Reshaping Nigeria: What can We Youths Do
“In the face of impossible odds, people who love their country can change it”- Barrack Obama
In light of the current stagnation that our nation faces, our sole responsibility is the task of reshaping our individual and collective destinies. At present, the country is on the verge of economic, educational, and political stagnation as well as security collapse. Economically, the country is almost broke, still owing salaries of public servants, not to mention the continual devaluation of naira relative to dollar, which tentatively implies a hike in prices of goods. In education, there is the dilapidated state of many universities, and incessant strike action threatening to hamper academic calendars of many schools. Likewise, the current ranking of universities shows Nigerian universities dropping gradually. In politics, the just concluded 2015 general elections clearly depicts an ethno-polarized country. Also, the current state of the country’s security shows youths bombing churches and mosques, killing myriads of people in the process and an increase in armed robbery, fraud and theft. In essence, Nigerian youths are the hope that would reflect a better future. Thus, they have a rendezvous with destiny.
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”-Max Planck. This quote reflects the first step towards shaping the Nigerian future; that is, the need for a mentality change. We should see ourselves as architects given the privilege to build into the future. We should see our actions as an opportunity to discharge our obligations to our beloved country. This criterionis the bedrock upon which every other duty and responsibity lies.
If the Nigerian economy is to undergo a radical change, it must become self-sufficient and independent. The role of youths would be to enhance entrepreneurship. This would require that youths organize and manage business undertakings, make plans, and assume risks for the sake of profit. A great population of Nigerian youths age below 30. Therefore, it can be asserted that Nigeria has a youth economy. Andall youths cannot be gainfully employed by the government, but all should be self-empowered and counselled to reduce the high rate of menace in the society.
Also, Nigerian education needs relevant practical training to become developed. Vocational education in particular is the corner stone for any sustainable development. We can develop ourselves in various skilled areas of vocational education, and promote sustainable development and employability in the light of the present political and social realities in Nigeria. This is not to say that we will not also fulfil our academic edutainment. Vocational training will be like a means to an end. It will offer training to improve individual’s general proficiency especially in relation to their present or future occupation, as stated in the National Policy on Education (2004), “…to give training and impart the necessary skill to individuals who shall be self-reliant”.
Presently, Nigeria is gripped with threats of terrorism and general insecurity. Howbeit it is believed that these threats result from bad leadership, poverty, unemployment, widespread illiteracy and extreme deprivation; youths are involved in perpetrating these acts. According to the African Research Review; vol.9; series 36; “…Nigerian Unemployed youths and war refugees from Chad, Mali, Sudan, Libya, etc. formed the bulk of Boko Haram membership”. Therefore, there is the need to begin a campaign of re-orientating fellow youths who help breed this religious extremism and terrorism. Inferring from a popular saying that if you want to catch a thief, send a thief;one would probably suggest that youths champion this cause. Even though it may not seem like much, it is something and it would help.
Research has shown that people under the age of 35 are rarely found in formal political leadership positions. Youth is not represented adequately in formal political institutions and processes such as parliaments, political parties, elections and public administration. Youthful participation in politics is beneficial for vivid and resilient democracy and should be supported. Young people are vital stakeholders in conflict and in peace building. They should also be agent of change and provide a foundation for rebuilding lives and communities, thus contributing to a more just and peaceful society.
In conclusion, the current state of the country shows that our leaders may have failed us, but we have the responsibility to make the country move again. This is the basis on which every order of our action or reaction should be judged. Rediscovering, recreating, redefining and rebranding Nigeria should be every young person’s goal, so that we can boldly explore a new national creed.
“My will shall shape the future. Whether I fail or succeed shall be no one’s doing but my own. I am the force…my choice, my responsibility. Win or lose, only I hold the key to my destiny”- Elaine Maxwell
©Richoffor Moses 2016
Moses N. Richoffor studies Communication and Language Arts in the University of Ibadan.
He majors in Public Relations and Advertising.
A prolific writer and silent poet, he believes in the power of the Word to move mountains.
You may reach him through:
08189629362 (Whatsapp and Call)