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Stolen Dreams And The Youths’ Mercurial Mandate Of Retrieval

As the amalgam christened Nigeria since 1914 continues to trudge in fits and starts, and the self-appointed political leaders of the geographical space devise all manner of tricks and subterfuge aimed at self-perpetuation, with relentless, even callous imposition of asinine policies ignorantly dubbed governance, the time has come for Nigerian youths to chart a new course in the winding itinerary to nationhood and economic prosperity.

As the amalgam christened Nigeria since 1914 continues to trudge in fits and starts, and the self-appointed political leaders of the geographical space devise all manner of tricks and subterfuge aimed at self-perpetuation, with relentless, even callous imposition of asinine policies ignorantly dubbed governance, the time has come for Nigerian youths to chart a new course in the winding itinerary to nationhood and economic prosperity.

The conundrum posed, continually, by the apparent material and human resources on one hand, and the inexplicable but grinding poverty experienced by the mass of the people on the other, should propel all those who feel genuinely concerned about the future of this country to act decisively and consistently until these impostors are made to appreciate the fact that the welfare of the people should be the primary concern of those who claim to derive the legitimacy to rule on their behalf. The embarrassing paradox called Nigeria should be engaged actively to avert contrived crises of cataclysmic proportions.

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As things stand, it is an incontrovertible fact that about 50 million Nigerian youths are unemployed in a country awash with petro-dollars. Unscrupulous elements, including governmental parastatals and agencies, fleece these hapless job seekers with the undisguised approbation of the acclaimed representatives of the people. They are forced to pay to apply for nonexistent jobs. Many of them died recently during the grandiose fraud which culminated in one in a series of national tragedies. The incompetent and corrupt government offered automatic employment to members of the victims’ families and the injured in an establishment that requires security screening. The fact that almost 800,000 forms were sold at N1000 each for 4200 job vacancies already filled by corrupt politicians bears an eloquent testimony to the depth to which we have sunk as an a country.

Our educational sector is not immune from the virulent scourge of corruption. All examination bodies design programmes of exploitation. JAMB, WAEC and NECO fleece candidates routinely. Desperate and ignorant parents are made to pay more for “special centres”, a euphemism for an arrangement which ensures that supervisors connive, actively, with candidates to cheat. Candidates purchase forms and cards for checking results for examinations already registered and paid for. Members of staff of these bodies employ the services of middlemen to sell “scratch cards” for application forms and results.

Universities are also involved in the national disgrace. Most universities now have internal revenue generation departments. The focus has shifted from the very idea which necessitated the establishment of universities to money-making. They now sell sachet water, honey, groundnut and pepper and even some confused academics consider that as a veritable yardstick for measuring advancement. Lecturers in Nigerian universities plagiarise routinely to be promoted. Curricula are designed not to meet the challenges of the society but to satisfy pecuniary expediency. Ethno-religious and political considerations determine the establishment of institutions and not dispassionate and scientific predilections for realistic development.

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It is also a cruel irony that our country imports the refined product of the crude oil, both sold and stolen, to the international market and the finished product is imported for sale. Industries have folded up because of the hostile business climate engendered by corruption and insecurity. Warehouses and factories are being purchased by religious organisations. Politics has become the most viable economic option, perhaps second to owning petrol outlets, in a basically consumptive ambience.   

The level of insecurity in the country has reached an alarming rate. News of terrorist attacks which emanated almost exclusively from distant lands has now found a prominent space in our daily lives. Terrorists and cheap criminals, beatified as insurgents by our media, now hold sway. People are attack, and numerous villages sacked, with unbelievable ease. Nobody is spared in the orgy of violence. Children, women and the aged are slaughtered everyday in spite of the state of emergency imposed on three states, Adamawa, Yobe and Borno, in the North East to achieve a political end.

Motor parks, schools and military barracks have come under intense attacks in recent times. The most recent occurred in the Federal Capital Territory when about a hundred persons were bombed out of existence and over two hundred seriously injured. Secondary school boys and girls have been murdered in their sleep at dormitories. The latest in the tragic series concerns the abduction of 237 secondary school girls by the criminal elements who disturb our peace on the false claim that they harbour some pious pretensions. Our security agencies came out shamelessly to deceive Nigerians that they had rescued almost all of them. They also vowed to bring back the remaining eight girls.

They were so categorical in their mendacious claims. The parents and the school principal of the abducted girls came out to expose this government as hypocritical and base. No rescue has been made. The few girls who escaped from, fortuitously, depended on personal effort. The rest are still with the characters with feral instincts. The government has been powerless and clueless in the face of these incessant attacks. The President of the country even went to dance in Kano a day after many Nigerians lost their lives at Nyanya Motor Park. It is instructive to note that this disgraceful revelry took place at a time when the British High Commissioner in Nigeria was donating blood for victims of the blast.

The worn out refrain, continuously employed in the expropriation of our commonwealth, has always been that the youths are the leaders of tomorrow. Many of the current active players in the political life of the country started participating as youths. They were hardly out of their teens when they started participating in the affairs of the country. There is no gain asserting the obvious that majority of these characters have depended solely on government patronage for the obscene acquisition of material wealth over the years. Between the military usurpers of the people’s mandate and their civilian collaborators, there has been a continual strife for the very soul of the country since independence.

The socio-political problems in the country are such that should require serious attention from all those who truly believe that this country can continue to remain together as a corporate entity. Not only are there political crises, engendered by avarice and the consuming passion of the political class to subjugate the people, the mass of the people have been hoodwinked into viewing their problems from the prisms of ethnicity and religion.

The youths have been effectively emasculated. They are unemployed, unemployable, uneducated and disoriented. Meanwhile, the military and its civilian elites are busy contriving ad hoc measures to keep the people in perpetual want. They keep recycling themselves and their children in their bid to keep the people in perpetual want. They have organised a talk shop which will set the nation back with N7 billion. Every hustler who has made sufficient noise to attract attention is now in the all-embracing drama presentation called National Conference or Dialogue. From the self-appointed spokespersons of the people, professional agitators and the barely literate to the downright corrupt elements, these funny characters claim to discuss the problems of the country. An averagely intelligent person knows that an assembly of irredeemable irredentists, ten-per centres and all manner of unscrupulous scavengers cannot contribute to the solution of the myriad of problems facing the polity.

There is a semblance of a democratic dispensation in the country at present. Any close scrutiny of the current charade cannot miss the impression of an elaborate histrionics called politics. Movements into political parties are fluid. Politics is played not on the basis of ideology. Politicians become stupendously wealthy months after they assume political responsibilities.

The current socio-political realities compel reaction from the conscious layer of the Nigerian society. The youths must be ready to confront these dream killers until lost hopes are restored. The battle ahead is difficult but not insurmountable. Members of the Change Movement are resolute to be at the vanguard to demand positive change from the current impostors.

Every onlooker is either a coward or a willing collaborator. We have spoken enough at seminars, workshops and conferences. The time to act is now. Let us join hands to salvage our country.

In order to protest our dissatisfaction about corruption, injustice, insecurity, and the general socio-political realities in Nigeria, Change Movement Nigeria has organized a Stolen Dreams Walk to which mass participation is requested. The Stolen Dreams protest will take place on May 1, 2014 at CMS, Lagos Island by 9 am. We want people whose dream of a great nation has been shattered to come all out and join us in protest on that day.

Those who are outside the country can also join us in solidarity, as we shall open up channels of communication on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and our website where people can post comments, solidarity messages, and selfies so that we can in the spirit of unified mission for the emancipation of Nigeria ask for the restoration of our stolen dreams.

Twitter: @changemovtng


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