Nigeria: Give youth a chance

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Nigerian youth

Nigeria's teeming youthful population should be given a chance.

More than half of Nigeria's teeming population are made up of people below the age of 30.

As it stands now, Nigeria is a 'young' country. Ideally, it should be a vibrant nation, brimming with ideas and innovation.

We don't have to look too far that Nigeria is slow and lethargic. It is far from a boisterous nation.

 

How has a country with so many young people itching to be part of something great become so dull and lacklustre?

The country we are in has a bias against youth. In Nigeria, youth is synonymous to silliness and playfulness. Youth has its strengths- energy and an audacity that defies convention and expectation to get results. We don't see young people like that over here.

Let's look at the helm of affairs. The President of Nigeria is a retired General who was Head of State in the 80s. There are a lot of similarities between in his policies then and now. Clearly, the world has moved on.

The fact that the President of France is 39 years old should be inspiring. Sadly it reminds us how young people are used as Twitter thugs to the bidding of the political class that have been in power since the 70s.

 

Nigeria, as it is now, is not set up to help the youth. The rickety 6-3-3-4 is no longer practical and has been made irrelevant by several Nigerian factors such as baffling double promotions, incessant strikes and silly entrance exams.

 

By the time you are done studying in a government-owned university, you are most likely to be in your mid-20s. Add another year of mandatory service and you are surely in your mid-20s. Not to rub it in Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook at age 20. An average young Nigerian would be stuck doing post JAMB or post-UME at this age.

 

Like Kanye West once said, "listen to the kids bro." It's no coincidence that the 70s largely seen as Nigeria's golden era had a lot of youthful leaders.

 

Yakubu Gowon was 32 years old when he became Head of State in 1966. Olusegun Obasanjo was 39 years old when he became Head of State in 1976. Murtala Mohammed was just 37 years when he came into power.

 

Granted this era had its faults but at this time, the 70s, Nigeria was filled with a lot of dynamism and hope. Now young people are relegated to the background from the private to the public sector.

If Nigeria must fulfil its potential it must harness the dynamism and audacity of its youth.



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