The three distinct phases of the life cycle of a human being from when he/she is born are childhood, adulthood and old age; youth is the molding stage for the future of an individual’s life that falls between childhood and adulthood. Youth can then be ultimately described by what young people say and do which can either be negative or positive, such attributes are often based on the youth cultures that makes a group of young people unique like their styles, interests, slang names, slang words, behavioral attitudes and beliefs, which can be responsible for youths exhibiting an introvert or extrovert tendencies in order to fit into a given society. Youth can be defined as a biological transformation of childhood growth to adulthood and by the Nigerian law, a youth is defined as a person whose age is between 18 to 29 years whereas in other African countries a youth is considered as any person that is between the age bracket of 15 to 35 years. Hence, the age of a person is used as a determining factor to gain and retain employment, thereby resulted to organizations, job seekers or office holders adopting the age bracket of 15 to 35 in order to fit in perfectly, due to a particular need in time which can either be to gain employment, to be relevant, to prolong their stay in office in order to extend that dreaded moment of retirement.
The life time of any child passes through stages and the youths phase is not an exception to that reality, theirs are much more aggressive than any stage a human being passes through because for them it is a time of vigor, positive or negative rebellion with an all encompassing feeling of “I have come of age and I have the power to do anything, anytime and anywhere without fear of hindrance”; whereas the social media is the icing on the cake for the youths through the journey of life where exposure to social and societal influences can come in many forms online and offline it might be poor parenting or peer pressure.
Parent must inculcate the right value into their kids from 0 to 7 years of age because that is the most fragile phase of a child’s life, it is that stage when kids are being program therefore parenting can never be completely delegated to care givers, schools or the social media, hence moral value is the key and the moral behavior of youths is crucial; poor parenting is responsible for the collapse of the family structure and the all societal misdemeanors by young people, because parents ignored the moral upbringing of their kids in pursuit for money and fame.
A child socialization begins from the family and that is where he is molded and programmed for the larger environment the outside world; the most crucial of all upon the youth is the stage of puberty, when a teenager who has attained the age 14 but is under the age of 18 years can be refer to as a juvenile, any behavior of such a person that violates the laws of the land through acts of criminalities either to please a peer group, escape from parental control or emotional pressure is called juvenile delinquency. If left unchecked the young offenders that is either remanded in juvenile homes or prisons awaiting trial, ends up as hardened criminals thereby constituting a menace that destroys lives and properties in the society.
Young people are attention seekers, who often enjoy deviating from the societal norms, all in an effort to stand out as a person to be reckoned with, not caring about who or what is affected in the process; when the young people adrenaline begins to pump in their veins then a monster is unleash and the dark side of their true nature is exposed. Northern Nigeria is witnessing a new trend amongst secondary/high schools leavers who upon graduation display unruly and deviant behavior, these young people simply go around destroying school facilities, whereas teachers are assaulted, junior students are bullied subsequently extending their new found freedom in misconducts, that has turned into grievances upon the innocent members of the public. Graffiti by students which often passes on messages to anyone who care to read it becomes a means of defacing government buildings and public institutions; it is worthy of note that it is the absolute responsibility of every parents to watch over and instill moral discipline upon their kids right from childhood to adulthood, it is totally unacceptable to leave the proper upbringing of a child in the hands of caregivers and teachers without the vital parental love. A lot of young people grow up believing that all the wrong behavior accepted in their homes is the proper way to behave in the outside world forgetting that the love of some parents blind them from noticing any wrong in the behavior of their kids; as the saying goes in Hausa of northern Nigeria, “ka so Dan’ka duniya ta ki shi, ka ki Dan’ka duniya ta so shi.” meaning that when you love a child too much it becomes difficult to correct and discipline such a child consequently the child would be wayward and pose a threat to society with his or her bad behavior hence the world would hate such a child but when you train a child through to adulthood without sparing the need to discipline and correct unacceptable social behavior, subsequently the kid grows up as a pride of the family, the community and the nations thereby finding love from all people because it is a natural feeling to be attracted to anyone from a good home.
Youths Youthful Exuberance
The youthfulness must not be mistaken for the youthful age because maturity is a state of the mind irrespective of one’s age, within the society some aged elites are seen proudly tagging themselves as the “young at heart”, hiding behind irresponsible behavior thus refusing to take responsibility for their age status whilst forgetting that they are under watch by the society, most especially the kids; growing up and growing old is a normal phase of life for every living soul, therefore grow up and take responsibility.
Youths are simply young adults who are overzealous in nature, anxiously restless, fun seekers, vigorous, impatient, aggressively go get it and know it all, whilst daring to risk it all. Youth are lost in their own thoughts, hence their attributes are as diverse as their individual personalities, their background, religious belief, orientation and peer group influence, such attributes may be positive or negative. Youths positive attributes may include innocence, timidity, naïve, enthusiasm, curiosity, full of limitless imagination, whereas youths with the right mindset can be promising, fearless and courageous. Youths negative attributes includes arrogance, notoriously impulsive, wayward, full of pride, loud, rebellious, aggressive, careless, reckless, and argumentative; the most arrogant amongst them can be easily identified by the way they walk, taking each step as if walking on top of the world, while some of them are known to be careless about the feelings of others because only their feelings matters, the bullies are ever ready to bully younger ones whilst being disrespectful becomes tasteful towards the elderly.
Drudgery, Druggery, Thuggery And The Nigerian Youth
All three vices are interrelated, influencing or motivating one to adopt either or adapt to the other in order to belong or cope with a real life situation; young people who engage in menial jobs for sustenance such as labor intensive work like loading and off loading heavy items in bags that range from 50 to 100 kg from lorries to stores, receiving their pay based on the number of bags carried, thus the more the bags the more the pay; therefore for the young men to make more money in their daily hustle they abuse drugs for energy to go on without getting exhausted. The same process happens in the circles of laborers whose task involves, gravels, sands, bricks and cements which are tasking to move around from one point to another, for the young people to cope in drudgery they go into drugs, with repeated use they become addicted and hence seek for other sources of income to be able to afford their daily needed doses thereby falling victims of societal vices like thuggery, banditry, cultism, terrorism and kidnapping. Drug addicted young people are insensitive to brutality, aggressive and always ready to do absolutely anything to get a dose of drugs to satisfy their feelings, to feel brave and remain heartless towards the people; money for the youth is much more important than people but people are more important than money, Nigerian youths say no to drugs and do not wear the amour of a thug, remember that humble beginnings have beautiful endings.
A hard life involves sweating it out to survive, it is a difficult way to make a living which involves menial jobs or degrading services for others in order to be paid a meagre token fee, the Nigerian society has presented contrasting perspective which the youths are forced to either adopt or adapt to for them to survive. A soft life in Nigeria only exist in the lives of kids whose parents have accumulated wealth by hook or crook, consequently giving the poor youths a wrong signal that corruption pays; hence the youths with the wrong mindset fall easy prey to moneybags, who use them to perpetrate all forms of societal evils to achieve their selfish ambitions.
The desperate need to belong and to live a life of affluence has influenced many a greedy lazy youth into the despicable act of money ritual by sacrificing personal body organs or human body parts for the purposes of sudden wealth which poses danger not only to self but the entire human race. Human sacrifice occurs daily despite the fact that such mystical traditional and harmful practices has been condemned by society, as a taboo and an act of barbarism which is severely punished by the traditional custodians and the laws of the land. The hideous human sacrifice for quick money by ritualistic individuals belonging to the dark world, is still being practiced in hiding, leading to the increase rates of kidnappings and missing persons as being reported daily.
Nothing good comes free, even though many people are of the belief that luck happens for some people to make life living easy, but to appreciate and value life treasures it is necessary to seek, search and sweat for it that way it becomes a priceless gem to be protected.
The get rich quick syndrome without breaking a sweat is the new normal for the digital youth who believe that all it takes is just a click to live the life of a super rich, subsequently making a living as an internet fraudster to defraud innocent people of their hard earned monies with the use of supernatural forces that can help control their victims into total submission to be manipulated by the Yahoo Yahoo boys; a name popularly given to the Nigeria fraudsters. Cultism gradually brings into the lives of young people the dark world where anything is possible as long as one is desperate enough to do anything to achieve a personal greed.
Thereby giving in to fetish charms, juju or black magic with the use of human sacrifices to make potent and powerful potions to protect self from discovery and propel the victims to “submit” under a spell, which then pushed youths who are involved into the business of human parts merchandising. Difficult circumstances of life like poverty, broken homes, abusive conditions in the homes, overcrowding due to a large number of family members, an orphan without any means of sustenance contributes and put at risk young people into seeing cultism and criminality as attractive subsequently a source of sustenance.
Youth struggling with high unemployment and working poverty are often subjected to labor intensive menial jobs especially farm activities reason to why young people shun agriculture and difficult task as a means of livelihood. The accessibility and adoption of affordable machines would assist tremendously in stimulating jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for youth anywhere in Nigeria. Mechanization creates employment, it helps to stimulates other businesses along its value chain because once it is established, employment opportunities begins to grow for other service providers hence improved productivity while reducing drudgery of farm work and menial jobs. When “drudgery” is remove in job activities through mechanization and the application of modern technological tools, more time to engage in other activities would be available, the status of workers automatically improves and a renewed attractiveness of menial jobs is embraced by the young people.
The creation of a conducive entrepreneurial environment for youth through government support for education, training and technological breakthrough would eradicate drudgery and bring about success and sustainable employment generation.
A cartel where misinformed young people find themselves to escape from their situation in life thereby abusing drugs to fill up their heads with a fake feelings of self importance and confidence, which dull their senses and weakens their power to make the right decisions hence ending up as drug addicts, terrorists, bandits, cultists, deadly gang groups and drug traffickers.
The abuse of hard drugs amongst the Nigerian youths is heartbreaking, a society where both the rich and poor kids find a common server to savor the dangerous and deadly hard drugs such as the cheap cough syrup which becomes an intoxicant when taken in excess, popping pills like the tramadol, and diazepam to have the courage to face life challenges, while cannabis, cigarette and shisha smoking has become a part of daily meal, whereas for courage some youths who can afford it go for cocaine sniffing to feel on top of the world.
A youth that is involved in drug use is definitely under the control of the drug and can be manipulated into any crime in order to satisfy that dangerous urge to feel high. A society that let’s go of her youth to be controlled by hard drugs seizes to have a hold on such very important group of individuals which can lead to a total collapse of the society; the addiction to illicit drugs leads to kidnapping, killings, banditry, and terrorism with a negative impact on public health and security of lives.
An anti-social behavior that is aggressive, mindlessly violent, involving all types of criminality that gives room for looting, destruction and sometimes brutality that is deadly against the society by hooligans who are young people generally called thugs; youths who are politically motivated and influenced by political godfathers or moneybags. Youths spend too much of their valuable times surfing on the internet, talking to strangers and visiting dangerous sites where they are easily lured into learning destructive ideologies and deadly techniques. Hence, political thuggery is considered a special reserves for the idle and vibrant youths, that are most often active on social media, cyber mobbing on social media against rival political parties is another form of cyber thuggery, through which Nigerian youths from the different parts of the country are mobilized and paid a token fee to engage in political violence as thugs for their political godfathers.
Thuggery is a tool used to create fears among voters and rival political parties, whereas youths that have been trained as thugs move around in groups brandishing deadly weapons with which they victimize, terrorize and intimidate innocent citizens and political opponents. Rich politicians are responsible for recruiting and training youths as thugs to serve their selfish interest of maintaining absolute power and controlling political power; youths must stay away from thuggery by allowing a free and fair election in order to elect into political offices credible leaders. Thuggery is a societal ill that must be curtail in order to achieve democratic sustainability in Nigeria, awareness and sensitization campaigns can help to dissuade thuggery among young people online or offline and to positively transform thug psychology among the millions of youths in the society, employment opportunities would discourage the jobless youths from such a reckless and risky livelihood.
The election season is a time when the youths get many suitors just like a beautiful maiden, when desperate politicians seek them out, which is in this case a desperate move to win election at all cost irrespective of who gets maimed or killed in the process. Young people from poor homes with no education becomes easy tools to be used to force the populace into voting for their political godfathers, forgetting that all politicians never allow their immediate families to stay back in the country during election season most often than not all their family members are protectively taken into safer places until all the political dust has settled. It is crucial for every Nigerian youth to ask this question, is it worth a life of another person to kill for any politician? Certainly not! No one is worth the blood of another Nigerian whoever he/she might be, because any struggle that waste the life of a Nigerian would waste more lives when the aim is achieved.
The Search For Greener Pasture
The grass is greener wherever you water it the most; greener pasture is achieved through patience, perseverance, dedicated, and daily nurturing by achievers. Migration in search of greener pastures by young people all over the World is caused by their refusal to be where they are to develop, grow and be the best version of themselves; acceptance and the zeal to upgrade their natural gifts is all it takes to excel and achieve excellence.
Whatever the young people are seeking it is also seeking them, and can be found where they are, hence the reason to why it is important to be optimistic in all life situations because running away from life challenges only extend the moment to face it which must come sooner or later. Wonderful transformation is possible when young people respect small beginnings, that way when the big things happens on the other side of life, life puzzles automatically fits in together.
There is nothing like a soft life anywhere in the world but rather a hard life to achieve the great things of life. A practical meaning for this most popular sign post of “Men At Work” or “Soldiers At War” can best be described as the most difficult life situations, when men and women risk their lives to put in place infrastructures to make life easy. Great soldiers loss their lives to protect the sovereignty of a country in order for her citizens to live a free and peaceful life; fighting a battle only those in power give meaning to, whilst convincing the world that only war can bring about peace. Whereas it is viewed from the onlooker perspectives as a means of livelihood or working to earn a living which can suddenly end their lives while at it. Where then is the soft life? For anyone to enjoy a soft life someone, somewhere at some time gone by must have lived a hard life before anyone can enjoy a soft life. Most importantly it is difficult to maintain a soft life provided by someone else without knowing how it was made possible, hence sustainability becomes totally impossible because real appreciation comes from what one has truly earn, therefore what one never work to achieve would never be valued and sustained.
The Eastern Region (Igbo) Of Nigeria
Igbo people are popularly known to travel far and wide, going on trips as far as to the top of the world in search of survival. Therefore, anywhere in the world where you do not find an Igbo indigene from Nigeria then that place is not habitable for human survival.
Yes, the Igbo people are ambitious, hardworking and industrious, trying and striving to produced indigenous and ingenious products to make a living, whilst also engaging other family members to learn the trade on the job in order to also be independent. A success and sustainable circle that goes on and on for as long as there are other family members that must be trained to handle the family business. Although the Igbo people are not too inclined about the white collar job which is not available, hence the reason to why very few among them care for the school education because they believe in hard work in doing their hand works. They defy all odds, with their “can do” spirit and giving up is not an option becomes a trade mark for them; creatively crafting amazing products out of discarded scrap materials, they have on their own without formal education achieve a lot, thereby creating employment for the younger people and bringing development down to the grassroots without waiting for the never to be found white collar jobs.
The Igbo people industrious nature, resilience, ingenuity and the master/servant apprenticeship master plan is a case study not only for educational institutions across the world but the global communities as a whole, for sustainable development and for as long as a better future is promised for the generation yet unborn.
The Western Region (Yoruba) Of Nigeria
The Yoruba people believe so much in getting educated, accumulating various educational certificates as prove of their intellect and qualification, hence searching for the white collar jobs that is nowhere to be found in Nigeria. Theirs is a life of the educated elites who prefer to occupy government offices, traditional institutions by inheritance for the traditionalist and for the business minded Yoruba people it is for them to take control of business deals that brings in immense wealth. Whereas for their uneducated people, it is a life of lazing around whilst the wife take charge of providing for the whole family, the Yoruba women are known to be hardworking and industrious engaging in different types of retail business to bring in an income for the family upkeep.
Yoruba demon is the modern and popular slang given to young Yoruba men, to sum up their polygamous swag in relationships with ladies which is another name for a Casanova, who is known to wine and dine young ladies leaving behind broken hearts; at the end of the day it is for the Yoruba people enjoyment galore, flamboyant “aso’ebi” known as a uniform attire for events and celebrations with endless “Owambes” to enjoy life to the fullest by partying and ostentatious display of their wealth.
The Northern Region (Hausa) Of Nigeria
The northern Nigeria inheritance culture has turned many youths into lazy laggards because growing up with the believe that there is a valuable property to be inherited when a parent dies, is all the motivation for the lazy young people to just sit back, relax and wait for the parents to leave the world and leave behind properties they have no idea how it came to be.
The culture of begging in northern Nigeria known as “yan mola” in Hausa, has made many young people to live with the mentality, that their feeling of entitlement to what does not belong to them would force hardworking people to provide their essential needs by simply pleading for assistance, which is one of the factors encouraging corruption in Nigeria. Amongst other degrading attitudes of young people include the generally tag professional beggars, theirs is to visit rich people who have work hard to be where they are, to beg for sustenance with a feeling of entitlement and if successful to be blessed with monetary gifts, it then becomes a continuous habit which goes on unabated for as long as they can find people who give in to their pleas for assistance. A visit to the various “majalisa” as it is popularly called in Hausa which means an assembly of people, Young people are seen sitting and enjoying the cool breeze from the Neem tree, gossiping, or discussing issues such as the trending cars in town, football superstars, politician and moneybags; day in day out these young people are seen wasting away their priceless time while aging away their life without any struggle to search or sweat it out to give meanings to their lives and loved ones.
The northern region of Nigeria remains backwards and underdeveloped due to the lackadaisical attitude of her young people, who do not see any good in getting an education, who feels that getting a skill or training is a waste of time and above all avoid any form of menial jobs because they considered such as demeaning, thereby living a deceptive life. At the end of the day they remain uneducated, unskilled and jobless, ending up as the members of the “majalisa” or assembly popularly called “zaman baza kashe wondo” who sit around, as they watch their lives ebb away just like water dripping away from a leaking clay pot and by the time they realized their situation in life, it might have been too late. Then the rush begins in search of anything to survive and for the reckless young people they fall easy prey to societal vices such as getting involved in crimes and terrible atrocities to make it big fast, in order to fill up the wasted years and catch up with their peers who started early and are living their best life.
Seasonal migration is a part of life quest for young people that is known as “ci-rani” in Hausa of northern Nigeria, it is a seasonal drifts of northern Nigeria youths from the north to the southern parts in search of greener pasture. Where many work during the dry seasons doing menial jobs such as shoe-shiners, wood-cutters, handyman, trash collectors, and household services; few amongst them engaged in business of buying and selling, while others take up any occupation to survive until the raining seasons when again they all drift back to their roots to go to the farms for the seasonal farming seasons. Why migrate to other parts of the country? When dry season farming is as productive as the wet season with the proper hydration and farming inputs.
These young people wastes precious time in finding jobs to do or to find market spaces to occupy for trading, after fruitless search to earn an income these youths end up hawking wares such as oranges, kola nuts, sweets, razor blades, needles and threading items that cost less than a dollar. They spend the whole day into the nights walking the streets to make a sale that may never be successful, and at night they sleep anywhere the night finds them, that could be the motor parks, garages, market stalls or under the bridges; theirs is a life of fruitless hustle that may end up in criminal activities when hunger pang come knocking; the “man must eat” mentality then motivates the weak amongst them to engage in pick pocketing, which leads to shop lifting and armed robbery.
Whereas the not so courageous amongst them end up as house helps popularly called “boyi-boyi” in Hausa, while others find jobs as watchman at the gate of rich people’s homes known as “mai’gadi” meaning gateman while the few who are lucky to have family members willing to give financial assistance for them to start a business or trade, their response is simply “Na girme Sana’a” which simply means that they are too important to hawk goods around; another term in Hausa is “Rai’na Sana’a” which is another name given to lazy young people who hate to work before achieving success in life due to their stupid pride to engage in petty trading or hustling which they considered to be below their so called social status. There are lots of home servicing, and trading to do with little or no capital to begin with, such as Mai’moya mobile water hawker, mai’yanka farce is the mobile manicurist and pedicurist, mai’shara or mai’bola is the mobile waste disposal or garbage collector, wan’zam or mai’aski is the mobile barber, shoe shiners are the popular mobile cobblers who hawk around with a tool box containing items for polishing and fixing shoes, whereas tela is the mobile tailor who move around streets to mend torn clothing, the washer man or washer woman is so popular in northern Nigeria and they are known as mai’wanki or the dry cleaners, the list is endless but egoistic orientation pass down from generation to generation distorts the young people’s real life view, that one must strive to achieve, forgetting that even the birds must leave their nest in search of daily sustenance.
Talented And Brilliant Young People
Nigeria is amongst countries with the largest youth population in the world; any individual country blessed with the manpower of vibrant young minds, possessing unique talents, can only be considered a great nation only when the potentials of these youths are properly harness towards development and nation building. Nigerian artiste are recognized globally for their amazing talents and achievements, the young men and women in sporting activities have brought laurels, trophies and pride back to their fatherland, professionals in various fields of endeavors are on high demand all across the world; the best brains are found in the most unthinkable places all across regions in Nigeria. Talents are everywhere, specially gifted young people are coming up by the second but challenges of life engulf and swallow up such unique blessings even before the world can take notice of them, bad leadership is not helping matters, because it denies and deprives these promising youths opportunities of a lifetime; corruption extinguishes that shinning star whose bright light grows dim and goes out long before opportunities sees and seize it, for their lack of money to pay for the business as usual “kick backs or kick fronts” in “brown envelope” to oil the palms of an official who is being paid with the tax payers money. Super Gifted youths who were discovered and uncovered have been known to let go of their dreams long before take-off due to challenges of poverty and lack of education for further training in making them superstars out of their god given talents; why allow these beautiful blessing go to waste? therefore it is vital to nurture these young peoples talents for the economic growth of Nigeria. The Nigerian youth must be commended for their patience, dedication, tolerance, endurance, and perseverance to make it work and succeed despite all the daily challenges, and obstacles they are forced to face; it is advisable for the young people to remain focus on their individual talents, entrepreneurial skills and technological prowess in order to remain relevant in the new world and to also help achieve sustainable development growth.
Corruption affects every aspects of life, an unwavering trend that has continued to undermined the social, economic and political development of Nigeria, hence a priority concern of all well meaning Nigerian, the government of Nigeria and the international communities, consequently a great obstacle to the achievement of the sustainable development goals. Corruption is a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the very soul of the Nigerian people, it has become so difficult to draw a line between a gift and a bribe because both are now being interchangeably used to gain favor in public offices. Corruption as an instruments of amassing unbelievable wealth overnight has been unpatriotically used over the years to steal billions of dollars from the government coffers, leading to capital flight where monies meant for developmental projects are hijacked and hidden in oversea bank account by greedy leaders.
Corruption begins from the family unit hence growing out of proportion to engulf a whole Community, state and nations; a little kid that demands to be rewarded before doing a task in the home, grows up believing that to do any responsibility assigned to him or her it must first be rewarded. Kids watch closely every move their parents make and all discussions in the home never misses the child’s hearing, assimilating and adopting the training that is unconsciously pass on to them; when a parent gloat over proceeds from corruption knowing that such behaviors are unethical, the kids receive mentoring on how to live their lives when they grow up. Parents engaged in and encourage corruption by bribing their way for their kids to gain admission in their school of choice irrespective of their bad school results, going further to bribe teachers to reward their kids with good grades. Bribery and corruption goes on, all through the growth and development of a child, it is used to smoothen the path and make life easy for them and at the other end of the journey, a youth acquired all the necessary qualifications through bribery with the gains of corruption and to be gainfully employed the youth must buy his or her way into the choicest occupation irrespective of having the right I. Q. and qualifications or not; the stage is set and the circle continuous because for them it is the best way to get things done. Now what happens to the kid from a poor home? Who has to work hard through school up to graduation with no rich parents to bribe the way through for a smooth and soft landing; it is a hard life for the poor kid and at the end of it all what rightly belongs to them is taken away for a price and given to someone else because of corruption. Life is not fair many would say, when despondency and desperation finds its root in the mind of the few upright and law abiding citizens, they would end up with the saying that “if you can’t beat them, join them” in order not to have their future stolen right before their eyes.
Corruption has many faces and an endless facets, the ghost workers syndrome is one of the corruption fertile ground, it is an institution by itself that is used by officials in government and public offices to loot, steal or syphon public funds. It is a smart way of keeping government workers on the payroll which sees to it that salaries are paid to people who are dead or are no longer in the employ of the government or institutions. Most often such “no show” staffs are replaced with the names of babies, subsequently the paid salary is transferred and collected by the ghost workers account that is managed by an unknown staff to be shared amongst the beneficiaries; in a nutshell a ghost worker is someone who does not exist anywhere else but exist on government institution payrolls.
Faking and taking over what rightly belongs to the vulnerable poor of the society goes on unabated by those in control, the rush for free monies and desperation for quick wealth leads to corrupt activities in public offices, corruption in high places, starting from bottom-up, going all around to consume everyone. Factors fanning the embers of corruption includes interagency rivalry a situation in the work places when teamwork is not part of the ethics of workers hence every department stands on its own causing a lot of delays in discharging responsibilities, thereby the urgent needs for vital data encourages bribery and corruption.
The height of corruption in Nigeria has become unbelievably unique that even animals are involved in corrupt activities; government officials are known to be responsible for the disappearance of huge sums of money but such allegations are often swept under the carpet to be forgotten because corrupt official points accusing fingers at animals either swallowing public funds, or devouring payrolls which consequently makes accounting for public funds misappropriated out rightly impossible. Often times stories are made up in defense of missing public funds includes mysterious snake that swallowed proceeds made from sales in public institutions, monkey that swallowed millions at a farm, gorilla also has been documented to have swallowed several millions at a zoo, unbelievable also is a financial issue involving billions but unfortunately it can not be accounted for because hungry termites enjoyed a very expensive dinner devouring vital documents containing the spending details of a government agency; all in an effort to cover up sudden disappearances of stolen government funds.
Corruption has been a challenging issue hindering the growth of the public sector in Nigeria, which has caused a lot of havoc to the nation, tarnishing the Nigeria image and rubbishing the good name of Nigeria in the eyes of the global communities. Also rendering youth redundant due to lack of infrastructures, basic social amenities and the crucial financial intervention to cushion their unemployment status in order to begin small scale businesses.
Corruption is endemic because it has been tried and tested as a normal way of doing things and to get things done in Nigeria, seen as a vehicle that speeds off faster to deliver what would normally have taken a longer time duration to achieve; corruption must be destroyed or else it would destroyed any nation that allows it to grow it’s dangerous tentacles. Extortion and fraud anywhere in the country affects everyone because it has a ripple effects not only on the public sector, Nigeria but on all the global communities that are doing business with the great nation.
Nigerian youths are creating waves with their creativity globally; tackling fraud and corruption in Nigeria would reduce brain drain and the search for greener pastures by promising young Nigerians who are blessed with great potentials, which would help also to speed up economic growth in Nigeria; therefore corruption must go!
An idle mind is the devil’s workshop, provision of job opportunities by the government would fill up the empty spaces in the minds of the young people, making it busy and less likely to be involved in criminality.
Rural and regional development with the basic amenities such as schools, hospitals, transports, roads, clean water and skill acquisition centers would discouraged rural to urban drifts which causes over population in the cities with more people chasing limited resources, consequently criminality taking over the society.
The great Nigerian youths are hardworking, resilient, talented, and innovative, ever willing to create amazing things in order for them to leave the trenches and lift themselves out of generational poverty, if given the opportunities and the necessary support they will shine bright just like any superstar. In Nigeria, the natural growth of opportunities for the young people is stagnant, the millions of angry and frustrated youths is caused by unemployment problems which only mirrors a bleak future for them. The eradication of poverty in the lives of these young people would greatly uplift their morale and help the economic growth of the nation but first repressive governance and insecurities across regions in Nigeria must be curtail in order for the youths to move freely without fear in achieving greatness for a greater and better Nigeria.
The failure of the Nigerian leaders to put in place workable framework for sustainable employment and development for the millions of the young people has pushed some misinformed young people into setting up another nation within Nigeria. It is made up of their own system of governance in adversity with the government of the day, every day millions of jobless youths are enticed into joining banditry and kidnapping where they lived under their own territory, terrorizing everyone who is unfortunate to fall victim to their attacks. Banditry and kidnapping has made travelling by road impossible and for those who can afford the high rate of flight tickets, they still find the kidnappers waiting at the other end of the road on their way home; kidnapped victims are given a choice to pay for their freedom in millions or be killed. Bandits control farms, forests and villages, forcing poor farmers to pay millions in levies to have access to their farms or farm produce, for those who can not afford it they pay with their life.
The consequences of ignoring the poor people as nonentity is affecting both the rich and the poor, the opportunity given to many leaders only end in personal enrichment forgetting that the same poor people’s kids and theirs will sooner or later meet some day. The now kidnappers and bandits are the result of corruption which has now force those neglected youths to use terrorism to get their own share of the national cake; life and livelihood of Nigerians is at risk every single second of the day because of corruption.
Bad governance has caused poverty, hunger, inflation, brutality, unemployment, discrimination, consequently strikes by workers and massive protest to express displeasure over situations across the country that affects mostly the vulnerable poor in the society.
The lives of youths especially in higher institutions are most often than not delayed with the instrument of strikes remote control, when those whose voice matters and are occupying position of powers decides to delay the future of the young people in public university by refusing to do the right thing at the right time in moving toward quality education for the youth. Nigeria youths are considered unemployable due to lack of proper education and the right skills to support their certificate qualifications; the struggle to change the narrative by higher institutions stake holders faces unmovable obstacles hence the seasonal strikes in order to demand for the proper educational funding for public universities
University strikes has become a tradition in Nigeria and it is very difficult to find any graduate that has pass through federal government university that has not experienced the “strike” which is an unfortunate deadlock with terrible consequences for all that are affected. Millions of Nigerians are known to find their daily living wages in those public institutions, hence they are left to seek for other means of livelihoods away from what they are trained for all their life. The academic and non academic staffs, parents and students, business owners and service providers are all out in the cold because someone somewhere in a position of authority refused to see the youth as the most crucial population of any country who must be educated.
The incessant university strikes is detrimental to the growth of any nation and it’s impacts on the young people is discouraging leading to distorted dreams and a disconnect from their future ambition. A lot of university students have either lost their lives to accident, kidnapping, banditry or communal crisis due to the various unending trips to and fro their learning location. Many of these youth have been pushed to unethical societal behavior and criminal activities by the lingering university strikes due to idleness, frustration and desperation, many among them are now involved in robbery, kidnapping, prostitution, drug peddling, drug addiction, ritual killing, cyber crime known as yahoo-yahoo; whereas others have decided to abandon any need to go back to such institutions to complete their undergraduate studies.
Youth are the most productive members of the communities, any country that loses it youths to societal vices is doom; it must be place on record that not all antisocial behavior of the young people can be attributed to them alone; leaders must be accountable and be made to take responsibility for the bad behaviors of young people for their failure to make the system work.
Democratic rules must stand on a solid foundation which is based on equity, justice and fair play that would sustain not only democracy itself but the unity of the Nigeria nation. Corruption is one amongst many threats to a sustainable democratic rule, hence the negative relationship between democracy and corruption. Factors responsible for bad governance are the imposition of bad leaders who failed to walk the talk, who lack exemplary leadership style for the followers to emulate, including also lack of genuine political-will to combat corruption and to put in place a corrupt-free sustainable democracy for the youths to follow up; consequently the widespread corruption among leaders and followers has robbed the poor people of democratic benefits in Nigeria.
The social media network is a powerful tool for the youths to use during this digital age to evaluate aspiring politicians and campaign them into or out of political offices. The Nigerian youths must rise and raise their voices above religious, tribal, and political sentiments in order to remain focus on Nigeria as the most vital force to be nurtured, protected, built and developed. It is high time for the Nigerian youths to move away from business as usual during elections when the rich politicians use them for electioneering campaigns only to dump them after winning their various political seats, therefore the youths must avoid being used as a tool for violence, fear, insecurity, bitterness, rancor, and above all thuggery.
Political Best Practices For Youths
The youths in Nigeria are blessed with creativity, energy and passion to fly above whatever it is they are faced with, unfortunately they are politically marginalized, and culturally regarded as irrelevant. The socio-cultural, economic and political policies in Nigeria has repeatedly failed to take the views, interests and voices of the youths into account in decision making and governance because the so called “young at heart” elders refused to leave power, a heritage that cling to as their special reserve where they continuously recycle their relevance in all cadre of the government.
The youths are an important group in any society, it is necessary to empower the youths in politics for them to be relevant in decision making processes, to contribute to innovative and effective changes that affects their lives and the lives of others. Young people are agile hence it is crucial to strategically placed them in vital position that drives positive change such as education, employment and most importantly climate protection that is crucial in today’s world of climate change and crisis.
Youth participation in politics is a bold step in awakening the consciousness of the young people in order to set them free from generational bondage of bad leadership. The Nigeria youths needs to be given the opportunities and support to contributes in nation building, because the Nigerian child-adult is naturally positioned to drive any vehicle for societal development. Violence is not an option to force into office any moneybag or politician but rather Youths must use their voice, and their vote to make the right choice. Vote into offices the right leaders for Infrastructural development NOT for stomach infrastructure because a hungry youth can easily turn into a puppet to be manipulated for all the wrong vices against law abiding citizens, young people must remember that when they are fed for a day it last just for awhile as compared to when they drive development that would outlive them to make for a beautiful world that is also sustainable for the future generations.
The Nigerian youth have all it takes to move Nigeria to greatness; they are agile, they have the vigor, the innovative talents and they are capable of playing decisive role in good governance of the Nigeria nation. The great Nigerian youths has proved beyond doubt that they are a force to be reckoned and that their voice matter, as seen in many nationwide protests when youths sacrifice their lives in agitation for change. Unfortunately such youths movement was viewed as a threat to “business as usual” in governance and the fear of youths dominance in government resulted in creating rivalry between the leaders and followers where youths are targeted as villains for all societal evils.
Youth in Nigeria are also stakeholders in governance because their future is at stake, therefore they must rise above all limitations and confront without confrontation all elections with optimism. It is advisable for the youths if they are adequately equipped, ready and willing for governance to seek elective positions within their reach, rather than for them to remain mere electorate who are often used as tools for winning political offices.
The strength of the Nigerian youth lies in their numbers, their unifying voice and their yearning to correct the wrongs of the past, therefore with proper planning they can play an active role in the leadership recruitment process all across Nigeria, by the use of their vote to trample bad leadership and grapple power for the right leaders.
Youths Role And Support In Achieving The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) In Nigeria
The role of young people in sustainable development can never be overlooked, their active engagement can greatly help accelerate youth related objectives and the successful implementation of sustainable development goals at the grassroots. Their role would help immensely in achieving sustainable, all inclusive, accessible, stable societies for all people; the youth can also assist in averting the various challenges to sustainable development such as climate change impacts, unemployment, migration, conflicts, poverty, crisis, violence, protest, unrest, kidnapping, banditry, terrorism, gender inequalities and age barriers.
A large proportion of the Nigerian population are youths, Young people anywhere in the world have the potential to make effective transformation of the present and the future better, and brighter which is sustainable economically, an all inclusive socio-cultural society, and an environmentally resilient world for everyone. Majority of youths in Nigeria are marginalized thereby pushing them to belong amongst the most poorest and vulnerable across the country; factors responsible includes unemployment, insecurity and lack of financial support; it is vital to make a pathway for the youths survival, sustenance and sustainability.
Goal 1 ✳ No Poverty
Nothing to something outlook to life in achieving meaningful success goes a long way to create the right optimistic environment for the youth to begin with nothing to achieve something which would help reduce poverty in the land, such seeking out treasures from the trash like scrap metals, iron and plastics which they can sale and reinvest the income in fairly used clothing materials business, subsequently other home businesses like fish farming, poultry, bird and bee keeping. But youth empowerment becomes crucial, because it takes a start up capital to even start up any business, the young people if properly supported have the best chance to end poverty with the tiniest of intervention as a starting point; the eradication of poverty in the youth population will narrow the gap between the rich and the poor in any community.
Goal 2 ✳ Zero Hunger
Agricultural mechanization is the best way to eradicate drudgery in farm work, it would encouraged the young people to go back to till the land, hence youth in farming will bring about abundance in food produce thereby leading the way towards achieving goal 2 zero hunger for all and with young people on the farmlands, the elderly can handle the easier task and allow the energetic youth with technological knowhow to take charge of food production and processing for high productive and for an enhanced value chain.
Goal 3 ✳ Good Health And Well-being
The vigor of youthfulness is seen as a sign of healthy wellbeing, so youths are better at promoting the importance of good health for all people which is essential for achieving all the SDG agenda, Youths can add in their voice and contribute towards eradicating a wide range of deadly diseases such as HIV/AIDs by practicing safe intimacy or abstinence, and protection against emerging diseases. Adolescent health begins with their mental health which can easily be affected by assault, depression or drug abuse, which can result to mental illnesses, it is vital for youth who do not abuse drugs to discourage youths against drug abuse and its consequences; movement against drug abuse is a good platform to educate youths about the adverse effects of substance abuse. Young people with efficient funding can improve sanitation and hygiene as instructors or sanitary officers in their communities which would help in saving the lives of millions at risk of dying at their most productive age.
Goal 4 ✳ Quality Education
Education for all begins with quality education for the young people, they have the power to convince, encourage and mobilize others to gain education; youths spend most of their time on the social media thereby have great influence to educate their peers about the importance of education and getting educated. Young people are just like an empty vessel that is ever ready to be fill up with the good stuffs, eagerly assimilating whatever comes their way, hence the importance of skills acquisition to strategically direct their focus towards improving their unique talents because many educated youth are seen putting away their educational certificate to move towards their passion so why not help them attain their full potentials to achieve their personal goals? Quality education, the right training and skill acquisition is amongst the best criteria in achieving youth self employment, which would go a long way in helping them become self reliant, independent and employers of labor.
Goal 5 ✳ Gender Equality
Youths are agents of change, youth circles consists of youths with like minds, discrimination among youths that are related to gender hardly exist because they mingle together online and offline. Youth are the best springing point to drive home the need for gender equality from the cradle to the grave; subsequently they would help strengthened the importance of gender equality from their homes to the outside world.
Youth are powerful advocates for gender equality and irrespective of their gender, it is important that they all work together for all the gender related issues such as equity, women rights, freedom from bullying and gender base violence in women interactions with other people.
Goal 6 ✳ Clean Water And Sanitation
Youths in Nigeria can create a critical group that will influence local communities all the way to urban centers, on the importance of clean water and sanitation through awareness and campaigns. Achieving Goal 6 needs to connect and collaborate with young people in all communities in helping to encourage hygiene and sanitation. Youths are the most vibrant and digital savvy population they can assist in recycling, reusing technology and electronics that has not reach end of life towards protecting and restoring water related ecosystems by preventing marine life pollution.
Goal 7 ✳ Affordable And Clean Energy
The global world must move towards renewable energy to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit climate warming and crisis. Sustainable energy for all at the grassroots is critical and clean cooking at the rural homesteads is vital; youths are needed to advance the adoption of renewable energy, the agility of youths will help to drive faster action toward achieving goal 7 before the world turn into a tinderbox. Energy sustainability for youths begins with sourcing from solar energy for the youths empowerment programs needing the use of energy; solar energy is available and affordable contributing towards clean environment, and assist in curtailing climate change.
Goal 8 ✳ Decent Work And Economic Growth
Young people needs the right guidance and support to become independent and financially successful; harnessing the potentials of youths through youth network would provide opportunities for large number of young people to identify their talents towards achieving Goal 8 agenda.
Youth network is a collection of like minded young people with the zeal for personal growths in their area of interest, through trainings, education and skills acquisition; a great platform to reach the young people and bring them together in the communities with the youths inviting other youths to join in for personal growth, access to decent jobs and community development thereby localizing the goal 8 in their communities.
Goal 9 ✳ Industry, Innovation And Infrastructure
Great innovators yet to be discovered are among the youths, who are naturally gifted with unique talent and brain, knowing best the problems they face, hence bringing in fresh perspectives and new ideas to handle issues concerning young people for sustainable solutions. The young people can drive and accelerate development if given the necessary moral and financial support to make it possible; it is wrong to judge all youth as lazy because many are willing to work but lack the needed skills, training and tools.
Youth empowerment is needed to help push the millions of jobless young people into meaningful and developmental projects, which may either be training, tools or mentoring.
Youths can make their own pathways and expand their reach with leaders innovative partnerships at all levels through the cyberspace creativity, technological innovations, sports, arts, and culture.
Goal 10 ✳ Reduced Inequality
The widening unemployment gaps are caused by age barriers and discrimination, which has deprived many young people of opportunities of a lifetime due to the greed of the aged who occupied certain offices long after retirement. Consequently the prevailing societal dishonesty of faking and procuring false affidavits or age declarations to remain relevant, thereby making the youths from poor homes redundant and unemployed. The best people for certain jobs are the youths who possess vigor and agility to perform them irrespective of gender, culture, religion, social or economic status, the youth working together with other youths through education and enlightenment would eradicate inequality in the society.
Goal 11 ✳ Sustainable Cities And Communities
Young people constitutes the majority and many live in trenches without basic amenities hence the need for an all inclusive and sustainable communities for the most vulnerable groups such as persons with disabilities, women, children and the aged. Youths can drive the crucial changes to reduce the adverse environmental impact in all communities, help support positive economic, social and environmental development by their contribution to go green towards mitigating climate change disasters. The financial, technical and technological support for young people is a way to go in creating sustainable and resilient buildings with the use of the locally sourced materials thereby providing safe, affordable, accessible and comfortable housing, infrastructures and basic services to uplift the slums or trenches as it is popularly called by the youths.
Goal 12 ✳ Responsible Consumption And Production
Young people adapt and adopt easily especially trends in consumption patterns which subsequently drives production, they can transform both production and consumption of goods and services without over burdening the ecosystems whilst meeting the basic needs of the vulnerable poor in their communities. The youths are the agile change agents towards sustainable buying patterns, because just as they can drive businesses out of the market they can also influence the market growth of a business; they can assist to limit waste and they can lead innovation and technological break through in Nigeria and all around the world.
Goal 13 ✳ Climate Action
The young people anywhere in the world can help avert climate change through the planting of more trees and forest protection which would go a long way in controlling forest fires that are getting worse across the world.
Bush burning must be controlled, felling of trees must be stopped and planting of more economic trees encouraged in all communities; improvement of the forest resilience would assist in ending deforestation and the protection of wild lives would balance the ecosystem.
Economic and environmental opportunities abound all over the society for youths to contribute meaningfully towards goal 9, in achieving goal 13 by turning waste into wealth in the construction industry where discarded materials can be converted to useful products thereby creating job and income for the jobless youths. Hence helping to solve some environmental problems caused by pollution and social problems of unemployment. Youths can provide sustainable solutions to environmental issues through nature to develop biodegradable fashion items, home decorations, cutleries, and packages to rid the environment of plastic use in any form.
Youths In Nigeria have carve out a niche for themselves in trash to treasure, which has made many jobless young people self reliant, by making a living out of garbage subsequently gaining clean income from waste employment and contributing to a cleaner environment.
Goal 14 ✳ Life Below Water
Ocean life is very important to life on the land, hence protecting it is protecting human lives; young people are mobile and they are all over the place, it is for them to encourage reusable water bottles instead of disposable ones which would discouraged ocean contamination and such advocacy must begin from the classrooms to the communities.
Goal 15 ✳ Life On Land
The youth as custodians of life on earth would begin the journey for a beautiful environment, they are key to saving life on land; young people on social media can raise awareness on social media through their active participation in a global campaign to reverse deforestation and restore the ecosystems.
Goal 15 involves stopping pollution and animal poaching, planting more trees every day, and to slow down climate change by keeping global temperature increases under control, therefore the responsibility to protect the natural environment belongs to everyone in order to help everyone live a sustainable life together.
Goal 16 ✳ Peace, Justice And Strong Institutions
There can never be development without peace, promoting peaceful societies begins with the agile young people who can help to build peaceful bridges to link together their communities; youths are the tools for peace and progress, when they are made stakeholders in the society they live up to expectations by bringing about peace to protect what belongs to them thereby helping to strengthened institutions. Therefore for them to have an influence on their communities, they need an enabling environment that is inclusive, with peace and Justice. Young people can only contribute to the development of the society when they are bold enough to bring out major issues bedeviling their lives and communities; Youths working with youths as a team would drive amazing developmental changes, therefore it is necessary to empower and equip the young people with leadership skills and knowledge of their rights for optimum performance for youths progress and societal development.
Youths are critical groups as peace builders and for sustaining peace through peaceful protest young people can contribute to meaningful and developmental changes in their communities by seeking justice for the powerless, demanding freedom of speech and movement, protesting against violence and conflicts which includes gender-based violence, political violence, terrorism and violent crimes, not forgetting speaking up for the voiceless, and challenging corruption in governance.
The quick dispensation of justice upon those who are awaiting trials will help decongest the prisons and appease the aggrieved victims; intervention and integration into the society affected by crisis in the northeast becomes crucial in order for a peaceful coexistence between those who are responsible for the conflicts and those who are affected by it; sport is a great way to engage the young people and to encourage peaceful coexistence in their various communities.
Goal 17 ✳ Partnerships To Achieve The Goal
Young people are partners in progress anywhere in the world, they’re better positioned to communicate the needs of their communities to their peers, if supported they have far reaching platforms to reach other youths from remote communities, to the urban cities in achieving the sustainable development goals agenda. The youths are relevant to all partners involved from the rural leaders to international donor agencies that are willing to work for the goals.
Garden Of Youth Ever Blossoms
Youth blossoms fast and stray away as fast as the breeze
Arise early to collect the blessed harvest of youth before it goes out of season
Delight in the morning of youth now
Do not allow the waters flow past
Quickly draw and drink to your fill, from the fountain of youth
Let go of criminality and leave behind the dark, dark evil world
Hard work, honesty, dignity, integrity will open more doors than criminality
Do not allow the winding ways stand as obstacles to move forward
Endure all the rough of living
Face the fears and race away with vision so great
Aim high and fly above all challenges of life
Go for a future of great prospects
Endless opportunities are all around, so hold fast to dreams
See differently and think positively to make a change
Move into a beautiful modern world
Youth use your talent and stand out of the crowd
Same brain with Great innovators
Space enough for every youth on the Cyberspace
Digital knowledge and technological knowhow
All it takes to make a unique difference and to go places
Celebrate a long lasting youth into crowning old age
Gallantly walk the path of victory
Leave great footprints for generations yet unborn.
Great Nigerian youths, the choice is yours for a blur or bright future, be bold, be fearless, take ownership of what rightfully belongs to you, today is your future and it is in your hands. Your voice is your power speak through your vote, and vote out bad leadership peacefully, no violence. You are not leaders of tomorrow, YOU are the leaders of today and YOUR time starts NOW!