Youths And The Metaphor Of Moses

August 18, 2017 Africa , Nigeria , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS

Reuters photo

 

By

Jerome-Mario Utomi

 

Spending time and space defining a youth or who the youths are is no longer necessary for, by their fruits, we have known them. Right from May 1999, the Nigerian Youths have been working tirelessly performing every other political function except what they were divinely anointed and constitutionally mandated to do.

This off-point role, as performed by the Nigerian youths very seamlessly and epigrammatically, has qualified them as the biblical Moses of the old testaments.

For a clearer context of this piece, the biblical Moses was born in Egypt, here in Africa in a circumstance that space and time may not allow us to describe but at some point in his life was given a rod by God.

Unaware of the power, myth and divine purpose the rod was designed to achieve, Moses reportedly used the rod in the rearing of sheep for his father in-law until God his creator and the maker of the rod opened his eyes. From that point, the exploit performed by Moses using the same rod, as documented by the holy book, remains unquantifiable.

 

The above account of the Moses biblical odyssey very concisely describes the inglorious political role our youths have been performing at every electioneering period in Nigeria right from the attainment of democracy in May 1999. The youths have very perfectly but unfortunately performed retrogressive roles while abandoning their primary responsibility as freely mandated by our Constitution.

Part of these shameful roles as performed by the youths in every election includes but is not limited to ballot stuffing and snatching, helping the political office seekers to rig the electoral process as well as the result, and allowing themselves to be used by their political paymasters to foment troubles before, during and after the election.

While performing the above function, the youths forget completely the demographic advantage they have over the political office seekers who are supposed to be on their knees seeking the support of these youths.

The number of our youths, which one can safely say is above the average of our nation’s total population, has continually placed them at a vantage position to determine who becomes what at every election. But like the Moses of old, our youths have abandoned the ‘diamond which they are blessed with and in exchange, now pursue butterfly.’ This development I view as very unfortunate.

Also, this advantage they enjoy also gave them the political upper hand and placed the youths at an epoch position to perform agenda setting functions before the political office seekers.

This role, just like Moses before God’s intervention, they have not or on a very rare occasion performed.

But the irony of this narrative is that while Moses may have enjoyed both spiritual and physical closeness with God at that material time, such may not be possible or as easy as it was during the time of Moses.

So, the youths have to work out their political and leadership salvation as waiting for physical signs and wonders before they can do the needful will be synonymous to waiting forever. God has used different means and various ways to visit us as a people but we have refused to acknowledge his presence or obey his directives and has thus informed the relegated position the youths have found themselves.

 

Our political problem as a people is more physical than spiritual. It is a practical demonstration of our intellectual bankruptcy as a nation; a trend which we urgently need to reverse. But this to some extent has become a herculean task as it is the youths and no other that can use their time, talent and effort to reverse the trend.

Reversing it requires disciplined attention and tough choices. Such choices may include but are not limited to the youths forming political alliances, speaking on one political front most especially now that the window of opportunity to seeking elective position is about opening with the ongoing amendment of the nation’s constitution. If the youths fail to do this now that 2019 is around the corner, they may likely repeat their perennial mistake.

The youths can also collectively nominate a candidate of their choice and queue behind him or her as their own. In the same vein also, as the electioneering period is fast approaching, the youths ‘desperately need the moral force and Spartan discipline’ to bring about a shift in paradigm. This they can do by abandoning the old of seeking instant gratification and go for the candidates with values who can represent their interest positively, irrespective of their present financial muscle.

Still, on the way forward, the youths need to develop ‘intellectual elasticity’ as possessing this quality will assist them in understanding the game of politics and all the strategies and tricks that are involved.

Our youths need reintegration of their brain power and resolve as this will, in turn, assist them to weigh the options and take right decisions that will strengthen as well as deepen our democracy.

But deliberately ignoring this is synonymous to telling democracy to fail in its primary responsibility which is the underwriting of social justice. When this is done, our democracy becomes ‘democracy turned upside down and our dignity becomes dignity without strength.’

To this end, let the youths be guided by the fact ‘that there is little hope for them until they become toughminded enough to break loose from the shackles of prejudice, half truth, and downright ignorance.’ Just like the biblical Moses, the best time for the youths to take their political destiny by their hands is now.

Finally, just the way Moses of old stood before King Pharaoh to deliver the unpalatable message from God by ‘screaming let my people go,’ so I expect the youths to stand with their votes come 2019 before our sit tight political leaders and send them packing from the political stage.

 

 

 

 

Jerome-Mario Utomi

Jerome-Mario is a Social Entrepreneur and an alumnus, School of media and communication, Pan Atlantic University, Lagos, Nigeria.

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