Yahaya BalogunTuesday, March 13, 2018
[email protected]
Arizona, USA


"For the only great men among the unfree and the oppressed are those who struggle to destroy the oppressor." - Walter Rodney in his "How Europe Underdeveloped Africa"

('We the youth' must embrace our future)

igerian youths are rewriting the history of Nigeria again. We are taking our future into our own hands. We are refusing to be the tagged the "Leaders of tomorrow." Tomorrow should continue to be a political procrastination to our sociopath leaders and men of yesterday; today must be the predestination of the youth's tomorrow! We are taking our country back from leaders of yesterday and today who keep postponing our tomorrow. The current political consciousness and momentum must be oiled, maintained and sustained. Nigerian youths must embrace political mobilization and shun political jamboree. As we are embracing our future, we must be serious to send constructive and existential message to our leaders that we are not going back to the past.

The youth in Nigeria is at crossroads! It is not going to be easy; the struggles will seem tarry, and it will not tarry with our unhindered collective efforts. Every time people complain about the American self-interest, you're quickly reminded of a typical family nucleus where the interests of the family come first before others. Whether we like it or not, what makes America unique is the interests of the "America first" in its heartbeat; and the enthronement of sense of imagination by its forefathers for unending possibilities, and to liberate its people from the shackles of oppression or aggression. An average American knows he can establish a lawsuit against his president if the president willfully or surreptitiously subverts his rights, or the constitution. The constitutional rights of Americans is a working document that has been firmly engraved in the minds and consciousness of the American people. The constitutional rights of Nigerian citizens is a well crafted document that is flagrantly being violated by the power that be! Our constitution is a work-in-progress begging for proper implementation.

An average American is willing to die for the soul of America as the interests of America is more sacrosanct to Americans than to other country's immediate interests. Why? Because every individual knows the system in America will equitably take care of his family if he dies in the course or struggle to protect his country's interests and sovereignty.

From the First World War to second world world, to the Cold War periods, interests of America remain sacrosanct and to its uttermost priority. Former Potus, Barack Obama dismantled the American policy of isolationism for what I call global protectionism. He believes in the United Nations sacred union as no nation is an island to itself. But the current Potus believes is going back to the past. Trump believes in American protectionism and isolationism, the doctrine that may erode American exceptionalism if global care is discountananced. Unlike Nigeria system, American system knows how to clean its mess!

The past sad event in Europe and elsewhere clearly tells you that American interests are sacrosanct beyond any other interests. Every single American national is always accounted for whenever there is terror attack anywhere. Yankees are nationalistic, compassionate and selfish as well, as long as their interests are preserved and protected. They have collective genius in patriotism! This is a nuance we lack in that part of the world-Nigeria. Africa is a menace to itself. Leadership and followership are dotted with "me and my family" conundrum. Nigeria lacks every sense of imagination but characterized by paternalistic tendency and selfishness. It is the bane of our growth and development. There's a void of inclusiveness in the soul of the continent of Africa. The need for African youth to remove itself from the nest and toga of oppressors is long overdue.

American president has the constitutional duties and allegiance to the American people irrespective of sex, gender orientation, race, color, religion and party affiliation. It amuses me when we put all African self-distrust to the doorsteps of the American president or Western countries. This stereotype and mindset don't make sense at all. African leaders have underdeveloped Africa. The continent is nonchalantly suffering from neocolonialism. We should put our house in order before blaming others or seeking help from other organized nations. As we lay our bed, so we shall lie on it.

Meanwhile, the irony of Africa nay Nigeria's prevailing situation is what Walter Rodney aptly captured in his book "How Europe Underdeveloped Africa". He said: "In a way, underdevelopment is a paradox. Many parts of the world that are naturally rich are actually poor and parts that are not so well off in wealth of soil and sun-soil are enjoying the highest standards of living. When the capitalists from the developed parts of the world try to explain this paradox, they often make it sound as though there is something "God-given" about the situation. One bourgeois economist, in a book on development, accepted that the comparative statistics of the world today show a gap that is much larger than it was before. By his own admission, the gap between the developed and underdeveloped countries has increased by at least 15 to 20 times over the last 150 years. However, the bourgeois economist in question does not give a historical explanation, nor does he consider that there is a relationship of exploitation which allowed capitalist parasites to grow fat and impoverished the dependencies. Instead he puts forward a biblical explanation! Pg. 21."

Nigeria suppose to be like the US. It is suppose to be the hub and destination for trade and investment; and a fertile ground for tourism. But what its leaders have made of the country is beyond human comprehension. "How Europe Underdeveloped Africa" by Walter Rodney is a child play with what African leaders have made of the continent in the last centennial. The affirmation or summation now is what I call "How Africa underdeveloped Africa". Corruption, greed and hopelessness are the new normal. The most disturbing news is that the continent has not learned its lessons from her ugly history.

The citizens are confused about what they actually want or the way forward. Their leaders set them against one another; the innocuous citizens are potential tools in the hands of the hedonistic and sociopathic leadership. Nigerian youth needs to wake up from the self-destructive slumbers in order to re-invent itself to meet the 21st century challenges and beyond.

Moreover, the way forward for Nigerian youth is to detach itself from the shackles of the past; re-invent itself through mass mobilization and education of its vibrant youthful with vigor. African youth must shun corruption and other corrupt practices of its political elders. Walter Rodney's book "How Europe Undeveloped Africa" must be introduced into various schools and other higher learning institutions curricula across African countries to reconstruct the colonized and warped minds in the continent.

Religion as we practice it in Africa today is one of the weapons of mind destruction-WMD. it is high time "we the youth" embraced spirituality than our current religiosity! The youth has the template and the energy to make the progress and development of Africa nay Nigeria a reality. Nigerian youths are a beacon of hope of Africa. They are also the true magnificent representations of the progress of Africa. Unless Nigerian youth rediscovers itself through mindfulness; stops apportionment of existential blames, jettisons naughtiness, renounces ethnic and religious bigotry, the youth in Nigeria and in the diaspora will continue to wail or bemoan their mundane problems in perpetual lamentations! Nigerian youths remain the magnificent representationof the progress of Nigeria.

No more time to waste, the time is now!