Nigeria Youth, I Tend To Disagree With You!

September 11, 2017 Africa , Nigeria , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , POLITICS

Reuters photo



Jerome-Mario Utomi



The illiterates of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn‘  – Alvin Toffler, the Third Wave.


One of the greatest companions of man in the journey of life is optimism. This has helped man in his daily plans and projections. But being optimistic, which is good in most cases, takes a dangerous trend when its operational matrix is outside the scope of a calculated risk that could be managed or mitigated. This is the level where some Nigerian youths operate that I am having a very serious challenge or issue with Nigerian youths.

Very instructively ‘youths are the leaders of tomorrow’ has become an age long assumption that has grown to become the norm. It is part of our political belief system that this present crop of leaders shall at one time or another hand over the leadership positions they occupy as well as enjoy to the youths. But one thing that is not true is the belief that every youth will be leaders of tomorrow. But very unfortunately and erroneously, this is the hub of belief of most Nigeria youths.

In the same fashion, many of our youths have not been able to accentuate the invisible but very solid demarcation between optimism and self-confidence. Many of our youths are yet to learn ‘that in optimism, one hopes for the best but in self-confidence, you prepare for the worst.’


These crises of differentiation have driven so many of our youths to idleness, laziness, cluelessness and an outright lack in creativity. Comparatively, while ‘mindless optimism’ places you on a par with an ardent ‘Casino player’, self-confidence presents you as a good crisis manager.

To clear this air of doubt, ‘principles work only when we work the principle,’ likewise the above saying. Leadership is reserved for the youths that are leadership conscious and are taking positive steps to realizing that dreams as leadership are made up of both nature and nurture. Attaining that position is a counterpart form of arrangement that is asymmetrical in nature demanding more from the youths and less from the society/nation. So the youths have greater work to do in working out their political and leadership salvation.

In light of the above, let the youths be well aware that ‘freedom has always been an expensive thing. History is fit to the fact that freedom is rarely gained without scarifies and self-denial. They should also realize that freedom is never voluntarily given, it must be demanded by the oppressed.’


While our youths are waiting to be the leaders of tomorrow, it is important that we find out what they are currently doing to make sure that the future leadership position will not pass them by? Let’s make no mistake about it; this journey requires both intellectual and emotional preparations as well as sacrifices.

While the youth is waiting, what is their relationship with the present crop of leaders, what political agenda are they setting before these leaders, what are they learning or pointing out so as to correct when their time comes, what sort of leaders are they currently voting for? All these are definitely key considerations and leading indicators that will shape their future.

Funnily enough, most of the youths are very confident of their cause but completely ignorant of the pitfalls and dangers ahead. The youths need to be reminded that ’public order, personal security, economic and social progress and prosperity are not the natural order of things, that they depend on the ceaseless effort and attention from an honest and effective government that the people must elect presently.’

What this statement is pointing out is that if the youths are actually interested in becoming the leaders of tomorrow, they very obviously need to get involved in political movements of today. This step is germane especially now that another electioneering year is around the corner.

But, while taking a very close look at the activities of our youths in relation to the above, one discovers a bugging disparity and far cry among many youths in respect to where they are, what they are doing and where they ought to be. The above situation on the youths without hesitation points to the direction of our present leaders as the architect of their sorry state.

Interestingly as it is unfortunate, these teaming youths have reverberated the above position without recourse to any particular example of how the government has visibly contributed to this. They have also failed to advance reason(s) that made their peers born at the same time and raised at the same environment move ahead of them in attainment of personal goals.

The above I must say with egoless clarity that the people aligning their position blaming the government are grossly missing the point. Yes, the government may not have in one way or the other provided the enabling environment, but the youths as a matter of urgency be guided by the fact that life ‘is 10% what happens to us and 90% what you do with it.’ Obviously, it is time to look beyond the government for assistance. It is truly time to depart our comfort zone so as to access our creative zone. It is only in doing this that we can arrive at our strength zone and the right time and moment to commence that leadership pilgrimage is now.


Another aspect that calls for concern is the area of our youths’ love for international affiliations without domesticating the gains derived from such affiliations. Affiliating with youth organizations and exchange programmes with global youth bodies is a step taken in the right direction, but not applying those ideas on the home front is condemnable. The hour has come for our youths to be global in outlook but ‘local’ in application.

To achieve the above, the youths visibly need to make a statement, as the situation on the ground calls for collaboration and disciplined attention. Let the youths, as well as the young adults, be reminded once again that ‘our nettlesome task is to discover how to organize our strength into compelling power that government cannot elude our demands.

We must develop from strength in which the government finds it wise and prudent to collaborate with us. It will be the height of naiveté to wait passively until the administration has somehow been infused with such blessings of good that it implored us for programmes.’

Our youths also need to back up their dreams with the burning desire to succeed as ‘dreams without execution are mere hallucination.’ If the youths have never worked together before, this is the time to do so. All things considered, the youths should be mindful of the fact ‘that all of us have the spark of leadership in us whether it is in business, in government or a non-profit volunteer. The challenge is to understand ourselves well enough to discover where we can use our leadership gifts to serve others’

Finally, I can only concur with the position advanced by the youths only if they are ready to ‘walk the talk’ as any other decision will be viewed as mere rhetoric. I therefore invite the Nigeria youths to become not just the architect but the builders of their destiny. In doing this they will be taking the responsibility of developing their selves by their hands.





Jerome-Mario Utomi

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

Editor review


No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.