This Generation: Way Forward By Adetayo Adegbemle
When I wrote the article the “Nigeria’s Failed Generation: Way Forward” article June, I did with no premonition that by the third week in August, a group of Nigerian “youths” would start the #30PercentOrNothing hashtag on twitter. To be honest, I was not expecting such a reaction so early.
While the argument expounded in my earlier article posit that the generation failed Nigeria simply because they had nothing to fight for, or never saw it as a necessity to leave a legacy for the coming generations, thereby leaving them forever in the “youths” position that has been founded of leading the people, and “forcing” the same set of people that fought for independence to perpetuate themselves indefinitely.
It is therefore a reality check and certainly a cause for worry reading through the rumpus that followed the demand of by a sector of “youths” for 30Percent of governance, just like women engaged, and got 35% involvement in Government cabinets worldwide.
While I am definitely not in the camp of Social Media activists, and believe that no matter how much creative tweets “youths” can come up with, if this position was not followed up with substantive tactical actions and manipulations that aids their pursuit. For even taking that position, I salute their courage.
Another school of thought, without giving a concrete alternative means of getting “youths” into governments decided to go on a tirade, and my personal opinion is that these “youths” took this position, not really because 30Percent is bad in itself, but because those fronting this position are seen as oppositions, or are in it for their selfish end.
While it is not my position to defend for or against, I believe however that both set of “youths” have missed the main thrust of the idea completely, and have allowed sentiments and shallow thinking to blind them. None the wiser, “youths” are the losers in the end. The same groups of people we aim to oust are out there laughing and throwing pittance at any “youth” that is ready to do their bidding.
One sure attribute of the present crop of “youths” is the inability to trust in themselves, an attribute which can still be traced down to the failed Generation, who has refused to pass anything down to them but fear, and lack of total devotion to the country that catered to them.
It goes without saying that so many groups have been put together on facebook, blackberry, and even in real life, but lack of trust, mutual respect and direction has robbed them of any serious bite. they biker on some money given by one benefactor or the other.
But you see, whether you agree with the 30Percent demand or not, the main focus should not be lost in the pursuit of personal interest. If the 30Percent is “granted” perhaps, ALL Nigerian ‘youth” gains from it, If not, the struggle for the soul of Nigerian “youths” continues.
We MUST ALL AGREE that we have a clear task in our hands, whether 30Percent or 100Percent.
WE MUST ALL AGREE that we have not put forward our best behaviours on this quest, and
We Must ALL Agree to move forward one way or the other.
If we all agree that the soul of Nigeria is paramount and first in this struggle for lasting peace and development of our commonwealth to the benefit of everyone, both living and generations unborn, we must then all stop behaving like the same group of divisive leaders, close ranks and expound forward thinking and progressive argument that is devoid of bias of any form.
I expect, and would call on all who agrees with me, to close ranks, form representative bodies, and join political parties that they feel would best serve their purpose.
The South African “African National Congress” was also an organization founded to increase the rights of black South African population. It was started from a Church.
There is absolutely nothing wrong if a “youth” organizations can close ranks based on ideologies and common interest, and metamorphous into Political Groups and parties.
It is high time political parties, civil society and interested organizations to front regular debate platforms that will treat topical National issues and positions are projected.
It is high time we allowed true leaders evolve by themselves, even beyond these unsettled “youthful” exuberance.
It is high time “youths” realized that there is a real world outside social media. Yes, Social Media is a leveler and allows your opinions to be heard, but the real world is out there. Drop the iPads and mobile phones, attend Ward meetings once a while, and see that the politics out there is beyond the realist ideas expressed on Twitter and Facebook.
I must commend those who have taken one position or the other and are serving in one capacity or the other in this Government, whatever it is, make sure you are serving the interest of the Country, above self.
Until we shed all forms of divisive tendencies and policies, and “agree to disagree”, our collective demands, whether 30Percent, or 100Percent, would remain a mirage. And yet, we will again fail the coming generations.
Adetayo Adegbemle is a public opinion commentator/analyst, researcher, and the convener of PowerUpNigeria, a Power Consumer Advocacy Group, based in Lagos. (Twitter: @gbemle, @PowerUpNg)
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