By Damiete Braide
A promising young writer and founder of First Massive Literati, (FML), James Useghan, has presented his book, The Competent Youth, to the Lagos public. Scheduled earlier for release last year, it was delayed due to the COVID 19 pandemic and #EndSars protest.
In his address of welcome, George Ashiru said he had known the author for some years, asking, “How authentic are the youths who want to go into politics? What are there antecedents? This is the mere reason why people don’t vote, because it is mere talk, too much of motivational talks and less of identifying and suffering with the people, which shows that we are together.”
He urged the youths not to always presume that things would be handed over to them on a platter of gold: “They should not always agitate until they are prepared, but, if they want to occupy, they need to have a strategy, and your strategy cannot work except you know your strength, and you need to build on your strength.”
Chris Ekiyor affirmed that every society was a reflection of the product of how the society was run. He said: “We have a country where the minds of young people have been brainwashed by the older generation to think that, until they get to a particular level or status in life, that they can never be anything. As youths, they must start small, re-group, organise, unite, integrate their ideology.
“If our focus is to build an economic viable Nigeria, let it be our goal and driving force. Let it take way the thin line of dichotomy, tribe and religion. We must build a critical mass of people who have a common goal to cause a positive change. Once we have that, it becomes a movement which will give birth to the kind of change that young people aspire. Unity, purpose of gathering, resources are key, and we can permeate in numbers, which provide the resources.”
Reviewer of the book, Omololu Olubakinde, noted that “The Competent Youth is about the quest for the author to serve the people. One of the indices of a serious servant is documentation. Former President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, before he became the president, wrote The Audacity of Hope, which informed his projections which later became evident in his life.
“The book gives a history of the Izon people and relative to other regions in the country. The book is an embodiment of his experiences which have spurred him for service at various levels. The book is not just trying to be sensitive people but also educates them on issues which they didn’t know before,” he said.
Useghan said the book was a reflection of a young man who defied odds to achieve greatness in the scheme of things, while hinting that. “the youths will have an understanding that there is no challenge in life that they cannot overcome. We are created to solve problems. The book also exposes some strategies they can apply for 2023 election in Nigeria. If youths in Africa want to contest for any political position, they will find my strategies very useful.”
The book, he said, was triggered by the #Endsars protest. That was a remarkable statement made by the youths. *It wasn’t just because of police brutality but the youths wanted a positive change in the country.
They wanted something that would make their lives better and have a sense of belonging. For that reason, I decided to lend my voice to this issue with my book, The Competent Youth.”