I have asked myself this question over a million times and today, I choose to ask again. When will tomorrow come in Nigeria? I am sure this is a question on the lips of millions of young Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora. It has been a dream, always a dream to see young Nigerians grow into position of leadership, strength and power, into positions that will justify the world famous line from the rhyme that we sang as kids. “…Parents listen to your children, we are the leaders of tomorrow…”.
A good percentage of the children that were born in the year Gen. Muhammad Buhari was usurped from power are no longer in the rank of children today, they are daddies and mummies, either by choice or force, in subjection and response to their natural hormonal growth and bodily development that has committed them to going familiar. Even for those that are still in charge, they are Godfathers to so many children that they can hardly go in any direction without being called daddy. I am a good example. The eldest of my Godchildren will be ten in November 2014, I am still single but it’s almost unbelievable because if I was a girl turned woman, I would be regarded way beyond my prime, and would be in the class of the so many praying by fire in the various camps of Pentecostal churches adorning the Lagos-Ibadan express way.
I remember writing in my essay that won Africa Regional prize at the World Youth Movement for Democracy contest in 2010.
“The youths have been a major part of the problem for too long, now is the time for us to become an integral part of the solution.”
I was also forced to site an expression that was more of a truth than joke that I found on a friend’s Facebook page during the build up to the 2011 election that same year when Buhari rolled out his campaign under the banner of CPC in the essay.
“In 1984, my teacher told me that Gen. Buhari was a past leader, Gen. IBB the president, and that we are the leaders of tomorrow. Now it is 2010 and they are still leading. It is either my teacher is a liar or tomorrow is yet to come.”
That got me thinking in 2011 because the two men he mentioned were planning to contest again for presidency in the general election that year. I found a chronicle of the rulership/leadership history of the unrelenting, fruitless reign of Bamanga Tukur spanning over forty years of Nigerian history on Rise Network Facebook page and it bore a hole in my heart. I began to wonder, what else has this old cargo got to offer that our forever clueless GEJ named him the chairman of Nigerian Railway Corporation NRC, after he was ousted as the PDP BOT chairman. He once held a similar position forty years ago, became the governor of old Gongola State for three months before the coup and dilly-dallied through politics for over forty years, causing numerous destruction and decay along the way, and he’s still being fixed to continue his stealing streak. I’m bleeding!
This is 2014 and Buhari is still in the picture, a Bamanga Tukur is holding on with his teeth, Atiku is playing the gentleman in the background, OBJ wants to be relevant for ever as the Godfather and king maker, Yerima is shuttling between governorship and the senate like his cohorts, while a retard by design “Suntai” is still being put up as a puppet in Taraba, all of this men, not younger than 60, but they are still struggling and grubbing for political offices after 30 to 40 years of political careers that has seen them bring Nigeria to her lowest ebb, fruitless and devalued, even in the oculi of the nations she once fed, clothed and secured. I kept pondering on the situation and concluded that truly, recycling must stop, but how do we stop it?
We have numbers and strength but yet we put it to the wrong use, the big excuse is the lack of the most basic of the needs of an average human been. Poverty as ridden the system off its hoof and the value of the life of an average youth is N5000 for his life, and N500 for her vote at the polls. The young, strong and agile force of this nation Nigeria has been the power grabbing and maintenance tools in the hand of the old, unworthy, never-retiring politicians of Nigeria. Our wrong participation in the polity of our dear nation as youth has remained the bane of our society and there must be an end to it. It is this shared force that we generate to do evil that we must synergized to win back Nigeria, BUT the question still remains “when will the proverbial tomorrow prophesied for the youths of this nation arrive?”
When are we waking up from our dark nights to see that we are indeed the sunrise, the power and the rule of law, and not the fattened, frail and weak politicians that comes with a purse to dangle before us like a carrot, in an attempt to sit on the whole bank of treasure and resources that belongs to the nation as a whole alone?
I found this detailed analysis of our strength in numbers by Tolu Ogunlesi , on the 20th of Jan. 2014, on the pages of Punch newspaper and here are some excerpts:
“If you think about it, there are millions of Nigerian teenagers who have come of voting age in the last three years, since the April 2011 elections. Let’s break it down. The voting age in Nigeria is 18. This means that anyone born after January 1993 would have been ineligible to vote in the 2011 elections (considering that voters’ registration was last done in January 2011). In 2015, those born in 1997 will finally be eligible to vote. What this means is that there’s a mass of Nigerians born between 1993 and 1997, who could not vote in 2011 but will now be able to vote in 2015.
In the mid-nineties, an estimated four million children were born annually in Nigeria. Even accounting for child mortality figures, the size of that 1993 – 1996/7 demographic should still be in excess of 10 million. That’s a sizable number, for any political party seeking to target new demographics. (This is where we have to give a nod to the Nigeria Tragedy: The fact that, going by our school enrolment rates, a sizable number of those young people will have never stepped inside a classroom; that they will be illiterate, destitute, frustrated, and completely uninterested in partisan politics outside of the context of thuggery and banditry).
This statistics shows that we’ve increased by over 10million between 2011 as youths but it has been the same number of Babangida, Tinubu, Buhari and Obasanjo that are still running Naija dry. The numbers hasn’t changed for them, in fact it has reduced because quite a number of this menace in our society already died during the course of this years that we’ve increased greatly, putting us at an advantage if we act right. Do we then sit down again and wait to be used as thugs or do we decided to participate at every level by all means necessary? Even if we have to fight and bite, let’s be caught fighting for us and not for this over blotted thieves who are hell bent on draining Nigeria to the bone as they amass wealth at the peril of every average Nigerian, on their way to hell.
We can redefine tomorrow, we can make it NOW, we can stop singing the songs as we did in primary school, and secondary school. We can change rhymes and sing a new song as we move towards a new Nigeria. We’ve failed to see with our eyes open, the facts steers at us directly but we are too frail to focus even though we are the strongest and most advantaged in this equation. This men and women we now worship got the first taste of power in their youths, but they preach the gospel of 50something to us and we smile. Gowon, Obasanjo, Buhari, Babangida, Murtala and others became presidents and Generals when they were barely thirty years of age so what are we waiting for, it is time to snatch it out of their old, feeble hands by contesting, participating and voting for ourselves instead of dying and waiting to be fed from the money they steal from us on a daily basis. Force is not required, tactics is all we need. I know it might be a challenge to find a credible youth in this time and age, but I believe that there is still more value left in us than them so I choose to be the change I want in 2014 to 2015, from Ekiti to Osun and to other parts of the federated Nigeria. I will rather vote for an inexperience Tolu Ogunlesi, a fragile Japeth J. Omojuwa, or contest as the undisputed Abidemi Babaolowo Oderinlo. Will you?
While we stand in joyful hope as we await tomorrow, let us lift up our holy hands in preparation for the coming elections. It is never too early, it is never too late to be the change we want to see. It is time to become the leaders of today instead of waiting for tomorrow that will never come, let us dare to be the change and become the tomorrow today.