Corruption, Youth And The Future Of Our Nation, By Abdullahi Malumfashi
There is no denying about the statement that youth are the leaders and future of tomorrow. However, certain incidents that happened have made me to wonder, are the youths really the future of our nation? On a certain Friday (25th Feb, 2017 to be precise), and incident happened that triggered me to write this article. I was on my way going out of Suleiman Hall in ABU Zaria, which also happens to be the largest hostel in sub Saharan Africa when I met a large mob blocking the outlet. I was surprised, because apart from the fact that some of them (the mob) are carrying sticks, clubs and other harmful objects, I have never seen such mob gather like that. On enquiry, I learnt that it was a thief that was caught and was kept at the sanctuary of the security officers who seem the only reason preventing him from being pummeled and beaten mercilessly. This really got me thinking. If a mob of almost 300 youths can gather to trash a thief who stole nothing above a hundred thousand, what say prevent the same youths in protesting against the big thieves (I mean the corrupt leaders and public servants) who have looted our country for years? The answer is not farfetched of course. Ladies and gentlemen, hypocrisy.
Unfortunately, and most sadly, this is the reality in our country. Petty thieves, pick pockets and the rest some of whom can barely afford to put food on their tables are met with jungle justice. Cases of thief lynching and burning with petrol have become the order of the day, as far as our youths are concerned. Interestingly enough, the same bunch of sycophants who carry out such acts are the ones who support and constantly praise and hail the big thieves; politicians. Did I hear you say why?
My mind didn’t cease to wonder why such things happen. Where were those youths when 2.1 billion dollars of the nation’s wealth was shared to some few individuals? Were they slumbering when recently, the sum of 9.8 million dollars was found in an abandoned house of a retired public servant? Are they not aware of the looting that has been going on in the country? If certainly they were(which I believe they do), then why haven’t we witnessed any protest against them? It is even ironic that some parade these cases as ‘mere witch-hunting.’ How myopic! If not for the few hashtags, harmless tweets and few updates displayed in the social media, I would have say we were entirely mute. But I don’t blame them. You see the youths (just like the majority of the nation’s population) are riddled with corruption. As bitter as this may sound, the majority of our youths today are corrupt or at least fondle with the idea of corruption in their minds. That is why when a certain individual is convicted of corruption, the sensible ones among them keep mute while some ingrates among them are being given out a little portion out of the largesse to protest what they termed witch hunting against that individual. Only a few actually speak out. It is their time to enjoy too, they would say. When our time comes, we would enjoy too. Even though this may seem innocuous at the moment, but it isn’t. Am simply amazed at how our youths display their level of corruption, that I conclude that the wave of corruption that would sweep our country during the present youth’s era would simply be unprecedented in history. It would make the present cases of corruption we’re experiencing now as nothing but foreplay. That is why I am always in awe, when I hear youths call for more participation in the government. Which participation, when they’re simply waiting for the time to get their share of the cheese?
Corruption as far as I can remember has always been endemic in the country and has eaten into the cankers of our society, and as such curing it won’t be easy thing to do. Firstly, the youths should have their mindsets cleared and they should also be oriented and lectured on the negative effects corruption has on our dear nation both on the social media and otherwise. If possible, courses should be taught in the tertiary institutions on its negative impact. University managements too should take stringent measures against corrupt students and unions, as that is where they first get exposed to the idea of corruption. Most students now get into student’s politics not with the intention of serving, but for the sole purpose of enriching their selves. The so-called NANS is a classic example. Such associations should be closely monitored. As ridiculous as this may sound, maybe it’s time we stop the traditional practice of limiting youths to only PAs and SAs and start thinking of involving them in the government.
However, they should not be put in top decision making roles, somewhere in between where they would understand that the act of governance is not an easy task. The current exclusion in governance roles can only serve to increase their ‘thirst’ so that when their time comes they would enjoy. If after taking all the necessary precautions and yet corruption still thrives, maybe we should consider China’s treatment against corrupt officials! Corruption has always been our main problem, and as far as it is still considered a norm and our youths maintain their present attitude then I fear for our future and that of the younger generation. Therefore, we should all unite and kill corruption before it cripples us, starting from the youths.
PS: Some of the words use in this article are necessary in other to adequately capture the real picture of the situation. After all, am a youth too and may God save us from us!
Abdullahi Malumfashi can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org