Home > Uncategorized > ‘Nigerian Youths Are Not Yet Ready for Leadership’ – I.B.B: What is my stand? Omena Dan Whiskey

‘Nigerian Youths Are Not Yet Ready for Leadership’ – I.B.B: What is my stand? Omena Dan Whiskey

The first time I heard the above statement on radio, my immediate reaction was a repulsive attack on the comment and the personality who made it.

I ask myself the question: who is Rtd. Gen. Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida to make such statement with regards to Nigerian youths? What moral right does he pose to utter such kind of statement?
These and many of such reactions trailed the media for days after the statement was made.
But on deeper reflection I asked myself, objectively, is there any sense in the supposed nonsense in the statement of this man?

After careful thought, I began a perusal of the history of the Nigerian youth from the times of our independence to the modern times we are now living to see, on a percentage level of what concrete contribution has the Nigerian youth actually contributed that had so much of an effect in the Nigerian people or polity which has actually been felt and has made this country from an inch to a new level in recent times, save for our very own then youthful Head of State, Rtd. Gen Yakubu Gowon of which only his contributions as a youth then as a military Head of State would be thn only figure in the indices of our percentage in equating the contributions of youths in the Nigerian socio-political history.

Without being negative with regards to the youth of this nation, an objective deliberation as to a level of consistency in the Babangida’s statement in connection with the Nigerian youth, is what I want to embark upon to see if honestly there are “elements of truth” in the statement of the Rtd. Gen without necessarily attacking who said it.

It is in this attempt that an objective preview of what youths have done in the history of Nigeria and what are our capabilities in the light of the Rtd. Gen’s statement?

Lets take an example, ask yourself honestly, as a youth if given a measure of authority in any sphere of the Nigerian polity of which your decisions and actions determine the future of the jurisdictions that can’t be divorced from the contemporary Nigeria youth. By limitations, I mean

(1) Forces, whatever that might denote or connote to you, who are against genuine change, maybe because they are the beneficiaries of the existing status quo, then you want to come as a youth to disrupt it? Never!
(2) Limitations as to physical an inherent tendencies to accept the Nigerian factor which will the end affect and influence your actions and decisions, thus creating inefficiency, resulting in the maintenance of the already existing status quo, or
(3) The orientation that most Nigerian youths have, that once you are in a position of authority, it is now your turn to amass as much wealth as you can, whether by hook or crook, of which if you are unable to, you become a “Big fool” in the eyes of your immediate family and relations and even your entire community.
These are just some of the challenges or limitations as I put it that affect the contemporary Nigerian youth in making them effect any meaningful change that can be felt by all in this country.

In trying to buttress the point above lets take these limitations and apply it to our level of politics or leadership position in the University of Benin, specifically the Student Union Government.

The SUG elections and positions that are held and contested for in different tertiary institutions, for example in the University of Benin, are meant to bring credible youths who will impart positively on every University of Benin student.

But take for example the immediate past President of the SUG, who was said to have taken some very good sum of money meant for specific purposes in the SUG for the development of students.
Such acts are called the Nigerian factor which does not allow efficiency while in office.

Now realistically and objectively, lets ask ourselves which Nigerian youth today is ready to withstand all these limitations i.e. forces that try to impede genuine interests, physical tendencies to be influenced and the overwhelming orientation that you must embezzle or get rich while in office, to mention but a few.

Which Nigerian youth has the guts to dare anything, stand, talk, step on any toes to ensure that what is right to be done is actually done?
Which youth today is ready to face any threat, real or not, to his life, family members’ or friends’ to get to a level of position in this country where he can stand by his promises to effect change in this country and we the masses actually see and feel that change, without being influenced by any of these limitations aforementioned?

Probably Babangida was looking in the light of these facts that so many youths are so concerned in making the money fast and quickly that they don’t care, if that mistake is done to give them an opportunity in office, they would even do more than the so called elderly ones which will make the existing order maintained whether or not the elderly are the ones in power thereby bringing no difference, hence his comments.

Or he might have seen in the light that forces him i.e. Gen Babangida, will not permit a child in the name of youth to rule over him so as to dictate rules and policies to which he will be bound.

He might also be aware that since most Nigerian youths are lily-livered; a little threat or when confronted with actual force or heat from the ‘cabal’ whoever those might be, they easily shy away.

(continued in the next page)

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