Suddenly they have become afraid of them after calling them “lazy Nigerian youths”.
Just when we were in despair that our entertainment-loving youths would never step up and stand up for their country, the unthinkable happened in October of 2020 as they rose from their deep slumber in unison and with one voice, embarked on one of the biggest pro-Nigeria, pro-people and anti-government protests in the annals of our much beleaguered country. It was an amazing spectacle to see our young people from the south engage in the politics of the country – the downside being that northern youths were not on the same page with them. But happily, the younger generation of our northern brothers and sisters are waking up to the fact that we are all under all manners of socio-economic siege.
Yes! Our youths had woken up and have shown that they are averse to going back to sleep. They will now fight the fight that we and our parents refused to fight for them. It is a fight that they must win or go down fighting. It is the final battle for the soul of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. And it is a fight that must be done with our support.
Yes! Our thieving and roguish politicians and elites never reckoned with them. That is why they never truly invested in them except when they had need of their youthful energy in the perpetration of crime, mischief and havoc. They have been useful to them all these years in the unwholesome acts of electoral fraud and intimidation of voters as well as murder of political opponents.
While some of our young ones have seen the light and are struggling to change their narratives and the trajectory of our country, others have continued to walk in the dark and have remained under the thumbs and control of their traducers and pay masters. Some of them have branched out into insurgency, banditry, unknown gunmen – all, anti-social activities for which they will pay the price at the appointed time. It is a fact of life that nothing lasts forever – not even evil.
In their myopia, our now thoroughly discredited political class still think that they can keep our youths down forever. It is why they denied them the education that liberates and motivates to become good citizens. Educating the citizenry will give them the capacity to ask questions about their country and governance – questions the politicians do not want to be asked.
And as the children of the political elites were sent to the best educational institutions in the world, their parents who were busy masquerading as political leaders in Nigeria were busy spreading division and poverty in our country by their misgovernance, maladministration and their unending and unbridled looting of our treasury.
Now as a result, we are now a country of over twenty million-out-of-school children – the highest in the world and a country of extreme violence, kidnappings, death, dizzying poverty and a country in which those citizens who have the means are escaping or ‘japaing’ with their families to other saner climes.
But we all cannot run away from our country. We have become the proverbial animal that has been backed to the wall and has no other escape route except to face the frontal challenge. It is forward ever and backward never.
It is why a vast army of Nigerian youths are responding to the call by former President Olusegun Obasanjo who has told them that the fate of the Nigerian nation is in their hands and that they have the numbers and energy to make the change.
It is why they believe that those who have handled political power in the country at the centre for the past twenty-two years and failed so spectacularly must not be given another chance to complete the demolition job they started on Nigeria from 1999 to date.
It is why they are on social media, arguing, rebutting, refuting, haranguing and propagating their visions, their expectations and their hope for a better Nigeria for all.
It is why they are on the streets across different states in Nigeria in their thousands preaching, rallying, crying, and praying for a Nigeria in which social and economic justice, equity, fairness, competence, national commitment and patriotism will be the hallmarks of political leadership and responsibility.
It is why these youths believe that if the PDP governments of Presidents Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, Goodluck Jonathan, and APC’s Muhammadu Buhari did not embody these critical elements and virtues of governance during their over twenty-two years in power, then they must be retired come 2023 and their suffocating stranglehold on Nigeria ceased.
It is why they believe that the politics of “We no dey give shishi” is far more valuable, far more superior and agreeable than the shameful and dehumanising politics of “stomach infrastructure”
It is why the majority of these youths are ‘Obidients.’ It is why they have embraced the Obi/Datti Labour Party platform. Because they know that in content and character these two leading lights of the Labour party are vastly different from those from the leading political parties in Nigeria. At one time or the other, they might have made incursions into the politics of Nigeria as senator and governor, but they have largely remained unsullied by the contradictions and corruption of the system.
But the #endsars generation of youths are not supporting Peter Obi and Datti Ahmed solely for their sakes. They are doing it for themselves. They are fighting for themselves. Just as the younger generation has become an instrument for the political fortunes of the Obi/Datti movement, so also have Obi and Datti become instruments for the actualisation of the political ambitions and visions of the youths for a better Nigeria. Obi and Datti cannot afford to fail them if and when the politically unthinkable happens.
If we were not afraid and ashamed to vote for Jonathan and the PDP in the first term, and we were not afraid and ashamed to do the same for Buhari and the APC, should we now be ashamed and afraid to vote for others, especially when presented with candidates with far better credentials? Besides, why would the discerning youths support those who gave the order or supported the order to the Nigerian Army to shoot at them on the night of October 2020 at the Lekki Toll Gate during the #endsars protests.
Yes! The chickens have come home to roost. The political elites have suddenly realised that the youths, if they stick largely together can make a difference in 2023 and it is a nightmare situation. They have become afraid of the power of youth anger. It is why those of the major political platforms are seeking to change and control the narrative on social media. But this is like daring the lion in its den. On social media, the younger generation is riding the frequency and airwaves in cyberspace. It is their habitat and eco-system. They are in charge 100%. It is why, out of frustration, their traducers have resorted to calling them rude and disrespectful – as if they are deserving of respect – the unconscionable renegades and enemies of our country.
May the revenge of the youths yield bountiful fruits in 2023. We all need it regardless of our religion, ethnic group and geo-political provenance.