For Once, Let's Blame Nigerian Youth By Bayo Oluwasanmi

Bayo Oluwasanmi
By Bayo Oluwasanmi

Glad to see Mr. Sonala Olumhense back from his brief hiatus. And congrats on his new syndicated column. His article “The Youth Of Nigeria” published yesterday in SaharaReporters made an interesting reading.

As always, his column breaths the needed oxygen into the problem of one of the most endangered species of Nigerian society – Nigerian youth.

Thanks for throwing light on long abandoned, long marginalized, long abused, and long disinherited Nigerian youth. The Nigeria that you and I grew up is now a different country.

Nigeria of today is a country that devours its youth. It is a country that terrorizes its youth. It is country that is hostile and antagonistic to its youth. It is a country that offers no hope, no life, no dream, and no future. It is a dead country full of dead youth.

On the high road of history on which each country must sooner or later travel, Nigeria has taken a lead in ignoble purposes. Nigeria is a classic example of a society where the youth dreamed but for which they no longer dared hope.

The future of humanity and the fate of our culture as a nation are at stake. During my visit to Nigeria last July, I was not able to enjoy moments of deep joy. Nowhere resembled the Nigeria that I grew up as a youth.  

There was no deep feeling for humanity. No immediate surge of brotherly love. My heart swelled and tears came into my eyes. The youths I saw were depressed and despondent, sad, confused, and lost in transit as it were, not knowing where they were coming from and where they were headed.

Their eyes were unclear full of no confidence and hope. This expression of illuminated unhappiness I saw on their faces tells me the Nigerian youth is headed for extinction.

At once, a mental picture of Nigeria invaded my thought space: a crude and wicked nation, civilized yet uncivilized, literary yet illiterate, tasteless wealth stood out against a vast darkness.

The entire environment for the Nigerian youth remained hazy to me. It completely shut out any hope of redemption of our youth. Nigeria has become very inhospitable, unwelcome, and dangerous to its teeming homeless, lifeless, and dispossessed youth.

Like any other group in Nigeria, our youth suffers not just from human condition in general but from very specific social arrangements and government policies.

Implied from the foregoing is the incontrovertible truth that the situation of Nigerian youth is one that calls for political activity on the part of the victims – the youths.

For once let’s blame the youth for self inflicted apathy, cultivated timidity, paranoid fear, and criminal complacency for their situation. Today’s Nigerian youth are known for their almost traditional despair.

For them to create a better life, they must shake off the restrained spirit of compromise and conformity. They should shred the garment of stealth and silence. It is within the capacity of Nigerian youth to alter the political arrangements and government policies that work against them.

Nigerian youth have become less politicized. They are not ready to commit themselves to political action either out of compassion or solidarity with their suffering.

They seek to avoid the infliction of pain. They are painstakingly miserly in calculating the human costs of their political engagement with their oppressors.

These costs – real or imagined – are afflicted by overpowering anguish of cowardice, timidity, and shame. Nigerian youth should be reminded that they have the right to end their suffering by confronting the government.

They must be prepared to accept the price of suffering that will have to be paid in overthrowing the status quo. They must be resolved to unleash the raw energy of youth in organizing not agonizing, in demanding what is legitimately due to them, in challenging and fighting the oppressive political system that is ruining their lives.

I believe it is romantic illusion to expect President Obama or whoever for that matter to enact a Marshall Plan so to say, that will bail the Nigerian youth out of their abbreviated life. Their salvation lies in their own hands.

The ruling class doesn’t care what happens to them.  After all their children are not among the suffering legion, they are stowed away in comfortable palaces scattered around the world.

History of resistance, protests, agitation, and rebellion against injustice, neglect, and tyranny continue to unfold every now and then before the very eyes of Nigerian youth.

Such events are not meant for consumption as TV entertainment but as a model for other victims to learn and replicate for their own benefit. Unfortunately, our youth remained undisturbed and unaffected.

Cataclysmic events of history produced beneficent change – change of ideas, values, and consciousness. The Nigerian youth should not be afraid of police beating, arrest, or being killed if need be to free them from poverty, meaningless, wasted, and unfulfilled life.

We should remind our youth that history is one endless massacre stretching back to the dawn of mankind. Wherever we are in history, we stand on a mountain of corpses – and, however terrible the thought, we are the beneficiaries of all this carnage.

Our youth should understand that the only language understood by those who are responsible for their stunted, empty, and broken life is confrontation not cooperation.

There is strength in numbers. The numbers are on their side. Let the youth take to the streets. Set fire of protest on the local governments, state governments and finally the federal government with prolonged and sustained determination that would bare fruits.

They should take the fight to the governors and demand their share of the so called security vote. Take the legislators and the president hostage and demand job creation bill. Demand for share of the legislator’s monthly compensation package of N29 million.

Disrupt and paralyze services from Lagos to Bayelsa, from Abuja to Kontagora, from Akure to Minna and let the tsunami of civil disobedience sink the whole country – simultaneously.

The youth should push ahead impatiently for necessary changes and reforms. They must move from resistance to aggression, from revolt to revolution.

Every protest or resistance or uprising has some notion of redemptive suffering. Some must die if Nigerian youth is to be liberated in a new order.


The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters


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By the way Tayo, did anyone asked you not to go abroad? Dis-Enfranched Nigerians abroad? You're the funniest joker of all time. I think you're blinded by what's eating you up. And there is a name for that. So, stop whinning and do something with your life.


Tayo, with youths like you, Nigeria is in deep trouble. It is obvious you don't know your left from your right. You see, I don't have any reason to jump off a cliff or die like a dog. I have everything to live for. A lot of people like you cry that some of us abandoned the country to travel abroad. Why won't we? The lots of the people we have in government today were once youths like yourself who cried and whined every single day about the situation of the country and they never did anything to protest. So, when they got there they started "eating" their own too to make up for what they did not have as youths. I can see you in a few years time as a rogue politician defrauding the Nigerian People, because obviously you don't have any clue as to how to strive to make things better.

Not their fault

Bayo,the problem is that we have no "Nigerian youth.We have moved from regional to "state" youths,every Nigerian issue is looked at from that prism.
Oh yes,the youths have anger,but cannot act as one;across the Nigerian landscape.We have a bunch of uneducated literates like their fathers before them;ingrained with age-old prejudice and mind-boggling ignorance just like a 20th century European that believes Africans have no culture,we still have youths in the South who believe that the Northerner is a moron,and Northerners who believe that Southerners,are infidels(stretched;people without the fear of God in them who can not be trusted),Yet whichever way we turn,we find well bred northerners from reputable universities,as we see,the Koran-carrying northerner and bible- carrying southerner indulge in heinous crimes against their citizens.Until we break through this barrier of ignorance,the Nigerian,especially her youths,will continue to make an idol of their local criminals.

shut up vickie

It is easy for "self-disenfranchised" nigerians abroad to cast the stone at us. We (the youth of nigeria) wonder what made u horrible lot migrate from ur fatherland. Now that the brain-drain u left in ur wake has overtaken the country, u suddenly have the moral right to demand of us a deadly revolution? Nigeria is a free for all economy because of u. I do not believe in "one Nigeria" because it is a fraud. We nigerians did not form this country by our own will. Our fathers were lumped up to make it easy for lugard exploit us. So vicke, shut ur blasted trap. If u want to die like a dog, jump off a cliff in protest. Animal!

God bless you.

God bless you my brother. The revolutionaries are coming out of their cocoons. Let them take the lead. We shall join later. When hausa/foolani was running riot with Nigeria's future and fortunes they looked the other way, concentrated on securing oil proceeds in the north and south west. Now you are calling for revolution to protect your loot. We are not ready to go with you, period. Some of them claim Lagos as presently constituted is their ingenuity and resourcefulness and their 'sophistication'. Crap.


Bayode, sometimes I wonder why you even bother. I wonder why a lot of people in the diaspora bother about a people who love the way they are. They love the status quo. Whether it's the adults or youths, everyone sleeps with their heads in the same direction. They complain about how bad the government is treating them, yet they sit on their frigging arses hoping for Jesus to come down and rescue them.
They graduated they don't have any jobs. They're wondering the streets or sleeping late with no daily jobs to go to; while a lot of them are doing the unmentionables. They're wasting their lives away; and yet they have the audacity to accuse someone who's asking them to get off their asses and re-direct their future? Please Bayo!! Let them be. They love their lives the way they are. You're just wasting your time and energy. THIS IS A WASTED GENERATION, UNFORTUNATELY.

Here is just a reminder to

Here is just a reminder to those who are not aware that the contraption christened Nigeria by idiotic Luggard is on the road to demolition.

Amalgamation expires midnight 1st January, 2014. He who is not in the know should start getting acquaintance with this fact. The dungeon Nigeria will be history on this date. No negotiation, no parole or we do it the BLOODY WAY.

Only a fool will think that any revolution will ever take place in naija. Yorubas can not deceive us again. We're aware of their hypocrisy and back-stabbing DNA strands unlike in the past. Anyone who wants to revolt is on their own. Count me and my Igbo people out.

Our only resolution is Biafra. Let every region define their future and pursue it. Presently, Ndigbo are Nigerians not as a resolution of theirs but that of the colonial masters and regional oppressors from the west&north. The shackles of 100years slavery will be broken on 1st January, 2014. Pure and simple!

@Deri thank u 4 speaking truth to D regional power blocks in 9ja

@DERI, I cannot but thank u for your comments. We would never have been in this mess if the entire citizens of Nigeria had stood firm with the Yorubas in their demand for June 12. The protest for the actualization of the June 12 mandate of Abiola, though I was young then, took place only in Lagos. It was turned into a Yoruba affairs. Abacha killed only Yoruba youths in Lagos. There was no protest in the South East and the south south. Even in any part of the North. How many times have our youths brought the nation to its knees. Now the youths are being instigated to take to the streets for these same selfish politicians again? Just recently a youth was gunned down during the fuel subsidy demonstration in Kwara state. Not a single politician of note went to the house of the parents to sympathize with them. Those who want their brothers and sisters to die, should take the lead. Let them come back home from abroad and die for Nigeria, their beloved nation.


Bayo, Let’s stop acting the ostrich & being in denial. Articles like yours miss the point. In a different SR article someone called for a revolution in Nigeria & I was frank in pointing out that a revolution in Nigeria is impossible. Not now, not in the future becos of the treatment we the Yorubas meted out to our Ibo brothers/sisters & the resulting mistrust they now have of us. Re your article – again, the concept of Nigerian youths ended with the Nigeria-Biafra war. Let's not kid ourselves. Tell me how many Yoruba youths are brave enough to go out, start a revolution & stand the heat of it. Our DNA makes that impossible. We can only scream, shout, write long articles and wish it was all possible. The solution - let us the Yorubas sincerely apologise to our Ibo brothers/sisters for what we did to them, ask for forgiveness & be honest about it. Only then can we work together - youths, elders etc. Otherwise,wish lists in the form of articles in SR will just be wishful thinking.

Nigerian youths on the down road of history

Nigeria is indeed a dead country full of dead youths. It is IDEAS that grow a nation and not oil or mineral resources. It is ideas, research and development on science and technology and the maximization and utilization of the products of these ideas that grew the economies of the United States, Japan, South Korea, et al.

The president and his associates will only formulate the guiding laws for the society. It is the responsibility of the citizens to put their knowledge and innovation-spirit together to get the country going. However, majority of Nigerian youths are waiting for the president to even lay their beds for them before going to sleep. Everybody is almost lawless in this country. We have a long way to go, because this is a general failure.

All these CIA like articles have no place in africa-

Its only in africa that u see humans jubilate any day there is a coup--we saw films from Ghana with youths dancing and singing over the CIA backed coup against Nkrumah-years later are the people of Ghana still dancing on their streets-to celebrate the departure of Nkrumah? Ghana is yet to move an inch from where Nkrumah stopped the clock of progress-same as the south west with Awo-parents are now saying No to their wards who want to further their education IN EKO-cause the likes of Fashola ati Tinubu cannot plan-they got free education but are giving the youth stones- for education-Did their fathers hold demonstrations b4 Awo gave them free education? He did not put any of their KIDS on the anvil of death-or harms way-all he asked of them was their votes-here those who hardly ever empathize with the oil bearing communities that suffer oil spills daily now want youths from d SS 2 sacrifice their lives 4 dem comfort-tomorrow instead of a split! Animals


Yr name alone is enough to show that u are an Ibo man with no soul! You who could not defend your tribesmen who were slaughtered like pigs in the fulani North by boko haram, because of the occasional contract that u obtain want to protest against Jonathan-who are the beneficiaries of Odili, Sylva, Alams and Amechis rule in the SS-are they not your tribesmen? Are the oil subsidy thieves from Yenagoa or Port Harcourt.If u were educated u wld have know by now that, coups in africa are always sponsored by western nations? The beneficiaries of the oil wells in the south south which has been feeding yr ancestors since 1958, are the fulanis, ibos and yorubas-Be man enough to call for a split-Your were busy arranging a one million man match for despots like Abacha who ruled us 4 6yrs-kept quiet when the North arranged to hang kensarowiwa-when abiola was killed now u have woken up from your regional slumber to talk rubbish! Cause Egypt is on fire-from d West! Animals

Thanks Deri

A million and one peeps will take a swipe at Deri for saying the truth here, but that does not change the reality on ground. This lope sided Nigeria where some are less citizens than others is not the one youth will die for like this misguided author is asking. What has the sacrifices of Isaac Boro, Kaduna Nzeogu, the youth that died for June 12etc earned us? They all died for nothing!

Bayo urge Youths to stand on Mountain of corpses to revolt. Hmmm

Pls go to your state of origin, you need to among the first on the foundation for the mountain of corpses for the revolution. It ain't no use instigating the youths to "stand on a mountain of corpses – and, however terrible the thought, {they} are the beneficiaries of all the carnage." You are a sadist, Bayo; what a stupid command to the youths. You know fully well that if the youths start in your LGA, for example, an Usman or Dagogo in uniform with an AK47 does not care a hoot gunning all of them down, because he believed none of them could be his relation. You and Sonola Olumhense pick up the keyboard, incite the youth to revolt while refusing to acknowledge that Nigeria is a fragmented society where nationwide popular revolution can NEVER NEVER take place. Common, give democracy a chance to mature in Nigeria. If you people are asking for the break-up of Nigeria, that's another thing.


See this one and his yeye call for revolution. Go to the ballot box for political power. If not, it is now revolution to split Nigeria and not revolution to grab distribution of oil revenues as you are craving. For 38 years, Nigeria was abused, its youths hardly had the opportunity to have a say on the polity, not even to cast a vote. A section of Nigeria - with a few outside collaborators - milked Nigeria dry - we are yet to recover Abacha loots - squashed oil money on religious pilgrimages to Mecca, oppressed Nigeria's youths, never cared to replace worn-out social facilities, spent fortunes on false transitions to democracy. Waste galore. Throughout, you and your lot acquiesced. Now that the youths can vote, criticize government and have their liberty to participate in the polity, you want them to rise and take over the government.
U constitute a lot of insincerity in Nigeria. You falsely believe you are smarter than others. Split Nigeria into manageable countries.

Bayo: Gov. Fashola said no to new states; D4 extant struc okay

Under-representation of the southeast in the NASS implies under-representation of the entire south. More than with others, the groups in the south have more commonly shared values regarding what the constitution shall contain. But Governor Fashola, for example, said No to creation of new states, thus No to redressing the structural imbalance and the wrong political system which this writer lamented here. Tribalism is blurring some senses.
A lopsided political structure in which a super political group in the corenorth was assigned overwhelming political representation through undue large number of states and LGA areas is the clog on the wheels of Nigeria's march to nationhood. So far, no amendments can be made in the 1999 constitution unless it overwhelmingly favours corenorth. It's no point invoking the youths - and indirectly - the soldiers to take over power. We must drop the pieces whenever the load becomes unbearable.

Times have changed bro

Bro, times have changed. The youths now give titles and are working hand-in-gloves with the politicians. even the elders are not left behind the disillusionment. take for instance DERI who I fought alongside to wrestle IBB to the ground talking crap each day. He knew that we fought injustice no matter where it came from and who was perpetrating it. Now things have changed. you realise he does not reply me, he knew me and knows we went through a lot back in the days but nothing seems to work here which was the reason he jumped ship. I am still waiting for the day his head will be correct again, we just cant throw all that away DERI.

They Should Do What?

"They should take the fight to the governors and demand their share of the so called security vote. Take the legislators and the president hostage and demand job creation bill. Demand for share of the legislator’s monthly compensation package of N29 million." What about you? Are you not A YOUTH? Many traveled back to Libya and Egypt to fight, cant do the same? You should be guided by sense of reasoning next time you are writing for public.

The Nigerian youth are just useless!

What the author of this piece wrote is without blemish! The Nigerian youths are utterly useless and hopeless! We know that the easy rallying point of the youths is in the nation's higher institutions where various students' organizations are formed. The youths of today should understand that some of the vestiges of things they enjoy today were the initiatives of youths of yester-years. What can the youths of today boast they have succeeded in doing for the good of the society? Nothing, except getting steeped in cultism, violence and mass murders! The governments of the day are just messing up and getting deep into criminal misgovernance, thievery and electoral indiscretions. But the youths only complain and that's all! The military and police are brutalizing everybody; and the youths keep quiet! Nobody asks the youths to go and die, just as the youths of yesteryears did not. What people are saying is that a sustained peaceful resistance by the youths can change a govt or bring it down.

Who is this Deri sef

This Deri guy must be the most idiotic person on earth. For months I've read comments on SR and I must say, Deri is not a Nigerian. People have fought so hard to keep this country united, not for one idiot to keep writing rubbish here. An illiterate like Jonathan is in power and Nigeria is gradually sliding to chaos and yet all you do is wake up and write rubbish here. Well, I don't expect much from your type. before you can discuss about Nigeria, you must first of all, go to school and empower yourself. Leave the talk about oil. Japan has no oil but yet they are more developed than Nigeria. One advice for we youths, get education, be empowered so we can put all resources together to fight these illiterates ruling us.


Bayo, You want polity restructured? What did you and your ilk do or say when Kano, Sokoto and Niger states' governors were intimidating the leadership of the constitution amendment committees with the objective of having the "political arrangements and policies" that favor mostly the north remain as they were? Now, given what the constitution amendment committee proposed for amendment, those northern governors are on the way to having their objectives achieved. They even stand to gain more if the proposal on 'indegene status' is approved, 'cos northern governors now have fewer non-indegenes to take care of. Most southerners in the north had escaped the north. Who was in position to say No but kept silent when northern military leaders restructured the polity through states and LGA creations to favour corenorth? APC group remains indifferent as others challenge the ignoble political restructuring done for north's favour? It's late now challenging balkanized Nigerian youths.

This guy is talking out of

This guy is talking out of his a**hole, there is nothing like Nigerian youths, this country is f***edup. The earlier the better everybody knows where they stands.


Most of the comment makers here could hardly have two or more of their comments posted on this page but DERI and his akin have such opportunity because money is not a problem to them in as much as the king of thieves is in power to supply them. DERI is afraid of revolution as corruption and theft are in-laws to his master. A thief is afraid of a Judge but can steal from the Judge. No wonder DERI and his master hate Buhari because Gen. Buhari doesn't spare a thief or any criminal. He knows that Buhari will give them China treatment of thieves. The Malabu theft will be probe and DERI'S master (Phd minus intelligence but wearing a tax-master's hat) will surely end his life in maximum prison. DERI should know that with or without revolution Jonathan will never rule human beings again. But if he wants to rule he can rule creeks animals because human beings will not vote animal to rule them.

who is afraid of a revolution dat will lead to our devolution

(Egyptian soldiers and police guarding a military building opened fire on supporters of the ousted president Monday-JUST TODAY in bloodshed that claimed at least 40 lives, officials and witnesses said, and plunged the divided country deeper into crisis with calls by Islamists for all-out rebellion against the army.)unquote. Yet he calls himself an educated donkey with no brains of his own--all he wants is a revolution because egypt has one-how can u have a revolution without a clear revolutionary ideas-Mubarak should go has he not gone? Why are they still killing protesters-thought they said the departure of Mubarak ati Morsi or the sack of GEJ in 9ja, will usher in the real dividends of democracy? Do we have peace in Tunisia, egypt , syria ati libya? which is easier to do with your fake Yoruba ideas of tinubu-relax over a glass of pure water sachets talk and to split and a revolution which will result in the murder of our youths? animal


HEAR THE MUMU-(the Nigerian youth should not be afraid of police beating, arrest, or being killed if need be to free them from poverty, meaningless, wasted, and unfulfilled life) After 60 yrs in d saddle with more than 58 trillion stolen from the SS-by d tripod? PERHAPS HE WOULD FLY IN FROM THE USA TO PARTAKE IN THE PROTEST-what we yearn for in the South south is separation-resource control or fiscal federalism-if we throw our oil money into the gutter or drink ogogoro with it-its not of your blood business-None called for revolution when his tribesman OBJ was in power-now that an Ijaw man is there-he wants one for tinubu-ati Buhari! Has BUHARI NOT BEEN THERE B4? show US one road that OBJ constructed in the entire south west with our oil money while in Aso Rock rock 4 8 solid years! Who among the Nigerian youths took 2 d streets of Lagos when OBJ bombed Odi and leftover 20,000 dead-Or came to the aid of the SS when Gbaranmatu was bombed?

revolution to install tinubus islamic party APC in power?

In 2011 when these same Tunubu ati APC agents came out with the idea of floating Buhari and Ribadu from the Fulani Empire for us to buy, I told that that they should move beyond the web to go and sell their ideas on the duo to the masses. Them refused! Thought buhari could be marketed on the web-with their dogo turenchis-unaware that the parents of the youths that they want to protest often go on holidays to Dubai with dem kids-during elections-the commoners who will vote for Jonathan in 2015 don't even have access to an internet-that was why Joe igbokwe insulted the Yorubas by alleging that they voted for Jonathan because of their desire to tap into the luck hovering around his head--that it was their belief in d Ifa oracle that led the yorubas to vote for jonathan-here we are with anoda aje butter pikin who is yet to ask why the youths of Ondo preferred OBj to late Gani coming up with his crayfish article-to disturb our peace!

Well said; you came in last

Well said; you came in last july so you were never here,I should presume. Hence, your calls are wrong. Nigeria has gone beyond protest because we have been divided alond ethnic and religious line. The last protest, South-south, south-east never came out because the president is from that area. The m ilitary never supported the people, where the protest had worked, the military were for the people.

Dem yearn 4 a libyan style killing of GEJ 4 d yorubas period

Only God knows where these syndicated APC writers managed to bail themselves out from-where were the youths of these nation when Ibos, Yoruba ati Middle Belters were gunned down by members of Boko haram-in d North-where were the youths when buhari directed his supporters to lynch voters-who came to the rescue of the 11 youth corpers killed by BH in the fulani north-on the orders of buhari? Why have d the youths of 9ja not protested against the ongoing killings in the north? Sometimes these misguided aje butters-who relax in the comforts of their homes in the USA, think our youths are fools-has Tinubu who climbed on the back of Abiola to rule lagos state-ever thought of setting aside a day to mourn those youths that abacha gunned down at Yaba Bush stop during the pro-democracy demonstrations- while buhari was drinking kunu with Aabacha in aso rock? Can we tell this 419ner to ask Tinubus in law to defend his credentials?