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The Role of Nigerian Youth in National Transformation Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by CHIDIEBERE, Australia Jan 6, 2008
Culture , Human Rights , Peace & Conflict   Opinions
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There is no doubt that almost all Nigerians want change, and the mood for change is evident from small villages to big cities where poverty, disease, lack of social infrastructure and most significantly lack of hope is everyday reality for millions of Nigerians. 21st century Nigeria seems to be a shadow of its glorious past where recruiters from governmental establishments transversed university campuses in search of prospective employees, even before they graduated. Today, the story is different as our youth, even those who have reached the highest academic echelon, are hopeless, helpless, jobless and at times homeless.

The incandescence and pride of being a Nigerian youth many years ago is somehow obliterated by the perpetuation of evils by our very own elders, some of whom have extolled themselves as elder statesmen. Young men and women across Nigeria have been bequeathed with a sense of social, political and economic insecurity by these same people, and many of us have been indoctrinated into a mirage of hope in an attempt to fight, sometimes violently, the selfish cause of the political elites at the polling booths and beyond. Our unquestionable allegiance to these same elders that have destroyed our land in itself raises concern that change in the political landscape of Nigeria is far from remote.

There is no doubt that there are many Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora who desperately yearn for change. A good example is Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the out-going Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) czar who has essentially been sidelined because of his unreserved determination and avalanche of courage to question the status quo and bring to justice government officials who, with their cronies, have covertly and voraciously raped our economic coffers.

Our President, Musa Yar’Adua has from inception presented himself to Nigerians and the international community as an agent of change, an apostle of hope and democracy, and one who eschews corruption by disclosing his asset voluntarily, followed suit by a number of other important government functionaries appointed by him. However, with the recent development, it appears the EFCC boss has been sent to the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) as a strategic plan to silent and sideline an acclaimed voice for justice in Nigeria. This is amid pleas from the international community, including President George W. Bush to delay the so-called course at the NIPSS.

In spite of his limitations, Mallam Ribadu is one Nigerian that our youth should emulate. Even in the face of enormous difficulties that confront the youth, we can collectively mobilize ourselves as agents of change and help build institutions of democracy devoid of generational corruption that Transparency International and the entire international community have come to associate with the mention of our country. We need to mobilize ourselves beyond the virtual platform of TakingITGlobal.

We need to transform our virtual ideas into sustainable reality. Our problems in Nigeria will not be solved by secession; our problems in Nigeria will not be solved by waving spears and arrows; our problem in Nigeria can only be solved when Nigerians at all social strata embrace the humanity of one another; when Nigerians embrace the spirit of “Live and let live”; the true spirit of egalitarianism. Our problems could be solved through non-violent but persuasive discussions, objective engagement and sustainable diplomacy.

The youth have enormous responsibility in chatting a new cause for Nigeria. In my contacts within and outside Nigeria, there seem to be a growing and continual push for a national youth-initiated agenda and a youth-led coalition that would push for the renaissance that we all aspire to see in our country. There is by all account hundreds of youth-led non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) dotted across the country with fragmented and sometimes easily diluted ambition to single-handedly bring social and economic change.

There is no doubt that one cannot readily discount the contributions of many of these NGO’s, but the reality is that meaningful progress would not be made in transforming the socio-economic and political landscape of Nigeria except these youth organizations come together and develop a strategic national agenda and priority areas that focus on improving the lot of ordinary Nigerians, while building institutions that have democratic legitimacy; institutions that are sustainable for the sake of posterity. There is a growing need for a database of functional youth-led NGO’s, student organizations and other youth organizations to be developed. The aim is to get these NGO’s and organizations actively engaged in the development of a non-partisan national youth conference with the ultimate hope of developing goals, initiatives and strategies aimed at improving the image of our country and securing a future for Nigerians of today and those unborn.





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CHIDIEBERE


I was born in Nigeria and was educated in Nigeria, USA and Australia. I am the founder and president of Christina-Mae Recruitment Consortium Australia and the author of the book "When Things Go Wrong: Concepts of Change". I am also the co-founder of Child Aid Survival and Development International (CASDI). As a freelance journalist, I have contributed to a number of professional journals and newspapers, as well as worked in a number of e-journalism projects. I have traveled extensively and currently call Australia and the USA home with extensive involvement in African Human Rights issues.
Comments


kwara state.
oyedeji kayode | Jul 10th, 2010
good-day, my names are oyedeji kayode. please how can we be a great member of this org. and how can we inform everybody in kwara state so that they will be involved. i know you guys aim is to change the situation of this nation and take off all those greedy leaders we had in Nigeria. thanks.

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