From the public relations point of view, last week was -in our recent national history- unarguably the most nightmarish for our country. Presidential and senatorial default-collusion accentuated the perennial elitist demarketing of Nigeria and her people, at home and abroad. It was disheartening to see our septuagenarian president on the world stage maligning the very young people who are the mainstay of, and the most betrayed in, this country. Incidentally, the April 16-20 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2018, where President Muhammadu Buhari said what he said, had the theme: towards a common future.
His unfortunate comments only remind us to enquire about the future that our president seeks for our youngsters. How has he been working to achieve it? Does he believe that future is possible? And, by the way, it seems our president has a minority report on CHOGM 2018 that counters the position of his colleagues which is, ‘when leaders from all the member countries came together in London and Windsor, they reaffirmed our common values, addressed the shared global challenges we face and agreed to work to create a better future for all our citizens, particularly young people’.
Clearly, our president envisions no future for our youths. Judging from his rather unpresidential diatribe in Westminster, which I cannot reproduce here for obvious reasons, I would say that our children who hope on the man are waiting for Godot. That’s the stark reality. Our president has made us a global laughingstock and himself so unlovable, so unpackageable here at home.
And, why does he almost-always misfire anytime he goes overseas? Recall that his unmathematical 97% and 5% voting acquisition, corrupt Nigerians and such other verbal blunders were all made outside Nigeria. Are we to henceforth invade the tarmac whenever we hear of an impending trip to block him? I am tired of the intermittent extraneous disgrace by my own president, and even more the often confounding defence by his helplessly-hapless handlers.
I understand that Messrs Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu have work to do, which they must be seen doing; but I think sometimes the very impossible cul-de-sac that the president talks himself into, demands they say or do nothing. Yes, because most of some of those times these speaking aides only end up adding salt to injury rather than enforcing repairs. For instance, imagine a presidential spokesman saying that the recent denigration by the president was about some not all youths. Doesn’t that worsen, rather than ameliorate, the nationwide angst instigated by the president’s hate speech?
Yes, that is what it was and still is: a hate speech against young Nigerians by their very own president. However, talking in-house, Nigerians have risen in support of our young people not so much because what the president said is untrue, but more because of where the condemnation was made, and who made it. Parents, elders and public analysts say the same thing that the president said if not worse every day, yet there’s never been any voice of dissent let alone this much countrywide outcry. The presidency and indeed the entire architecture of government must realise that we elected them to reform, not to whine and even if -not abroad!
That is the sole lesson to glean from the unanimous condemnation that has trailed the president’s truth to youths. No one can deny that something is fundamentally wrong with our young people, seeing that as we speak they function below capacity. Their problem is both societal and self-incurred. There’s far too much pressure on these young adults, too little opportunities of help, and only a small number of their monumental population have what it takes to push through on their own.
To make matters worse, they have no worthy mentors especially in the area of politics which has arrested the interest of an alarming percentage of them. Enter Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege. How would future generations ever forgive the ridiculously-unsenatorial self-help that the All-Progressives Congress man from Delta Central resorted to? How can and why should our young men and women know and perform better when rich and influential political teachers (Mr. Omo-Agege and company) teach them only injustice, corruption, thuggery, kidnapping and thievery twenty five hours daily?
From the foregoing, there’s one inescapable conclusion: the Nigerian masses have to sit and talk. Since the elites had theirs a number of times and still drew blank, those of us on the ground floor must plan against failing; otherwise Nigeria is finished. Labour unions should partner the civil society and some patriotic citizens outside government. Funding can come from the people and a few well-to-do patriots who have nothing whatsoever to do with politics and politicians.
That point about politics and politicians is critical since we are where we are because of both. Politics and politicians mess up frameworks and goals because they introduce myopia, mediocrity and self every time. An opportunity for the masses to talk, devoid of politics and politicians, may just be the talismanic solution that drives this country back to winning ways. God bless Nigeria!
Is 2018 the waterloo year for the long-serving few?
When in the twilight of last year, the Zimbabwean military pushed out Mr. Robert Mugabe who had been president for well over 37 years, the world revived the belief that long-serving men and women would leave office in their lifetime. 2018 has reaffirmed that belief. Early days yet, but so far South
Africa’s Jacob Zuma and Cuba’s Raul Castro are already history!
Even my own Monsieur Arsene Wenger of Arsenal has been blown away by the tsunamic year. Goodbye, Prof., and many thanks for those 22 years. May the future be brighter!