Ogun Youths And The Burden Of Irrelevancy By Whyte Habeeb Ibidapo
From within the same burden of irrelevance, I woke up from a world of shift and this in no time makes me feel like a palaeontologist coming face to face with a dinosaur. I do not need to tell you what would happen because it is a game of life. But I know an odd combination of fear and exhilaration would settle over him. This is the feeling I have as I bury my ink on paper again. To whom brain is given, intelligence is expected. Beauty without intelligence is just a display of cosmetics foolishness. I do not believe that there would be a time when an oasis of the political leaders in Ogun State would take away the hope of an average Ogun State youth. Even if there is an attempt to glue our tongue to its root, the fear in our face would not betray the truth in our tongue. The presupposition that one once knew the answer created the mindset that an answer must exist. If the faith of the various political leaders that has ruled our State did not protect them from the evils of office, what hope was there for us? As much as we cannot crush faith by simply removing its earthly manifestation, we can hold firm as long as we believe in the fact that change must continue to occur in our dear State.
It should be taken as a matter of concern that within my few days of making my feet firm into the affairs of the youth constituency in the State, my faith has solidified beyond the shadow of doubt that our constituency is not yet driven by the proper youthful intellectualism that is needed to liberate and take over the state of affairs of the State. Even those that came from a pedigree that is colourful and austere, still strive to show excellence in pursuit of old fashion ideas. It is a pity that the State that had produced top leaders for a nation now has larger part of her youths not interested in her affairs. Like every other youths in other states, everyone wants to make money and money. I guess that is why we have a lot of keyboard warriors around. Most of the youths that we assume to be heroes or icons to those of us that really love to be of use to our State have now become celebrities that are irritants not as leaders per se. The dire need to change the situation is a task for all.
I do not want to join the band wagon of those that would opine that we are condemned as a generation to build ourselves for the future rather than expect our future to be built for us. Rather than say we were condemned, I would say that we condemned ourselves. We forget so soon that no future exist anywhere. Our future is today. If we do not seize the moment, we might lose the sight of today’s reality. And the reality as at now is that we are not included in most governmental policies of our State. We are already shut out of the governance system just because we made it so. Presumably, most of the youths are not committed to ensuring the righting of wrongs and triumph of inconsistency.
I took a vivid look into the age group of those that constitute the government of today, most of the top functionaries or leaders of affairs are the same elders that we know over the years. The same persons that have been in governance while I was in primary school are still part of the governance team of the present day government. Are the Ogun Youths that irrelevant and unproductive? I guess it boils down to the fact that most of us are not doing what is impressive enough to be part of the government. And if we do, maybe our parents are not influential enough to seek for our inclusion in governance. No successful attempt can be made to gloss over the dilemma posed by this reality. We are much carried away by our exuberance just like our colleagues in other parts of Nigeria. We burn our energy on frivolous things, ignore needs and embrace wants. I see most of the youths in the capital city as people that embraces riches over purpose. Some lose the sense of togetherness to unhealthy rivalry.
One become more disturbed when you are well aware that there are in existence a lot of Youth bodies in the State and yet there is no impact. I know that just few Youth bodies can be relied on. The larger parts are not worth it. Most groups, forum or bodies only come together to extort politicians during election periods. They are only interested in the money and forget that the governance affect them more. It is also a pity that even the National Association of Ogun State Students is also found wanting. It is not living up to task at all. It is either one faction or the other. The basis of the existence of this body that represent the larger part of the youths of the State has been grossly defeated. Members at the realm of affair of the body are selfish and self-centred. If as at now, the body is running under factions just because of overriding interests and selfish desires, I wonder what the political future of the State holds. It is going to be more disastrous than the present. I just hope that the destiny attached to the great Ogun youths would not leave us in our pursuit for ephemerals. Soonest some youths would be forced to embrace the fact that the crowning glory of their puffing and pride rests in their stunning emptiness. We must create a redirection to make ourselves more responsible to the development of this State. If our elders have failed us, we cannot afford to fail our own existence.
The crops of elders we have today are those that do not believe in the youths. Funny enough, they were all product of mentoring. Ask them who they are mentoring at the moment you would get no reply. Few of them would want to leave the stage of governance. Even if they eventually do, they put their own kids to hold political offices and appointments. Funny enough, these kids do not grow up in the State not even anywhere in the country but outside the country. To them with their kids there, the youths have been represented. Sad and treacherous! The effect of this disdain appears permanent, inescapable; they are to be read in a thousand and one actualities that plague the governance affairs of the State. Something is definitely missing. This is nothing but our own zeal and passion to make our feet firm in the affairs of the State. We must come together and make things better for us. An average Ogun Youth is destined for greatness. This is obvious in all endeavours. Most of the youths that are doing well in other States have a connection to Ogun State or are from Ogun State. This is a fact. Let us remind ourselves of the existence of our affairs and let’s work towards making our State better. If we want to be relevant, our choice of leaders and sense of followership must change for the best. If it is to be, it is up to us.
(WHYTE HABEEB IBIDAPO is a Lawyer, United Nations Award winner, Africa International Arbitration Award winner, Coca cola/ The Nation Campuslife Award Winner, Promasidor Runner-up for the Best Future Writer in Nigeria, i-Hustle Campaign Initiative Ambassador and Editor Egba Youth Awards Foundation.