Human history is a struggle between the imagination for a better life and the constraints of the present. Some of these constraints are material and some are social. Inadequate material conditions and the rigidities of class can (and do) hold back human progress Whether in Kano or Lagos, it is the same, and the culprit, victim, and loser is that young person who is used-less, not exactly useless.
Nigeria’s youths are not just a failed or lazy bunch; on the contrary’ they are ‘Used-less’. There are several kinds of Nigerian youths. There’s the youth who is the modern day revolutionist, he is upset at everything, full of grammar, tells you tales by moonlight of the ‘not-too-young-to-rule, yet, give him a ruler, the measurements in centimeters and meters all confuses. We have the drug-abusing, sniper-hearted young men and women all over our landscape, the successful and hardworking ones.
The nation is blessed with all kinds of baked, unemployed but unemployable, unbaked, half and quarter-baked youths. There are also the magazine life-styled young persons, the Davidos with 30billion in their accounts and Naira Marley crew of Yahoo-Yahoo boys.
We have the Social media lot, whose lives are on Twitter and Instagram, while their real lives are messed up by a political bourgeois class that continues to its their own dynasty, sharing the country as it were a personal estate.
In case you do not understand my drift on the used-less youths, this is it: youths in Nigeria include citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria aged 18-29 years. Variances in chronologies are used in defining youth and are addressed by members of the state in accordance to their particular society.
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with one of the largest population of youths in the world, comprising 33,652,424 members. Excessive mortality from HIV/AIDS results in low life expectancy in Nigeria. As a result, the median age is 17.9.
In former President Obasanjo’s words, “Youths constitute Nigeria’s only hope for a real future”. The Nigerian government characterises youths as ambitious, enthusiastic, energetic and promising. They are considered vulnerable in the society because of the rapid pace of change they experience at this time in their lives. Sadly, the future is blurry, the used-less youths are on the edge.
We have a National Youth Development Policy created and designed to advocate for youths and youth development. The policy was to view youth welfare as vital to the Nigerian nation and its socioeconomic development.
This policy was seen as a youth participation project, versus a project identifying problems and needs. But till date it is a mirage, a false shadow of reality where 70-year-old men masquerade as leaders of youth wings of socio-political groups.
While the system continues to battle in holding itself, our youths are products of a corrupt educational ecosystem; sons and daughters of the same magicians and politicians continue to toy with the future, while our youths are lost in the conversation or at best made redundant participants.
This nonsense must stop. These elders should be careful, Crisis entrepreneurs peddling war for financial gains and political relevance, your nemesis is around the corner.
My fellow youths, please turn a new leaf. Say no to bigotry, resist these elders and seek wisdom, let the elders go and fight in the field. Stay alive and useful.
How long will this generation stay on the rough path? At what point do we wait to see a population that is useful in wholesome proportion than scattered showers? Or, are we doomed to the current state where they are used-less? When will the youth realise that the fight in them is much bigger, and issue a nation-changing ultimatum? Only time will tell.
Prince Charles Dickson