The maxim that asserts that youths are the future of the nation has become an obvious falsehood when placed with the current sociopolitical realities of the nation, Nigeria. The developmental trends of the youth institutions harbingers the youth as people whose existence even pose a threat to the advancement of the nation. It is necessary to state that being a youth does not automatically translate being a threat, but a larger percentage of the youths are—which is a result of misplaced value and a gradual decadence of a once supple nation.
As Herbert Hoover observes, “Older men declare war. But it is youth that must fight and die.”This is a clear and perfect depiction of the historical formation of the geographical entity as a nation erected by youths, although the same youths in recent activities suggest her fall. This is not mere speculation or sentimental discourse but a disinterested view based on objective and critical considerations.
For instance, President Buhari's signing of the Not-to-young-to-run bill—let's pretend about the existence of its deceptive intention—presents a promising future for the system of politicking in the nation where young and vibrant youths are expected to lead. As expected, the step has been, erroneously, tagged one in the right direction. However, there are certain facts not being considered which would present the bill as one that would widen the hole of political inconsistency and abuse of office. Some of these questions that boggle the mind are: who will take the lead? Are the youths exclusive of the current youths in leading students' unions? Are the youths exclusive of the violent ones running around to help politicians rig elections or perform other electoral malpractices?
We should, at this point, consider these factors. First, the question of who will take the lead is not a mild setback but a major thing that should be brought into critical questioning considering the aberration of all we once had our hopes on. The question of who will take the lead becomes imperative when we see the indifference of the youths, the social media crusaders who never really get to power and the majority of good ones relegated to the background because they are not loyal to old, thieving politicians. Call this an unfounded speculation if you may, but first sit yourself down to ask questions.
Another question of great importance is the question of exclusivity in respect to the students' union government, which includes the National Association of Nigerian Students, otherwise known as NANS. Over the last one decade, students' unions have become grounds to learn manipulative methods for political advantages and gross misuse of offices. A survey of the activities of these unions can cause insanity. The figures are scary. As the NBS reported, August 2017, 95% of the Nigerian populace will take or give bribe if given the chance.
This alarming figure can be indubitably said to same case of students' unions. 95% of these Union leaders are corrupt and without vision. An example is a NANS comrade whose desire should be seeing to a better condition of Nigerian students enjoying the comfort of an air-conditioned car worth millions of naira with tinted glasses. The desire for comfort already overrides to the desire to be effective in office and these rogues graduate to become governors, senators and whatnot.
The last question we must not fail to ask ourselves is the question of youths and electoral violence. If the same youths who should stand for the salvation of the nation sell their positions for thousands of naira, are we not headed for doom? Since the beginning of democracy in Nigeria, there can not be said to have been any free and fair election, not even the June 12 election. The perpetrators of this evil called electoral malpractices are mostly youth and as the old English maxim goes, one good turn deserves another. These youths help thieves up and they too are lifted to become thieves and in the end, the populace is left in an endless cycle of bastard politicking.
Until we answer these few questions and deliberately make an about face, the nation may never find redemption as the youths are gradually becoming ineffective. If we do not deliberately alter this narrative, the not-too-young-to-run bill will remain not-too-young-to-run-errands for clueless politicians.