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Nigeria is my country, and it’s a country known for huge cultural and ethnic diversity. Nigeria is a huge market that attracts all the manufacturing nations of the world.
But foundational and structural imbalances has led to selfishness among her leaders which left the country in a big economic and political decay for over 60 years now.
Right now, as it’s happening in Nigeria has become a trend in almost every social media due to recent protests going on throughout the country by the youths who’re demanding for end to police brutality in Nigeria.
In over thirty years of my life in Nigeria, I’ve not seen the youths of Nigeria come up it that way. Dani Fawomi said many years ago when he was running some agitation as an activist, he said: “It will take a Japanese genius to reproduce or replicate the shock-absorber Nigerians have”. What was he saying? Nothing moves Nigerians! But in recent times, something have moved these young people. All these happening in Nigeria is pointing to the fact that the generational gap must be balanced. When do you quit? David Becham was asked this question; When do you did you think about retiring from football? He said “the day I played Lionel Messi”. If some of our elders, leaders and fathers don’t know when to quit the stage, then it means that there’s a systemic failure.
What is this systemic failure in Nigeria?
Our old leaders has failed to raise the next generation and I think this is where we are. The next generation is saying, “we need to be taking along in issues that concerns us”. I and my wife cannot have a meeting that concerns the family without getting the boys on, especially when they’re of age of reasoning. It should be that way because they have the mind of their own. But this is what Nigeria leaders has neglected in the country. They’ll tell you that their the youths are just youths and knowing nothing. Excuse me! The youths know a lot.
This is the reason if you ask me today and the on passed, the government cannot do anything meaningful in solving this problems until they do what is called ‘bringing on everyone. It must be a multi-sectoral approach; bringing all those who are concerned; the youths, government officials and the stakeholders in our society so that we can think and repair Nigeria, but until that time, we may not be able to get there.
So the generational gap must be bridged, and that has to be done quickly. This events of the past few weeks has got me thinking and the way the youths reacted when things turned ugly after the shooting at Lekki outright assault that take place before every other one incident that followed in any other place; they started burning. It’s true that we all know that it’s not the particular group of youths at Lekki that started burning police stations, bringing down banks and attacking politicians etc. but there were young people on the scene. Now one may wonder;
Formation in general; one can actually say yes even though I wouldn’t want to blame what happened because I’m speaking in context; I’ll not blame what happened in my country recently on lack of formation because if we look at what happened prior to that violent shootings at Lekki tollgate, for the first time ever you see young people coming together that way being each other’s keeper, organizing themselves, no arms, no attacks on anybody, just walking and talking. This is what we want, and like I said, it’s was quite formidable. Perhaps the leaders were thinking that they’ll just make noise few days and it come to an end. But what they thought that would have ended in a day or two ran into weeks and that’s when they became jittery. It seems jitter down their spine that they started thinking; “look we’ve got to do something about this”. That may have been the reason why they decided to that which everybody has considered absolutely reprehensible; going to open fire with life rounds on unarmed young people who are only agitating for their right.
I wouldn’t think it’s just about their formation but on the average, the young people of Nigeria have the right formation; they know the right things. The fact that they’re able to organize themselves the way they did without attacking anyone; being so peaceful, supporting each other, you see synergies in what they did was something great. It was the shooting that caused the violence because it was just after that shooting that whole violence started.
I’ll like to tell everyone, even after that shooting, there’re still people who were conducting themselves rightfully, but when things like this happens, when things go wrong this way, you’ll see some bad people who will infiltrate the ranks and begin to do terrible things. That’s exactly what happened, we all saw that after some days of violence, breaking down of properties, some young Nigerians still came out organized and went cleaning 🧹 the city saying “this is not us, that’s not the way we live our lives, we’re nice people, we started this on a peaceful note and we to maintain that”. They condemned the acts of those people who infiltrated the process to create disunity and doing things the wrong way. So it’s not totally about formation, though we know that there’re people that would still do the wrong things no matter how had you try, but generally I think it’s actually that terrible shooting on unarmed youths that triggered what we saw.
I will love to stop it here believing that you’ve gotten some understanding and insight on what happened. Maybe we can still talk about it further and the way forward in which Nigeria can tackle her many problems as a nation. Thanks.