Why Nigerian Youths Must Rise Above False Consciousness

BY ANTHONY ARUGBA
It breaks my heart whenever I listen to the conversations of some youths (educated youths) who are supposed to be the power house of the nation discussing issues of interest without debt as though they are illiterate. I feel pained because their utterances depicts persons with low aim and shallow mindset considering their level of education. In my own estimation, it is easy to say the youths have misplaced their priorities and pitched their tents on false consciousness.
Also, each time I read social media posts/comments, I see nothing but sheer sentiments and bias occasioned by party affiliations, ethnic ethnocentrism, religious superiority and financial struggles on full display.
During my growing up days as a youth, we were always told by our parents and leaders then that, “ The youths are the leaders of tomorrow” and over four decades and counting, this same catch phrase is yet to come to fruition and above all still on the lips of our leaders without nothing to show for it.
According to Karl Marx’s argument, the bourgoises (Nigerian politicians) will only marginalise, exploit, extort, oppress and frustrate the proletariat (you and I) by means of embezzlement, looting and syphoning of our collective patrimony.
I strongly believe the political participation the youths should exhibit shouldn’t be sentimental, but a collective consciousness because over 90 per cent of politicians in Nigeria care less about the youths, but their pockets and families.
Currently, there is a social media attack by a youth against a serving federal lawmaker in Delta State which has resulted to name callings. The youth is consistently calling her names claiming that it is true about her status, whether true or false it is immaterial while some youths (her loyalists) and other youths perceive a campaign of calumny, have also consistently resisted the attacks by coming to the aid of the lawmaker.
Meanwhile, as the social media war progressed, the same youth recently was alleged to have sent a friend request to her on Facebook. This, without doubt, is a false consciousness because the youths have so much to offer Nigerians at a time when our leaders have failed to live up to their expectations as leaders and fathers.
This is not supposed to be the campaign of the youths; rather, they should bother themselves with how to make Nigeria whole again. Our youths should be thinking of how to change the economic fortunes of Nigeria for good. If they don’t take the bull by the horn, the saying, “ Youths are the leaders of tomorrow” will continue to elude them as it would never come reality.
Today, many jobless Nigerian Facebook warlords youths meet on their Facebook battle ground to discuss who have the deadliest weapons between Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, Boko Harram or the Nigerian Military and other issues that is of no benefit to them or the larger society.
I don’t know the problem our youths are facing or the problem facing the youths. I fear that if care is not taken, This is how the youths will begin to fight themselves until the sons of the nation’s current crops of leaders will form alliance in London and other western nations and come back to rule Nigerians the same way their fathers did because they know that the best place the average Nigerian youth can campaign is on Facebook and other social media platforms, and the only thing the youths are good at is criticism.
Dr Olusola Saraki of blessed memory ruled in Kwara State and handed the baton over to his son, Dr. Olushola Saraki. The same set of youths that supported Olusola Saraki are now the fathers of the present youths that are ready to kill themselves for Saraki junior.
The youths needs to ask themselves this question, what has been the problem of Nigerian youths over time? Those they call leaders sign the war paper and hand it over to them to fight the war without their children been part of it.
Are the youths not sensitive enough to know that the hand that signs the war will never lead the war? These are the same leaders who have failed to give the youths jobs, provide social amenities, failed to improve the educational system but are ready to buy guns and hard drugs for the youths so that they can snatch ballot boxes for them during elections.
The youths must understand that they have a bigger destiny than to snatch ballot boxes and fight the wars of our politicians. They must realize that the if they don’t rise up to the occasion and save Nigeria from the firm grip of these old politicians, their dreams of becoming the leaders of tomorrow, will remain a mirage.
I am happy that some youths in Delta State have risen to the occasion by indicating interests and marching words with actions to contest for the January 6, 2018, local government election as councillors and local government chairmen. While others have indicated interests to contest the 2019 general elections as state House of Assembly members, federal lawmakers, and the likes.
All they need now is the support of their fellow youths. These men have taken the bold steps to right the wrongs of the nation’s past. The question now is, can they perform well if given the mandate? Will their fellow youths share in their dreams? There is only one way to find out.
I want to make a passionate appeal to the youths to rally round and support their contemporaries to achieve this noble vision. The youths account for over per cent of the Nigerian population which is intimidating to the current crops of politicians. Again, I am not unmindful of the fact these politicians have a stronghold on the nation at the moment.
Also, they also have a stronghold on some youths whom they have ‘empowered’ in one way or the other, and these youths would, according to natural human instinct, protect the interest of their principals at all cost. Indeed, it is not going to be a ‘cake walk’ because we know that they(politicians) will not go down easily without a fight, but the youths can unseat them and end their reign if they unite in purpose.