NIGERIAN YOUTH AND THE CULTURE OF ‘ONLY ME’

Excuses as habit have found its way into our bone marrow in Nigeria. Unfortunately, the youth has taken cue from our leaders. Over the years, especially during the civilian regime, successive government have given numerous excuses why the system is in a seemingly disarray state even when we have the resources to establish a great nation out of the entity. The agricultural sector has been neglected for no objective reason, money for road reconstruction is earmark every budgetary year but the roads remain death traps. The rehabilitation of our medical facilities for better medical service delivery has been yearly excused.  A proper funding of the education sector has been encountering well deliberated excuses by the executives. Thus, the sector experiences incessant strike action by the education union who clamors for funding and good policy formulation geared towards reforming the sector. Owing to this and a host of other examples, excuses appear to have been objectively adopted by Nigeria government as a means of illustrating their inept, failure, avoidance, howler etc

Badly enough,   the Nigerian youth has equally adopted this ignominious act of excuse giving by the  government and to my chagrin,  considering  the vibrancy and supposed role of  youth in nation building, their adoption is characterized by a belligerent enthusiasm than we see in government. We (youth) give excuses for our inabilities, ignorance, misunderstanding, misinformation, disorientation, lack. We hold people responsible for anything wrong in our lives. The truth is, much is expected from our government but they have failed us in no measurable way. The question however is, should we use government ineptitude as the reason for our ignorance of what is right?  Though, not based on statistics, event over the years have showed Nigerians are rear set of people in the world based on our intellectual capacity. Several Nigerian youth are in the Diasporas making waves and blazing the trail in their chosen field. Hardly will you mention a sector in some country without a pronounced intellectual impact of a Nigerian who, probably out of neglect and discouragement took the knowledge to where it would be encouraged, nurtured and well appreciated. People like Chris Aire, Micheal Chiaka  Okwu of  CNN, hakeem Olajuwon, Dr  Mary Okechi Dupain, founder of the Okechi Village Health Centre in Portland Oregon, HIV,AIDS researcher Steve Kwueberuwa, Boeing Corporation’s Rocket dynamics specialist, Anthony akpati to mention a few people are trail blazers abroad.

Surprisingly, in the same social-economic space of about  356,668 sq mi of landmass, from the north to the south, a country where youth has condemned and written off as no  haven for growing minds nor conducive to develop  talents or skills, we have seen youth who have decided to be pace setters. The entertainment (music) world has recorded recently, an influx of Nigerians from abroad. The industry has metamorphosed and now likened to the international industry.  If  excuses were made in this industry some years back when it was nothing, people like Plantation boyz, Remedies, Tetuila , Blackie and the rest wouldn’t had ventured into it , and maybe, the industry wouldn’t be where it is today.

As a youth in Nigeria, we consistently find solace in adducing our predicament and inability to make waves to the uninspiring role of our leaders in providing the enabling environment to thrive. This however is the basis for our misbehavior and misdemeanor. A rather inhuman and unconventional decision is the order of the day. Such as “If the government won’t provide for our needs, then we shall provide for ourselves “. This they do irrespective of what moral ethics or constitutional obligation they will trample on. An unfortunate but general notion among the youth is that since the government has failed in her duties, then the government is not worthy of getting a civic reciprocation.

Recently in a chat with some friends, I realized a disgusting fact that people, especially the youth do not care what happen to Nigeria as a country. The only ambition they nurse per day is how to increase their own lot irrespective of what becomes of the entity called Nigeria. Thus the statement “as long as I am okay and rich, then Nigeria is okay”. What this mean is that if the leaders like they should transform this country or not, as long as they have a job, home, car and fat account, then to them, Nigeria is already transformed. This is disheartening and confusing especially, when it’s what the supposed hope of the country (youth) are thinking. These are the leaders of tomorrow, class of citizens that should always think of how to transform the country! Now as it is, the game is about transforming our selves. This is a complete paradigm shift in ideology. Youth are sticking to the path of irresponsibility. When they are fortunately rich and okay, what then happen to those who couldn’t get to where they are?  The rave of the moment now is that the youth are everywhere lobbying to get it right by hook or by crook, either in the political settings, entertainment world, sport, business   etc. all that matter to them is personal aggrandizement no matter who is denied. As a youth they have given up on the less privileged.

The truth is, if these class of citizen do a critical analysis, they will realize their affluence or influence can’t always proffer solutions to their numerous issue of needs in a disorganized society or a failed system. They will only be faced with circumstances of having to over spend, while in other scenario, they may not even have access to certain services to expend such status on. Buttressing my point, a rich man who cares about himself alone and less concerned about the system failing will find himself doomed on a day when he become so sick, but due to the bad system that hasn’t made any adequate medical provision, will  have to lose his life to it or spend more if he decide to travel abroad. Perhaps, due to the bad system that has continuously neglected the deplorable state of our roads, several accident has occurred, accident that could had been averted if the roads were in good shape. Let’s take an accident victim for example who has a fractured or a crushed leg, having been rushed to the hospital, encountered delays ranging from either doctors demanding for police report, or no equipment to deal with such wound or another flimsy excuse leading to the amputation of the leg.  The bad system also, has created joblessness in the country.  Leaving so many youth and graduate without cash and frustrated. Like the saying goes, an idle mind is the devils workshop. Such individual, being frustrated, could just take up carrying arm, either to rub or assassinate. While you, having been so concerned about yourself alone, have so much money this boys can steal from or assassin you to have.

As a youth, we have a collective effort of transforming this great country. Like I do say to people, those at the helm of affairs are not the only crop of citizen destroying this nation. Even as a youth, our actions and in actions also go a long way in determining how great this country will turn. What we engage ourselves in goes a long way in determining the destiny of this already blessed country but on other hand, if we decide not to act, then we have consciously left our destiny and that of our children to probabilities i.e. those that will take the duty up will either be a good people or bad. However, history has shown us we have more of the bad minded people whose interest is their pocket and nothing else.

What they call us is the youth, all over the world, it’s no news the strength of a nation lies in the youth. What are we doing with our strength and if we survived the day, how about generations to come? Suffice to say that our wishful kind of society of selfish existence can’t work; in the beginning it was so but its impracticable nature lead to contractual agreement between men to establish an institution called state to oversee the activities of men and maintain law and order . According to Hobbes (the Leviathan 1651), he analyzed human nature, he said: man is essentially selfish; man is moved to action not by intellect or reason, but by his appetites, desires and passions. He continues; men, living without power to govern them (a state of nature) would be in perpetual struggle of all against all, competition and love of glory. Thus, the life of man is “Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short”.

The question however is, are we ready to go back to the state of nature when man’s selfish disposition made him act against another man leading to brutality, backbiting and misrepresentation of interest? Does it matter if our neighbor is in abject poverty; are we moved by the sight of the little child hawking? Is all we want is to selfishly make money while others get inured to the harsh conditions? The sooner we stopped the personal interest motive(culture of only me), the better for the country. God bless the federal republic of Nigeria.

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