An Open Letter To Nigerian Youths.
To start with I do not belong to any political party myself but it is important to be part of one to be heard and contribute to that actual “Change” that we all yearn for. I will appreciate if anyone can read this piece without sentiments or political party affiliation. Just read as an ordinary citizen and you may get the purpose crystal clear.
For any Nation or community to develop, “Siddon look syndrome” or “election boycott” is never a smart option. In a community or Nation where the smart and educated ones are boycotting elections or refusing to participate in election process or grassroots politics then they are not only allowing the less educated ones to take over the government democratically but you have also given them the right to decide your future and in extension the future of your children and grandchildren – now you can’t blame anyone for your misfortune.
It really doesn’t matter what your religion is, what your tribe is or what your social status is, all the youths of this Country must come together and unite to make a change that we desire. Be you from Lantang to Mbaise, from Yola to Otukpo, from Shagamu to Agbor! A medical doctor or a tailor, rich or poor, a Christian or a Muslim – all these are just pure unnecessary tactics created to divide us so that we can be easier to rule. While we are busy fighting each other over imported religion or over land borders. The gluttons in government are having a field day and we are simply playing to their gallery.
We don’t need a soothsayer to tell us that either past or present governments don’t care about us, schools are always on strike, Doctors are not paid – hospitals are like morgues, there are no sport centres to keep youths busy or discover their talents. For those who are lucky enough to graduate after going through rigorous sessions with their years in either polytechnic or a University, there are no jobs available. Youths are fleeing the Country in thousands if not millions, while many are dying in the dessert and the lucky ones ending up in the hands of slave traders!
Dear Nigerian Youths, if we don’t do anything now, there won’t be a Country for our Children and grandchildren, it’s either we pay the price now or push the worst unto the next generation – either a thank you or a curse; they will forward either to us wherever we are.
All the present leaders were in their 20’s and 30’s when they came into power and in their 70’s and 80’s – they are still calling the shots and making laws, not only for our generation but the next too! The world is moving ahead and we are about to be left behind! If not behind already by decades!
Israel was not built by God neither was Saudi Arabia built by God – The Israelites and the Saudis built their Country – Dubai was once a dessert and look at the city today! Malaysia got its independence in 1963, 3years after my dear Country – Nigeria. It’s unfortunate that Nigerians are emigrating in thousands to Malaysia for better education and better living condition. It’s no longer news that some Nigerians are selling of their Kidneys in this Southeast Asian Country to make ends meet!
Budgets over budgets and yet there is no difference in the lives of the people – You wouldn’t know how the life of an average Nigerian is like until you take a walk round the town or city and see people struggling to have one meal a day – yet, our leaders are amongst the richest in the world!
Register to vote – Please no matter how busy you are, register to vote! A nation with nearly 200million people and half of this population are below the age of 30! In the last general election, both major political parties scored approximately 28million votes (including millions of rigging as traditional). 11Million Nigerians voted for four housemates in one week in the last Big Brother Naija!!! Alarming right! To vote is free but it costs 30Naira per attempt and many youths were voting multiple times for their favourite contestants! As long as it’s their right to do whatever they feel like doing, some things are just not of priority! Our future matters and as it is that future is not stable as we can barely survive today. Please register to vote – get your PVC NOW!
Numbers Advantage – We as young people don’t seem to understand how much power we are holding. There are more youths active than the older generation, we are not only able to mobilise each other but we can also influence some percentage of the older generation to see the truth and share our interest. If we can make our parents, Uncles and Aunties dance to “WO” or “One Corner dance” and then post it on the social media, then we can influence them to vote the right candidate!
Grassroots Political participation – Gone are the days when we were of the opinion that politics is for the politicians, only in this part of the world do you have politicians acting as “Lords” – in an ideal world, they are working for you and not the other way round. We have made it so easy for them. If we had to go to a University and only to come back to the community and still not able to make a difference then there is a problem! Join a political party of your choice in your community, make contributions and make your views heard – be active and be known! It would be a hard one to rig an election in your community if most of the youths are part of the system and protecting their votes.
Do not be used as a tout – One of the menaces in politics in Africa is violence and this can’t happen without the youths being used to carry out all sort of public nuisance, from killing to maiming, abduction to threatening other candidates and extortion. All these pot-bellied politicians are not agile, strong or bold enough to do all these publicly so mercenaries are required to carry these “services” out. The youths are ready made hands for this! The same politicians usually have their offspring’s safe in England or U.A.E in their palatial homes! Please refrain from being used, if you get killed in the process or get arrested – you are now your family problem, most of these politicians will deny ever meeting or knowing you. Many youths have been killed and many rotting in jail where these politicians have been elected and life goes on!
Leave it to God or God will judge them – Various times I have read and heard young people saying these two phrases. I am sorry but that’s a silly excuse and an act of cowardice. This comes back to how these people have brainwashed us into believing that God will intervene whenever there is any form of hardship but they failed to also tell us that God won’t come down to help us, especially when the problem is man-made. God has done his part by making sure that we have a life, we can see, we can hear, we can walk and we can feel! Some things are too physical with common sense than spiritual!
My dear youths, we have an opportunity to make a difference in 2019. We can remain online and criticise the government along with its agents, fight each other with words, trust me, nothing will change.
A revolution does not have to be through the barrel of gun. I propose a mass exodus of votes against these reckless and heartless tyrants that have been holding us to ransom for decades even before majority of us were born!
Stand as a candidate – It is a shame that those in their 40’s in this country are still fighting to be recognised as youths. The polity has been bastardised and too much money induced that an average person with a genuine interest is too afraid to stand as candidate as a result of how much money is required to be a successful candidate. Politics is so much about how deep your pocket is these days. Unfortunately, that way – the wrong candidates with ulterior motives usually win the election. I know it’s a challenge but it’s not impossible to make it happen. If all candidates are young and vibrant then it’s a win-win situation. Please don’t tell me those old men won’t allow it if you haven’t tried. No one willingly relinquish power in Africa, you wrestle power off their hands. See Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.
Fighting each other – Under no circumstances, this is not ideal or acceptable, either online or physically. You are not each other’s enemy; your enemies are out there smiling to foreign banks and negotiating for a new private jet. Stop all these stupid ideas and myopic thinking of someone is Hausa, the other is Igbo or Yoruba. We like it or not, we are in this together. If all the Bible and Quran said are true then we are all one family irrespective of our tribes.
I have seen how young people are attacking each other online based on their differences, such as tribes and religion. I think it’s important that we understand that we are all Africans and it’s not smart to allow foreign religions to divide us. Christianity is Roman-European culture, Islam is an Arabian culture. If you look closely you will notice that we have embraced both religions in a very wrong way and even more than where they originated from – all these at the expense of our tradition and culture.
“Hausa people are stupid” – no problem, “Yoruba people are dirty” – no problem, “Igbo people are insane” – no problem. Let’s just agree that all Nigerians are sick and in need of help. Can we all come back to the drawing board and iron out a medication to treat our sickness in the name of God!
If we Nigerian Youths miss the opportunity coming up in 2019 and allow those cabals to continue either at state or federal level – then we are doomed. There are student union bodies in nearly all the Tertiary institution in Nigeria cutting across all the 36 states of the federation, including the F.C.T. The population of all these students is more than enough to change the government, not only in the local councils but the states and the federal level. All we need to achieve this is unity and one voice. Leave your tribe behind and let’s just be Nigerians for once! If we can pay to vote for the Big Brother Nigeria and pay to attend all these musical shows then we can come together to finance the elections and campaigns.
Long live Nigerian Youths
Long live Federal Republic of Nigeria