Now we know what prominent people in government think about young people in the country, as exemplified in a video showing the interview that graduated into a war of words between Omoyele Sowore, the Publisher of Sahara Reporters and Presidential aspirant and the Minister for ICT, Adebayo Shittu. Every Nigerian knows that privilege people see young people as noisemakers with no purpose or will, however, Nigerians do not know that some powerful folks can mutter the confidence and arrogance needed to call a young Nigeria inconsequential. For the Minister to call a prominent young person like Sowore inconsequential, it means that every young people in Nigeria is inconsequential.
Anybody who understands Nigeria politic would not blame the minister for his comment. His out pour is basically the belief of every powerful elderly person, especially politicians; that young people are only consequent during elections. Young people are usually employed as thugs to disrupt election, hijack ballot boxes, and commit other electoral malpractices. This is because politicians believe that, that is what they are good at nothing more. For young people who are privileged to be educated, politicians employ them to became parrot for their cause; noisemakers for their campaigns and political ambition. Fortunately and unfortunately, young people have played that role well.
Even though Nigeria young people may find it hard to accept the appellation, the truth remains that young folks have remain in consequential and docile for too long. They have accepted the role of the Leader in waiting – Leaders of tomorrow. They have waited for so long for those of the older generation to have their way all the time, hoping that they would be generous enough to hand over the baton of power to them. But the reality remains that the older folks are not ready to until they have been laid six feet into the ground.
Young people have accepted the role of the inconsequential people, even though they account for over 60 per cent of the population of the country. Though they campaigned and voted for those who call them inconsequential, and in fact used their young strength for get them to get to the threshold of power, though they persuaded their parents and family members to queue up to vote for people we might call ungrateful, yet they have no say in the affair of things in their country.
President Muhammadu Buhari cannot deny the role of young people in his election as the president of Nigeria. it is a known fact that Young people re-branded Buhari and made his look like an anti-corruption hero. They employed technology to give President Buhari a fighting chance against the incumbent President, Goodluck Jonathan, who had all the money in his disposal to literary buy the electorate and the election. Now that the President has gotten what he wanted young people have suddenly became inconsequential. Only a handful of young people were appointed into Buhari’s government, if any were ever appointed
The question to ask is, will the Minister of Information, Communication, and technology call young people inconsequential five decades back? A period in the life of Nigeria when young people were in-charge of the newly independent Nigeria, both as democratic leaders and military head of state. They showed character and integrity while they were leaders, they introduced policies we still appreciate till today. Yes, they had shortcomings, however, they were competent. Most of them did not start their political career from being a chancellor, contrary to what the minister suggested to Sowore during the interview at Fresh FM Ibadan. Our National Legends started their leadership careers from when they were young.
Every Nigeria young person have no choice but to believe that there is a conspiracy by older politicians to continue to recycle themselves in power. Statesman who should retire from active politics are either still wrestling for power with folks who are in the same age group as their children or holding stubbornly to power outside the political ring, always wanting to be in control. This is unfortunate.
The worst part of Nigeria’s predicament is the fact that the so called statesmen have not managed the country well. They have continue to frustrate young people to go into criminal act that they would not normally want to get involved in. young people are forcing their way out of the country either through the Sahara desert or through other legal or illegal route.
Nigeria is no longer a youth friendly country. The older generation have continue to render young people in the country inconsequential. The fact that the government has failed to provide opportunities young people need to strive is dishearten. How can young people grow without a solid educational system; without an economy that encourage entrepreneurship? This terrible fate leaves young people unemployed, poor, vulnerable and at the mercies of these politicians. With all this unfortunate barrier, Nigeria expect young people not to take up a life of crime. Young people are locked out of their school through the negligent of people who call themselves “constituted authority” and they expect them not to say a thing or protest these insensitivity.
It is time for young people to pick up the gauntlet and prove politicians wrong by proving that they are much more consequential than any group of people in the country. Young people need to prove that they can, in unity, ensure the change they want and not too young to rule. They can do this by using their Permanent Voter Cards to forge the political force they need to become influential in the affair of things in their country.
It is high time Nigeria young people call the bluff of this insensitive politicians who believe that you can excel in politics only if you have all the money to spend. Nigerian youth should take back their destiny from those who feel they can be treated anyway and called names with impunity. Every young people should inculcate the audacity Sowore and other young people seeking for political post have, in other to force their demand for change and their quest for influence. They needs to see the infantry of the Minister to can a young person inconsequential as not only an offence against one person but on the entire young people of the country. We young people need to give arrogant and despising follows like the Minister for ICT, Mr. Shittu Adebayo a run for their money during the 2019 election.