The event of these past few days has opened my eyes to a very sad reality. On November last year, Rev Father John Damian Adizie raised a very vital question “Where are the Nigerian youths?” His question was timely, accurate and a wake-up call for millions of young people whose determination and vote can change the dynamics of Nigerian politics forever.
A village head presented the same question to me two days ago and a retired principal in his seventies responded thus “In the pockets of corrupt politicians” his answer was welcomed with cheers and laughter but he made a very sad point.
Edward Olutoke made the following observation on February 12, 2014 “Our past has been rubbished, our present is hopeless and our future will be a repeat, empty and full of pain unless we seize this moment”
The disappointment i witnessed during my fact finding mission through Akwa Ibom is something that saddens me. I was lucky to meet with some friends at Mbo local government area and i engaged them in a series of discussion. But i was shocked when the conversation becomes a PDP versus APC battle, while some lamented of being used and dumped during the last governorship/presidential elections in 2015, others complained about the ineffectiveness of president Buhari, the cabals among other issues. Off-course the ending is always the same “show us some love”
There are two categories of young people; the youth and the used. The youth knows their worth, understands that the future cannot work well without their ideas, input and visions, so they are exploring business opportunities, engaging in self development, criticizing government constructively on issues of public interest, getting involved in community development and taking up responsibilities for the greater cause of mankind.
The Youth are those who believe in entrepreneurship, who dedicate their time and energy to find solutions to environmental, political and emerging health issues. The youth are those who still have hope and believe that they can bring the needed change to alleviate poverty, solve our unemployment challenge, put an end to our two greatest enemy (ethnicity and religion) and forge a new direction for Nigeria.
But the used on the other hand are political savages, political thugs, those who cannot differentiate good from evil, those who are willing to cause chaos and mayhem for a corrupt politician plate of beans. Those who hide under the umbrella of social media to attack others for constructively criticizing government. Those who care more about what they stand to gain, not what the overall interest of the society.
Let me borrow a verse from Fela Kuti song “rise”
“We must rise up I say
We must rise up I say
We must rise up against the petroleum companies
We dey use our oil to destroy our land oh ho
We must rise against the diamond companies
Wey dey use our brothers as slave for the stone
We must rise against our African rulers
Wey be black man for face, white man for yansh
We must rise against companies like Mosanto and Halliburton
Wey dey use their food to make my people hungry”
Dont be a “Used” be a youth.
I am Abel Udoekene
An ambassador of Joy Movement