Dear Nigerian Youths,
It seems to be the season of open letters. I will not be left out of sharing my thoughts. I can’t seem to contain the outburst of the pain and anger that I feel. It pains me that some previous open letters came from those who had the opportunity to fix this nation but failed. In fact, they failed woefully, deserving of spanking. Is it guilty conscience that’s making them write epistles of the apostles on how we can do better than them? Hmm! Shaking my head at all of them. Igbayi laaro gbogbo yin (you could as well not bother because it’s too late!)
If truly there’s no place like home. Why didn’t they build our land as they ought to have built it? So, we could all boast of our homeland even in the diaspora. No one will end up being a slave to its sister’s nation. We gave them the opportunity to manage the land, they squandered the immeasurable God-given resources to the point where we can actually measure the leftovers. The leftovers that will amount to nothing significant when we still leave it in the hands and control of usurpers.
My fellow Nigerian youths, with a stern face I tell you that a good number our leaders have failed. They have made an outright mess of our country and they have no excuse for it, not one. If after yearning for emancipation from physical slavery we take on mental slavery. Why bother demand change when you’re not ready to change and make things change?
From pre-colonial to colonial and to post-colonial eras, we have seen it and can boldly say that “we are our problems”. ‘We’, being all of us encompassing. If the older generation doesn’t do what is right in the eyes of the younger generation to emulate, where then lies the legacy that is to be passed on? Where then lies the future of the unborn? Ayi Kwei Armah in his book titled, “The Beautiful Ones are not yet Born” could not seem to answer. I keep asking myself the rhetoric, will they ever be born? The only time we can ascertain that they are been born is when we see the traits of good progress flowing across generations that will stand the test of time.
Beloved, I need not bore you with the woes and heartaches that’s almost driving me crazy. However, if we do not save what is left of this wrecking ship, we will sink faster than the Titanic. It is crystal clear that most of those in charge at the moment are clueless on the best possible way out of the maze, as we keep running from pillar to post with no headway. They have ignored and subjected us to insignificance as if our voices and votes do not count. Do not despair, all hope is not lost. You can fix this mess.
As we become more emboldened in taking more interest in our government, it leaves them only with two choices. Either they work and get it right or they can humbly use the exit door to their retirement ranch. It is time to stand up and speak out, not with a faint or timid voice but with a thunderous voice that would shake the nation to its foundation. Even if the land is cursed, the curse will lose its efficacy and generational flow. For we will ‘stand together’ and say NO to all the mess, we’ve been through enough stress.
This is not the time to be unaware of the government and its activities. This is the time to speak out, to ask questions, to query unclear decisions and monitor their execution of promises. You scare them more when you know, they don’t want you paying attention. That’s why they secretly and openly sponsor distractions that keep you too busy to follow through on their progress and service to you. They do not want you to become politically aware and active. It is the time we all let them know that we are watching with keen eyes, their every move. This is not the time for your every status update to be about the biggest reality show in the country. We need to be involved in government affairs, partake in constructive criticism, lend your voice to a cause aimed towards positive change.
We sit back in the arena and watch the older gladiators make a mess and mockery of what should be our pride to ride and die for. I believe when one is weak and unable to continue in the ring of battle, the best option is to tap out. Instead of doing this, however, our ‘leaders’ choose to fly out of the country for healthcare and organ rejuvenation in order to extend their days on the throne. Please leave us alone. Enough is enough. Enough of robbing Peter to pay Paul. We’ve been pushed to the wall beyond what we can bear. It is now time to share every information that will reroute our steps towards the Promised Land.
I live with the conviction that I can and will make it in this birth land of mine. My story will be a success story worth sharing with the world. Not a story in which our youths of today take pleasure in doing the unthinkable and unimaginable for money and fame. It’s such a shame that the system has made us not to value a good name anymore. As much as a hungry man is an angry man, there should always be that line where no one crosses when it means inflicting pain on your fellow brother or sister.
Arise O compatriots. The time has come for us to lay claim to our stolen inheritance and work it. It is time to retire them. The older generation will sit back and watch how proper and structured leadership is done. We will make them bite their thumbs while they sing the ‘had I known’ chorus as they watch us do the right thing. Let’s show them that we are and can be better than them. Come let’s make Nigeria return to its glory of international recognition and acceptance without the second questioning at every sighting of the Green Card.
“The most optimistic thing I see happening right now in this nation that is so broken is that the younger generations are clearly beginning to see that they’re going to step up and fix it. Frankly, I have more faith in them than in us” were the words of Shane Phipps, an American writer. This viewpoint is as valid as in the United States as it is here in Nigeria. Bench warming seasons are over. It is time to step out into the field and till the land appropriately for the desired harvest. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it was still built. We cannot keep trying to build with no timeline or sighting of the finish line ahead.
Our Line of Action
As we join forces in one voice to use the unstoppable weapon that we have, which is our vote. We will ensure that the candidates with the right integrity and pedigree fill in the gaps of leadership, building and maintaining the standard across all demographics.
Fellow Nigerian youths, we have sat on the fence for too long. We forget we have the power to fix this mess. A population of 182 million and still counting, with half below 30 years of age. We do have the power to put in the right representative and boot out any unbefitting representative. A lot of us have not yet registered to vote. Please make it a top priority to get your voter’s card. It has the power to do two things like I said earlier, to “put in” or “boot out”, so what is it going be? As many of you that clock the suffrage age of 18 years before the next election, go get yourselves registered. Change has come but it starts with doing the right thing, now! Let’s put this awesome power to good use and not waste it.
O God of creation, direct our noble cause. Yes! This call to action is a noble cause for the noble and not the gullible. Find out who are your representatives. Inquire about them, run proper due diligence on their integrity, contact them and tell them what you think, for a good leader should be ready and willing to listen. Once they are not looking like the real deal anymore or are fond of supporting bad policies, find a new candidate to support. No man on earth is indispensable, iPhone still has a success story to tell after Steve Jobs‘ demise. Get on board with leaders you can be proud of at all times.
We can fix this mess. We hold the power. With our numbers, we will “put in” and “boot out”. Yes! We can fix this Nation. By upholding Her honor and glory, so help us, God.