he story of Nigeria's quagmire - in a single word or phrase - can be summarized as the result of a lack of an acceptable social order. The imposition of selfish cravings over and above national interest brought about the menace of infighting, nepotism, impunity, cronyism, corruption, religious/cultural intolerance and general distrust for one another today.
It was failure on the part of the feudalistic north to disregard and disrespect the social rights of their counterpart from the south. To have enjoyed dominance at the expense of the south had brought the north nothing more than the consequences of selfishness. We believe that he who eats alone dies alone and where the country is at now is the result of promoting differential citizenry over and above social equality.
The refusal to integrate with the south on the basis of a religious belief that claimed supremacy over the other religious cultures in Nigeria, finally did the north in. It thus formed the basis for distrust, intolerance, nepotism, impunity and corruption that has stagnated national progress. Every time, the subject of national interest was discussed, there was always the question of who benefits what and how much.
On the other hand, the south cannot go without blame. In order to stay relevant in the scheme of things, the south has always being enmeshed in infighting and distrust for one another. The three (3) regions of the West, East and Midwest has never pursued a collective agenda that could enhance the role of opposition to northern misrules. Always, it has been the case of betraying one another to appease the north.
If blame went to Adolf Hitler - for instance - over his wicked passion for exterminating the Jewish race in Europe; blame must also go to the European states who under their watchful eyes, refused to oppose Hitler in his early days thereby increasing his clout. If blame went to the north for imposing its will on Nigeria since Independence, blame must also go to the south for subtly encouraging it.
Now, the present generation of youths are agitating for a space in politics but the agitation - in my views - should've being about the urgency of enthroning a new social order as that will not only increase its popularity but also show that indeed the younger generation understood the root of the country's woes and showed substance that they could handle it.
Former Military president Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida had for sometime now made a consistent call for power to be given to the younger generation. He believes that today's youth had the stuff required to fix Nigeria. I hold a different view - incidentally - and this is why: Recall that in 1956, a young Mr. Anthony Enahoro (as a parliamentarian) moved for Nigeria's Independence but his stance was countered by Sir Ahmadu Bello who made a case for as soon as possible.
I believe that if there was a national social order then, there wouldn't have being a case of washing our dirty linen in public. It is easy to see that until that time, Nigeria was basically a north-south event and, the same way it existed then is the same way it existed today. So what difference would it make if the youth took power today without first solving the issue of the incompatibility of the north with the south?
Ever since the loud cries for restructuring Nigeria began, I have seen more of the elders in the north speaking than I have seen its youths. For crying out loud, should the calls for restructuring Nigeria be left to our elders? Where are the youths whose future must be affected with or without restructuring? Are we busy campaigning for a not-too-young-to-run bill?
If we are, then that clearly showed that we wouldn't do any different if given the chance to pilot the affairs of state. It is widely accepted, that every progressive society first addressed the basics for coexistence regardless of the fact of being either a mono- or a multi-racial society. Why should there be inequality and you expect me to believe that such a society would experience genuine prosperity?
If a marriage has never survived inequality; no more can a country like Nigeria do. It is disastrous for a multiracial society to emphasize its racial differences over and above equality and a sense of fairness in the fact of coexistence. It is dangerous, in fact. But the influence in which I believed the youths could make if given the chance to, lied in agitating for a new social order where there was equality and fairness to all.
Now the absence of a social and an economic ideologies that was nationally accepted created the platform for the pillaging of our collective heritage by a few. Those who decided to avoid the issue and those who benefited from the present scheme of things form the population that stole Nigeria dry and had brought the country to the present woes. Correcting Nigeria must begin with correcting these issues.
The youth will only end up as an appendage of the old system if they avoided the reality of the need for attitudinal revolution with which we could purge the system. For corruption did not drop from the sky but emanated from within the average Nigerian. The question is: Will a 32 year old president jail a director in the civil service if the said director came from his constituency?
Will he appoint to sensitive positions persons from his constituency instead of going for the best man for the job? What will he do to the soldier who disrespected his superior because he was Fulani and a Muslim but his superior was a Christian and an Igbo or Ijaw colonel? These are the things that has brought Nigeria to her present woes; when you labor for promotion, another gets promoted on quota.
Will he act differently, by calling for the arrest of those who openly threatened to break down law and order if the people of southeast Nigeria resident in the north failed to quit, if he was president? Where shall tribe and religion be placed in the overall polity of Nigeria - above, beside or underneath - if he was president? And in his views, will it matter whose axe was goared as he fought the corrupt and the cabal?
We live in a world where stock markets easily crashed, economies easily receded and companies suddenly went bankrupt just at the naming of a controversy or a scandal around a president, a celebrity or even a CEO. Investors' panic is on the high and multiracial economies are the most vulnerable.
We just came out of an economic recession in which many believed that the last PDP government was to be blamed for it. But the truth remains that the northenization of sensitive federal positions by our president had actually sparked the crisis of confidence which was intepreted by the Christian South of Nigeria (especially the investors in that region) as a move too suspicious to overlook.
So for me, the idea of a youth presidency is a great one but then only a detribalized Nigerian - the one whose only passion was live and let live - can place the country's economy among those of the First World nations.