria. They include those that should be engaged working in factories but they are allowed to roam the streets and beg for a living while our politicians squander our oil wealth. And where there are lazy youths, there will also be delinquent adults as well. It takes adult delinquency to beget a lazy youth. Lazy youths are products of lazy parents. You cannot give what you don’t have.
All Nigerian leaders, past and present, must share the blame for producing millions of lazy youths. These leaders, to the best of my knowledge, enjoyed the best the country could offer them but when it was their turn to do the same to Nigerian youths, they reneged.
But the present regime must take the lion share of the blame because it promised Nigerians, including the lazy youths, a lot in terms of welfare, security, job creation and fighting graft. In all these, the government has failed woefully. It has blamed the PDP for its failings. Now, it has described the youths that voted them into power as being lazy, uneducated and always looking for free things. It is quite unfortunate.
It is becoming obvious that the Nigerian youths should take up the political power and rewrite Nigeria’s political history by doing things the right way. This is the time for our own Barack Obama, Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau to emerge on the political scene and take control.
There is no doubt that the old politicians have serially failed the country. Voting them into power again would compound the problems of the country and further mortgage the future of the lazy Nigerian youths. They should be shown the way out. They have, for a very long time, crowded the political scene. Now is the era of the youths.
Therefore, the 2019 poll offers the youths the golden opportunity to assert themselves and take back the politics of the country from the tired and old brigade politicians. The 21st Century politics is for the youths and the young at heart.
It is good that many new and young faces are offering themselves to lead the country. It is a strong message to the old brigade that our children are coming and that this is the time for the youths to run the affairs of the great country with many failed promises. Nothing should vitiate the new vision. Let all ‘lazy’ Nigerian youths come together and vote out the old brigade. This is the only chance to prove that the Nigerian youths are not lazy.
Let me conclude by telling Britain that we, in this part of the world, are not yet ready for the same-sex marriage canvassed in London recently by Prime Minister Teresa May. I do not think that there is any point we will yield to such a taboo practice. Not now and not in the near future. Apart from being against our culture, it is against God’s plan for marriage.
Britain can assist us in the area of education, technology, trade, military training and security and not whom we should marry. In our culture, marriage is between two consenting male and female adults. We frown at same-sex marriage. It is both a cultural and religious aberration. Nobody should legislate to us how we can conduct our marriage. It is our private affair. We abhor interference in such private matters.