#30PercentorNothing: We Must First Put Our House In Order By Aver Angweh
In as much as I totally believe in the Nigerian Youth Agenda, I still have my own reservations about the 30percent or Nothing campaign that has taken over the social media space over the last few weeks.
I think of the campaign as the right step towards the wrong direction in these present times of Nigeria’s existence,in the sense that even if the government of the day yields to the pressure and concedes to the young people’s demand, the first and most pertinent question is; WHO WILL MAKE UP THE 30%?
My guess is that the youth inclusion exercise will be a complex process, the ruling class (elders) will have to appoint or choose the youth to be included by whatever means suits them, this does not rule out the possibility of them influencing the process or even imposing the young persons of their choice, what then happens when they appoint or impose their protégés who are nothing but rubberstamps running around and acting at their behest? That’s where a bigger problem will arise, and when that happens what we now see as a clear battleline between the gerontocratic leaders and the anxious youths would then graduate into internal sabotage. What will be our fate when It comes down to that? At this point the elders will laugh and re-emphasize the same argument they cling on at this moment,it will become a case of “You see, you don’t even trust yourselves, how can we trust you to take care of a sinking nation”.
We have seen young people climb to the helm of affairs and earn a voice for themselves, what has been the constant outcome? The same old story;they simply get overwhelmed by the mere though of rubbing shoulders with the high and mighty, being star-struck they do the most mainstream thing to do at such heights which is; to blend in, if not that then they start their own self-created chaos i.e After the fall of the first republic the country fell into the hands of the most youthful Leaders we have and might ever see, Yakubu Gowon, Odemegwu Ojukwu,Chukwuemeka Nzeogu et al, to what end? A Bloody Civil War centered on personal ego, material interests and youthful exurberance.
Also in the 3rd and 4th Republics we yet again witnessed our dear young people at work, though minimally admitted into the corridors of power, their antecedents have totally defeated the course we clamour for today, i’m talking about the Chukwuemeka Chikelus and the Dimeji Bankoles. Just last week we saw the most recognised and most powerful youth frontier in the country (The National Association of Nigerian Students) display it’s own pitiable stunt of moral decadence by awarding the most inefficient President in the history of Nigeria with a fictional sycophantic award of ‘Commander-in-Chief of Nigerian Students’. I do solemnly state that these are the types of young persons that would be empowered if our leaders even succumb to our demand of 30% youth inclusion.
In conclusion, I wish to humbly submit that Youth empowerment is not totally hinged on participation in government, instead of begging to be included in governance and leadership processes I think it is more sagacious to empower ourselves independently of government as a first step, if they do not see the need to empower us then we must brief ourselves on the need to build ourselves up by acquiring boundless knowledge, by developing ourselves in our various fields of livelihood, by educating ourselves on the need to protect our own from both psychological and political suppression. We must rid ourselves of the desire for material flagrancy and ill-gotten wealth as these are the baits we most commonly follow to the arms of our predators. But most importantly we must rise up to the occasion and prove in our everyday conducts that we have come of age and our feet are large enough to occupy those shoes we’ve been left to window shop for too long.Until this is done, we might as well keep crying-wolf all we can while we’re yet to put our house in order.
God bless Nigeria.
Follow Aver Angweh on twitter @DisAVERsef
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