Did you know that the population of Nigerian youths alone surpass the population of Ghana or South Africa?
Every once in a while, this blog gets a political submission. This is one of such and it is an advocacy for the plight of Nigerian youths. Read on.
Greetings President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, I understand the nature of your current position so I’ll make my letter brief, precise and enjoyable. I will also ensure its words are simple enough for you to effortlessly digest. I’m writing you this letter so you will be acquainted with the burdens of the youth in connection with the upcoming ministerial appointment. Sir, let me stress that I’m not anxious to know who our ministers are, it’s better late than making a wrong choice, just as you had reiterated.
I will start by saying “no minister can fully comprehend the agony Nigerian youths are going through, if he/she is not a youth and no minister can function effectively if he/she does not possess the vitalities of a youth.” In the current national assembly, I know very well that the youths are not well represented and that makes my heart pound. It means that no one can truly present the burden of the youth in NASS, all the more reason I’m keen about the personality our ministers.
Mr. President I will quickly take you back in time, to help you fully comprehend my contemplation. In the 50s through 70s, where our leaders were young and vibrant, the likes of Obafemi Awolowo (37), Ahmadu Bello (36), Tafawa Balewa (34), Anthony Enahoro (23), Amino Kano (29), Kaduna Nzeogwu (29), Murtala Mohammed (28), Theophilus Danjuma (28), Ibrahim Babangida (25), Nanven Garba (23), Sani Abacha (23), Shehu Musa Yar’adua (23), Yakubu Gowon (32), Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu (33), Olusegun Obasanjo (28), Nnamdi Azikiwe (who was among the few in their forties), and your humble self at (24) were at the helm of affairs. Some led the struggle for our independence; others gave us the educational foundation, infrastructures and commerce we enjoy today.
Mr. President, my question is: how many youths have we had at the corridor of power since 1999 and how many are you willing to have? Your successful election as the president was largely dependent on the active participation of the youth. The last concluded election was won on social media long before it became a reality. Young Nigerians at home and abroad campaigned for change. The influence of the Youths in the last election is something worth paying close attention to by any leader who aims to understand the path to our future. The same tools our fathers in their youthful days used in piloting the affairs of this great Nation are now expressed by the present-day Nigerian youths in sports, fashion, music and social media. Our youths could spend half a day or more on social media platforms without batting an eyelid. Are we to blame them for this? No. Mr. President. They have the zeal and energy. Where to channel these is the question. Daily we see and hear of Nigerian Youths in the Diaspora celebrated and decorated with honors for their great exploits. The main difference between Nigerians at home and the ones abroad is the availability of channels and platforms. And all I’m asking for, Mr. President is that you create channels for us the youths to express our energies, talents, zeal towards contributing to developing our Nation.
They told us to go to school so we can get a good job. You will agree with me Sir, that that philosophy has failed us. Mr. President if you know how difficult it is for an average youth to get into institution of higher education, you will agree with me that it is easy for a camel to pass through the eyes of a needle than an average Nigeria to get a good education. Mr. President you will be dazed to know want we go through sir: I have seen how desperate and challenging it is for these extraordinary young Nigerians to get a tertiary educational certificate. I have seen one of the worst conditions students subject themselves to get educated.
When the youths are constantly ignored by the Governments and these terrible conditions persist, I fear the day Nigerian Youths will revolt. That day, the ram would have been pushed to the wall and confrontation will be the only choice. I hope that day will not come. By some definitions, youths, who are persons between the age of 18 and 35 years, constitute over 60% of the Nigerian population; an equivalent of over 80million people, a population twice the population of Ghana, more than the population of South Africa, bigger than the population of the United Kingdom and much more than the crowds involved in the Libya, Yemen and Egypt revolution combined together. Mr. President, this percentage shouldn’t be ignored; the power of majority is in the number. You have to act fast by including young minds in your cabinet because no other person knows where the shoe pinches except for the one wearing it. No set of ministers that do not contain sufficient numbers of youth can satisfactorily enlighten you on the problems confronting us. You truly feel the pains of others when it pains you too. So the saying “I know how you feel” becomes real.
Please Mr. President Give youths the privilege to channel their zeal, energy, and vibrancy in your cabinet then you chart the course for our brighter future of our Nation.
God bless you Mr. President. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Akinoso Abiodun Emmanuel.
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Abiodun Emmanuel is an ICT engineer who studied Physics at the University of Ibadan. He is an edge-of-the-box kind of person and is passionate about a better Nigeria.