When like minds meet, there is enough energy capable of effecting change. Also, positive results are easily achieved. Like minds profer solutions to knotty problems. So, it was a positive narrative to hear that Nigerian youths were supporting an agency of government to help disseminate a message with such fanfare and youthful vigor.
In fact, when the news broke out that the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, was going to organise a nationwide march with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and other stakeholders, including the Nigeria Labour Congress, many had waved it away as a daydreaming exercise, bearing in mind that Nigerian youths would not allow anything to come between them and February 14, a day widely recognised as “Lovers’ Day,” more embraced by Nigerian youths because of many social activities already lined up by organisations and entertainment groups around the country.
By fixing the programme on February 14, Magu strategically used the march to kill two birds with one stone. On the one hand, Magu cleverly created a meeting point for Nigeria’s vibrant youth corpers and other youths to meet and socialise on Valentine’s Day and, on the other hand, he used the same meeting point to sermonise on what he has been preaching all these years and even anointed them as cross-bearers.
Such strategic thinking and planning is result-oriented. Listening to the youths’ response, it was obvious that Magu’s sermon really pierced the hearts of the youth. It meant that Magu’s sermon was well received. One is quick to ask the question, what sermon did Magu preach? To many, he was oratorical, to others, Magu must have been drowned with a special anointing.
His sermon was simple, brief, direct and powerful, like a revolutionary orator: “Youths in Nigeria should take ownership of the fight against corruption and should see themselves as anti-corruption crusaders, and as the future anti-corruption fight in the country. This is the way to go to catch them young and there is no going back on the war against corruption, because the environment is right, and it is now or never.”
Listening to Magu was like listening to a fiery preacher. There is no doubting the fact that the youth of today are miles ahead in terms of knowledge and exposure. The social media has further helped to aggravate the social ills of the day.
Unfortunately, the same youths the EFCC is running to are the ones who opened the page of corruption known as “419” many years ago. The same energetic youths are behind most election malpractices. You hear of the youth being involved in illicit financial flows and illegal oil bunkering, all of which contribute to economic sabotage. Some youths are the brains behind ‘yahoo-yahoo’ scams, kidnapping, terrorism, cultism, hard drugs and armed robbery; some of them forge bank documents. Yet, we as a country are hopefully looking up to them.
Magu is optimistic that the future belongs to them. Indeed, the future belongs to them, yet they don’t want to accept the fact. A check at all the correctional facilities around the country speaks volumes. It must be explained that the classification of certain age grades as youths does not separate those who are illiterate from those who are literate. They are all Nigerian youths. It does not matter their political, ethnic or religious leaning. The message Magu is disseminating is that Nigerian youths should “say something” when they see corrupt practices going on wherever they find themselves. What Magu is preaching is that Nigerian youths should henceforth take up the banner of the war against corruption.
Corruption has many faces. It is expedient for them to realise the colours of corruption. There is economic, political, religious and societal corruption. The youths should be lectured that corruption can kill any system and erode intergrity. It can debase an organization. Indeed, corruption is evil and should be cast away like a demon.
Today, the urge to get rich quick can easily propel one into corruption. Greed and lust for money are some of the ingredients of corruption.
Like Magu preached, “Let us take the future of the country in our hands. The youths have to wake up because the future belongs to you.”
In confidence, he concluded, “We are very sure that victory against corruption is certain.” There are many believers in the Nigerian project, like Magu. This percentage of patriotic Nigerians is more in the circle of the youth.
These vociferous Nigerians look handicapped. They want to see lasting structures in place, just as former President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, observed, Nigeria lacks enduring structures. When such structures are in place,then the youths would no longer be discriminated about. They will not sit for national examinations only to be deprived of rightful opportunities, based on quota system, neither will job opportunities be based on quota system and connections (whom they know).
In a better Nigeria, the youth would be accommodated to actualise their dreams to build the country, instead of searching endlessly for greener pastures abroad.
What’s happening at Immigration HQ? (1)
When this writer last travelled out of Nigeria in November 2018 to Cairo, Egypt, I was officially mandated to update my international passport. As the driver headed towards the Abuja Airport, we passed the headquarters of the Nigerian Civil Defence Corps. The way leading to their headquarters was not very inviting, even the environment was very rough and needed the immediate attention of the Abuja environmental department. However, as we turned into the next road, a majestic ark-shaped tall entrance signpost, with the inscription “ Headquarters Nigeria Immigration Service,” was imposingly welcoming the visitor and acknowledging that he was approaching the right place. Suddenly, an armed uniformed officer came near the car and inquired about my mission there.
(To be continued)