Fidelity bank banner UBA banner
Nigeria and the future of youths, By Prof. Nathan Uzorma Protus

By News Express on 02/01/2018

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+

Views: 592

 •Prof. Nathan Uzorma Protus
•Prof. Nathan Uzorma Protus

Youths of our dear country, Nigeria – are you from the North-east or North-west, South-south or North-Central and Abuja, South-East or South-West – you are all the same in fate. As an Irish priest, Jonathan Swift, once said, “We are so fond of one another because our ailments are the same.” Every youth in Nigeria is same in fate and situation as the other. We have been maltreated by our society that mockingly calls us future of tomorrow. Yet, in every tomorrow, they tell us again that the old good days have gone. We don’t know where to head to. The same people that yesterday assured us that our future is bright are today telling us, sorry. A Chinese writer, Bing Xin, certainly had our plight in mind when he noted:  “Yesterday you told me the world is joyful yet, today, you tell me the world is disappointing.” Where do we follow? The result is having no focus.

What is wrong with the tomorrow which future we are said to be? Has it ceased to come? Does it come unnoticed? I believe that the saying that ‘the youths are the future of tomorrow’ is a false maxim. And, as a French politician once said, “a new maxim is often a brilliant error.” What do we do to correct this error? Do we sit by the corner of the forest and cry being maltreated? Do we turn better Nigerians, meek and dumb, dying in poverty? Do we accept our situation that gets worse every day and ask God to forgive our elders in the country that have neglected us thus? Martin Luther King, Jr reminds us: “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it.” Prof Wole Soyinka, an intellectual icon, told us that “the man dies who keeps silence in the presence of anarchy.”
Our lives have been battered, our hopes ruined, our joys for the future cut off. What do we do? Tomorrow is unknown, the present is unbearable. Do we fold our hands and watch our lives end thus unfulfilled? It is said that God helps those who help themselves. Pestalozzi, a teacher from Switzerland, once said: “Whoever is not willing to help himself cannot be helped by anybody.” If it is a mistake, we have all made it, but above all, we need to correct it, now. As the Chinese philosopher, Confucius said: “A man who has committed a mistake and doesn't correct it, is committing another mistake.” Soyinka also added: “When the present is intolerable, the unknown harbours no risks.” Our fathers, mothers and elders have neglected us and pretended they don’t know of our sufferings. They have refused to listen to the advice of Arnold Bennett, a British writer who said: “The people who live in the past must yield to the people who live in the future. Otherwise the world would begin to turn the other way round.” And today, the world has truly turned the other way round, as the youths have turned to carrying arms as militants, insurgents, kidnappers and robbers, etc.

The youthful human resources in our country today are treated with levity, yet it is evidence that dedication and activism, and proficient efficiency and productivity have their peaks at youthful age. Just look at the Nigerian Super Eagles (which today typify the Nigerian bureaucrats and technocrats that politicise even patriotism): can they be compared with the Flying Eagles or the youthful Golden Eaglets (which today represent the Nigerian youthful human resources), which among the Super (adult) Eagles and the Golden (youthful) Eagles are more proficient than the other. Watch these Eaglets as they join the rest of the country in their diplomacy, technocracy and bureaucracy. That is the contemporary and rebranded Nigeria. Since Nigeria has been rebranded, everything about the youths are set aside. Yet, these are the future of the country.

There are many educated youths, qualified to hold various positions, yet have no job. Many wallow in hunger and penury. And one wonders why being born into this sort of living condition. Tillie Olsen, an American writer regrets that “Better mankind born without mouths and stomachs than always to worry about money to buy, to shop, to fix, to cook, to wash, to clean.” Thus, by means of getting themselves involved in one skill acquisition or the other, they prefer taking to crimes, believing that an abandoned person does not need to abandon himself. Some of them are hired as thugs and henchmen of political warlords and comprador bourgeoisies. These corrupt elders introduce them into get rich quick syndrome of which they are hired and are paid upfront for election thuggery, assassination, etc, and are abandoned the moment they are paid, only to be remembered the next four years.

What has come over the youths in Nigeria today and the elders of the society? These days’ parents watch their children taken as thugs, bearing fire arms given to them during elections; some contracted by their parents who are political stalwarts of do-or-die politicians. In most cases, these politicians, parents and elders watch the youths and their children die in their presence, which is abomination to watch your child die in a battle because you have paid him to carry ballot box for you, and he dies and you bury him.

The number of unemployed youths in the country grows in alarming rate. Let NNPC, Customs, Prisons, Civil Defence, Immigration, or any other parastatal in the Ministry of Interior advertise and see the number of people that will apply. These show that Nigerian youths are in distress. There are not means of livelihood. Today, it is common to see a well-dressed and eloquent young man walk up to you and ask for transport money. Ask him his qualifications: he is ready there with their Master Degree certificate. Our old men talk of the good old days, but how many youths today can talk of the good old days? None! This is because we have not seen any good day.

This is not a call to violence but to mental revolution: for the youths to think-out how to live better and create a new world in the world that has rejected them. And as Liu Binyan, a Chinese writer advised: “Smashing a mirror is no way to make any ugly person beautiful, nor is it a way to make social problems evaporate.” But, go to prisons, police cells, you will see the youths in large numbers. Why? Is it how the government wants to remember the youths? Is it how the youths will be paid back for being born in their fathers’ house?

An Italian poet, Eugenio Montale, said: “The new man is born too old to tolerate the new world…He looks but he does not contemplate, he sees but he does not think. He runs away from time, which is made of thought, and yet all he can feel is his own time, the present.” This is common in Nigeria, with regards to affairs of the youths and the future of the country. The new man of Nigeria, the elders, is only thinking about themselves, their today, amassing and hoarding wealth forgetting to build on the patriotic Nigeria that the founding fathers laboured for. And as the Spanish philosopher and writer, José Ortegay Gasset, rightly said in his The Revolt of the Masses, “Whoever has not felt the danger of our times palpitating under his hand, has not really penetrated to the vitals of destiny, he has merely pricked its surface.” Until the problem of the youths and unemployment, equitable consideration of youth’s participation in electoral and appointive leadership positions are addressed and redressed in the country, all government efforts will remain unproductive, as they have been for decades now.

An American statesman and scientist, Benjamin Franklin, nearly 300 years ago affirmed: “A little neglect may breed mischief . . . for want of a nail, the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the rider was lost.” And this is the genesis of the problem of Nigeria today. Nigerian youths should be incorporated in leadership of the country, in skill acquisition programmes, recruited to take over from the ageless civil servants. And as the British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, once said: “Let our children grow tall, and some taller than others, if they have it in them to do so.”

Our fathers should ask themselves what they are bequeathing to us, and we the rejected youths, what do we have to bequeath to our children? Perhaps, rejection and levity more than our parents and with this, will there be a Nigeria in future? With this attitude of the Nigerian elders today bequeathing zero legacy and high level of unemployment to the children, in the next 100 years there will be no nation like Nigeria. It is thus suggestive that the Nigerian society should create a ministry that will look into these problems of the youth, and raving rate of unemployment and crime, in order to depopulate unemployment and thereby reduce the rate of crime.

•Prof. Nathan Uzorma Protus can be reached via 08138731416


Source News Express

Posted 02/01/2018 7:39:48 PM


Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+




You may also like...
How Liverpool shocked Gunners in seven-goal Premiership week...

Boko Haram: Govs Nyako, Shettima, Geidam face suspension...

Controversy over new NIA DG deepens; Group faults...

Anxiety as Anambrarians await LG poll result

900m people at risk of hearing loss by...

APC cries foul as Jonathan’s re-election campaign kicks...

Malaria: UNICEF to distribute 358,134 nets in Borno...

Uduaghan calls for seamless transition in governance •Urges...

Arsenal fumble in season’s opener •How the Gunners...

Palace guards, others perish in road accident

Budget controversy: Ashafa confirms Lagos-Calabar rail line not...

Breaking News: Prof. Eghagha rescued from kidnappers’ den...


Latest News ASUU rejects Fed Govt’s N20bn Ignore jittery PDP, gear up for rerun, APC charges Osun voters Over 3,000 cholera cases recorded as Yobe declares outbreak PSN marks World Pharmacists Day, tasks members to update their knowledge Mourinho strips Pogba of Man United captaincy Two wins in a row for Nigeria’s D’Tigress, beat Argentina US, EU, UK declare stand on Osun poll, rerun How I rebuffed Buhari’s invitation thinking it was 419 — FEPSAN President Minimum wage: Nationwide strike begins 12 am Thursday Aisha Buhari’s ADC in SSS custody over N2.5 billion fraud APC warns PDP Chairman Secondus on his utterances, conduct Buratai laments setback in war against Boko Haram


Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (397,453 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (377,265 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (309,113 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (251,003 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (232,760 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (221,848 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (200,484 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (182,028 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (166,111 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (163,586 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (158,464 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (147,100 views)


Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (63) Business & Economy (3,629) Business Verdict (52) Columnists (933) Complaints & Requests (94) Enterprise & Opportunities (207) Entertainment (548) Features (653) Global Business Monitor (301) International (2,434) Interview (165) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (144) News (39,146) Opinion (1,111) Pidgin (11) Politics (6,753) Religion (873) Sports (1,708) Stock Watch (34) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update


NLNG Expression of Interest banner

CBN banner

Firstmobile banner




Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin: Highlights


APO Group Partner




GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member



Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera