Nigeria must look at herself and ask if it has bred men who would rather blow through a just path or those who would through the path of evil.
Whatever went through your mind when you saw the title of this piece is your business. My business is to make the body of this piece justify the fact that whichever way you look at it, we all want to blow. Between 1999 and 2009, Nigeria produced about 10.5 million young people who were willing and able to go to University but got turned back because the infrastructure available could only take about 300,000 students per year.
Going by that average and the fact that the numbers have been rising at an increasing rate (marginal increase) over the years, it is fair to conclude that number is at least 13 million today!
Add these numbers to those who got admitted into University but ended up without gainful employment for years. Take Yobe State where 6 out of every 10 people are unemployed. In a poll by the International Rublican Institute (IRI) released just weeks ago, 1 in every 5 people questioned identified unemployment ahead of corruption and other national challenges as the most important problem facing Nigeria. Add the pool of the disgruntled, the rejected, the unemployed and what you have is a pool of people all over Nigeria available to have their idle hands engaged in something.
We all want to blow like we like to say in Nigeria. What makes you think the dude up north who did not have the advantage of university education wants the society to run well? What makes you think the area boy in Lagos who believes the society is responsible for his personal failure would care if we all go up in flames? Why would they not listen to anyone able to convince them that “to blow” they must work against the regular workings of the society. These are causes of certain effects. We are obsessed about their effects but we have neglected the causes. You are probably familiar with some of the effects. Are you aware of terrorism in the north of Nigeria? Have you been privy to the kidnappers’ activities and militancy in the South of Nigeria? Do you know that you could get robbed at any time on any road in Lagos? Are you aware all of these are increasingly on the increase?
We all want to blow. We all want to succeed in life. Some of us will do so succeeding at things that make the society progress. Some folks will succeed at making the society pay for its own failures. The failure to cater for the common good instead of that of a few in government able to make public wealth rest in their private accounts lazing about and earning billions.
We can continue to excuse the spending of some N3 billion/ day on security but the effects of unemployment and the non development of our national human capacity will not elude us. If action equals reaction, the fact that more of the same problems described above are still the reality means that Boko Haram is only the beginning of a mortal reality that may take a generation and more to deal with. I pray not but we need more than prayers.
Nigeria must look at herself and ask if it has bred men who would rather blow through a just path or those who would through the path of evil. Boko Haram members are terrorists who are not in power, while there are terrorists in power who are guilty of economic, political and social terrorism producing more terrorists outside power. It is a cycle of disaster, a cycle that if allowed to continue would consume Nigeria before the bigots of division have their way.
Who does not want to blow? Who does not want to succeed? Like politicians who chose to blow by looting our common wealth, terrorists and militants chose the path available to them. Am I justifying terrorism and other crimes? Need I even answer that? For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. For every criminal outside government, there is a criminal in government whose activities are breeding more criminals.
This is @omojuwa