NIGERIA 2019: NIGERIAN YOUTHS AND ONE-TERM PROPOSITION OF BUHARI’S PRESIDENCY
“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” – John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States.
he extenuating circumstance preventing President Buhari from performing his constitutional duties are pardonable. We wish him speedy recovery from his ailing health. The unscathed patriot is an envisioned leader with the love of his country at heart. To rational minds, at his fragile age, Buhari’s resilience and determination to see a better Nigeria in his lifetime is commendable. Rationally, to come to equity with clean hands in the present state of the nation comes with its attendant consequences.
Nigerian youths seem not to understand the meaning of democracy. They squander and fail at every available opportunity to rewrite the ugly history of their generation. The current youths are too pedestrian in their thought process; moonlighting in unnecessary tasks and dwell in a misplaced priority. Corruption smiles at the youths when they fight themselves and become the willing tools in the hands of the political elites. Corruption thrives when the youths remain docile and apathetic to how they are governed. Corruption flourishes when the leaders use religion and ethnocentrism to divide the unsuspecting Nigerian youths. For want of immediacies, Nigerian youths lack imagination and temperament to peruse Nigerian history; see beyond the present and gaze into the future.
Abraham Lincoln defined democracy as “the government of the people by the people and for the people.” The western democracy is the antithesis of the democratic norm in Nigeria. Our democracy is too primitive, that is why I have redefined Nigerian democracy as 'a government of the fools by the fools and for some fools.' According to Lanre Rasheed, “Nigerians (politicians) are too primitive to practice democracy.” This truism is apt to primitive accumulation of wealth by these sociopath leaders.
The past of the Nigerian youths belongs to the politicians who manipulated and wasted their generation to remain in power. The future of the Nigerian youths belongs to them only if they don’t allow senile politicians come back to power. ‘Nigeria 2019’ is around the corner, it must be a sweeping year of reform; a year the Nigerian youth must detach itself from the claws of men of yesterday. I strongly recommend one-term presidency for the ailing president Buhari. My wish for him is to go and enjoy his twilight years with his family. Buhari must make his one-term presidency a solid foundation for an enduring democracy in Nigeria. President Buhari has unfettered dreams and imagination for Nigeria. His prescriptions for sustainable democratic values devoid of corruption must be endured, preserved and institutionalized. If Mr. President is incapacitated to perform his constitutional duties, the constitution has clearly defined the roles of the Vice-president. Osibajo is an astute individual with unequaled integrity to steer the ship of the nation. Like Buhari, Osibajo has zero tolerance for corruption. The last time I listened to the Vice-president speaking at a forum, I saw and heard the powerful delivery of his speech. A quintessential and articulate pastor and legal luminary who comes from a humble background. His signature success in Lagos State is archived in the collective memory of those who value good governance.
Why is it that the youths cannot come together to form a coalition to wrestle and take power from those who don’t belong to today’s politics? The youths in some advanced nations are changing the ways their governments work in their countries, Nigerian youths remain susceptible to the manipulation of religion, tribalism and greed in the system. They’re perceptual wailers with do-nothing approach to change the corrupt system.
As 2019 general election approaches, Nigerian youths should start to look for a Nigerian between 40 and 55 years of age with integrity, audacity, intelligence, knowledge, wisdom, vision, resilience; and a politically astute candidate for presidency. They should search for incorruptible mind like president Buhari. In Nigeria geopolitical zones, there must be revolutionary actions by the youth movement to take back their country from their corruptible leaders. Disintegration is not the answer to our mundane problems in Nigeria, true restructuring that will appease aggrieved and marginalized minorities in all geopolitical zones in the country must be explored.
Nigerian youths constitute majority of voters in Nigeria. How can the politicians take the youths of approximately 70 millions for granted? According to the National Bureau of Statistics in 2012, youths of working age, in bracket of 15 to 35 years are 70 million persons in a population of 166 million Nigerians; of these youths, 54% of them are unemployed. It is high time the Nigerian youths took their future and the future of their children from being mortgaged by these vultures in the Nigerian polity.
Our leaders are tired and recalcitrant politicians who have refused to retire from politics. It is high time time we sent them to compulsory retirement. Through mass mobilization we can vote them out at the polls. Prof. Patrick Lumumba of Kenya recently came to Nigeria to deliver his stunning lecture on graft to these children of corruption at the Nigeria National Assembly. It is nauseating to see those children of corruption listen with rapt and shared attention. They were imbued with divided attention: the first was a struggle within their conscience; and the second was a struggle within their consciousness. The struggles to collectively conscientize, or make Nigerians to be conscious of their leaders have been a mitigated disaster. The remorse in the sociopath leaders went on vacation since Nigeria went abyss decades ago. The ailing president Buhari will surely be vindicated because he means well for Nigeria. Nigerian laws have been Buhari’s encumbrance. In spite of the overwhelming evidence of looting of nation’s resources, the indicted politicians rely on the complexity of our system, and the loopholes in the Nigerian laws to delay justice. They’re grotesquely using the stolen wealth to fight back. Meanwhile, until these scions of graft are punished and made deterrents to others politicians, or shown the way out of the system, the war on corruption will be a mirage in Nigeria.
Decades ago, we abruptly lost our national identity and things have been falling apart with decentralization of corruption and graft. Babangida regime came and stamped on the institutionalization of official corruption in Nigeria. Ever since then, Babangida has been in all of us. Corruption is “fantastically” entrenched in all fabric of the system.
In a nutshell, every state of the federation now suffers from chronic corruption. No one is immune to trials and tribulations of corruption in Nigeria. It is a national epidemic that has invaded the psyche of Nigerians. Abnormalities are norms and values in a raped country. Responsible thinking is antithetical to the current Nigerian values, we are a nation full of many contradictions.
A dream deferred is a dream shattered. Nigerian youths should actualize their dreams now to avoid unending hopelessness. We must upend the manipulations of the present leadership in Nigeria. Nigerian youths should stop differing their future, they need to wake up from the present state of ignorance to a state of mindfulness to fight corruption. The future of Nigeria belong to the youths, not to these spent, corrupt and circumlocuted politicians. ‘Nigeria 2019’ must be another chance for the youth to get it right. It must be a defining moment for the youth to source for a vibrant, organized and politically astute individual from among themselves to rescue their future from further bastardization by their corrupt leaders. Nigeria is potentially a great country. We should come together to harness our potentials and rescue the wrecking ship of Nigeria from being berthed to total wreckage.
Yahaya Balogun is a Law enforcement agent with the state of Arizona