Opinion: Do the Nigerian youth really have a future?

by Ayodeji Somefun

JONA-11

 

 I want to believe there are some heavy weights behind this case who will really love to see that man rot in jail. I wonder why people like Maina (the Pension Funds Thief), Farouk Lawan (The bribed Legislator) and many others who have clearly stolen public funds are not being awarded such treatments.

Growing up as a boy at home, school and even in Church, we were constantly being reminded that we will be “the leaders of tomorrow”. Today which is the tomorrow they referred to has come and gone and we are still being referred to as “leaders of tomorrow”. Only God knows what happened between then and now, maybe we were being lied to? Or rather that the tomorrow is yet to come or maybe the type of tomorrow they meant never expires.

Children grew up filled with lots of dreams and aspirations but today, majority of those “leaders of tomorrow” have shelved those dreams because the impediments before them are more like the biblical Mountain Zion – of course that can never be moved. It is either they are struggling with SSCE or UME is having its own fair share of the national cake from them. After trying to pass the exam for two to four years without anything tangible they decide to pack up and forget tertiary institution in Nigeria or seek admission abroad- if their parents are fortunate or as in most cases resort to other things. It’s rather pathetic because I personally know someone who wrote UME putting in for Medicine and Surgery about 7yrs repeatedly- at least throughout my secondary school days. The one year on it was the same year I wrote mine and he had changed to Law but he was eventually offered Linguistics, and of course couldn’t be mobilised for NYSC after his degree programme. How about some other colleagues who have been trying hard to gain admission close to 7 years now to no avail?

Taking a flash back at a scene I witnessed on TV recently, it was one of the Okah Brothers (Henry I guess). If you remember, he was convicted of masterminding the Oct. 2011 Independence Day bomb blast in Madalla, Abuja. He was shown shivering on a wheel chair and the reporter said something about him having an ailment. I became suddenly emotional and angry at the same time as I was almost moved to tears. The accusations against this man are yet to be proven yet he is being denied treatment, the drugs administered to him are not even making matters better. I want to believe there are some heavy weights behind this case who will really love to see that man rot in jail. I wonder why people like Maina (the Pension Funds Thief), Farouk Lawan (the bribed Legislator) and many others who have clearly stolen public funds are not being awarded such treatments.

I seldom take trips to the cybercafé (I’m posting this piece from a café) and I see young boys, and even older men, involving in the infamous internet scam popularly known as Yahoo-Yahoo and my heart so bleeds for Nigeria. These folks stare at a computer all day as they develop all possible means to ensure that their “maga” pays. Though I have never been in support of such, and I will never be, but come to think of it what if they belong to the class that grew up with big dreams and aspirations and have tried unsuccessfully to gain admission but couldn’t and even if they did and graduated what is the assurance that they will get jobs after and not go sell recharge cards or push trucks on the streets after years of study? Besides these scammers make money and I mean lots of money for those who know how to play their game well so why go to school anyway? I recently was told of a 19-year old boy who is into such and already has a house of his own in Ogudu GRA, Ikeja and a posh car to add up. If you live in Lagos you will understand what it means to own or even rent a house in that area of the city.

My candid advise to all youths is to cease any genuine opportunity they have and utilize it. If you believe in God, hold onto him firmly because I do not know if my pastor was reading my mind when he said last Sunday “there is no future for the children growing up” and you will only disagree with that if you have a politician as a relative or friend. Anyone who hopes for a quick adjustment should know s/he is asking too much of his Fatherland.

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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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