I have since heard many a youth lament about how our grandfathers continue to ruin the country in the name of ruling it, about how the rulers of yesteryears are yet the leaders of tomorrow, about how these grandfathers themselves were youths when they set out but now detest our youth and our entitlement, about how the affairs of the youth are left for our gramps (and grannies) to ru(i)n.
I had therefore asserted that anyone older than the republic Nigeria has no business whatsoever ruling in whatever capacity, that we, the youth of this country, have had enough of them, that they have failed to solve even issues that their wantonness created lest we talk of the challenges of our time, that they have over-stayed their (stolen) welcome being antiquated and obsolete in all their ways.
I had therefore urged that we break forth, start our own businesses, but realise limits, and stay safe. But I have also seen how that is not the reason we are where we are (poor, jobless and thronging ourselves to death; Boko Haram joblessly working on our National security, sovereignty, and sanity; and the Government dutifully procrastinating, denying, and politicking), how we indeed break forth and set limits (that we do not court save conquer), how we are easily quietened, silenced, satiated; for we quickly lose focus, loose grip and, in not minding our business, place it in loos.
For it is no longer news that to survive in the days and weeks and months to come one must break forth and start his own business, set boundaries and realise those limits (as) set, and mind one's business. That we must shift gaze from the ambitious, ambiguous, Agenda we are asked to look unto, and look within. That we must hold our destinies in our hands and defend our sovereignty, security and sanity. That hope comest not from the Centre, not from the House, not from the Court, not even from the Rock - the only water in this wilderness is Mara and Moses is yet in Sambisa to bring back our girls.
Hope comest from within us, and is ours forever. It is held in our arms, held by our hands, close to our hearts. Unlike us, it is not threatened by Boko Haram, it is not starved by the incredibly high cost of living, it is not shut without to live on, and off, the streets, it is not clothed in rags and fades, it is not denied admission by JAMB nor is its stay in the institutions lenghtened indefinitely by Unions' strikes. And it is no longer subsidized by SURE-P nor paralysed by paralytic PHCN, or whatever it is now called (even Airtel has stopped changing names; for by their changing names ye shalt know them).
Our hope is sure, factual, fastidious, and forever so; and cannot be denied or taken away as usual. It is not attached to the politician and his cronies. It is not injured by the utterances of the Dame. It is not misguided by the calculations and political correctness of His Excellency. It cannot be kidnapped by blood-sharing insurgents, it does not require rescue by American Forces, and it is never bothered by whether there is God o, or not.
Our hope is our ingenuity, it is our industry, it is our business; after all, there is God o, He is for us, and we Nigerian youths are an enterprising lot.
I have since realised that youth can be turned to advantage, that things are easier when one is young (contrary to popular opinion and everyday observation); that when one is young, the ‘whole world’ typically rallies around to help, advice is easier to get and experience, to garner, and the ancient argumentum ad misericordiam holds sway. Ironically, that is when one is interested in camaraderie, looking-good, feeling-fly, wasteful spending; rather than in investments, digging-deep, taking-root, securing assets (land other/more than cars).
I have since discovered that youth is when many a potential is wasted, that youth is many a potential wasted, that there is more to life than potential; that, to succeed, the one with potential must invariably mind his own business, however young he may be.
If only the youth of this country had woken long before now, if only we had not allowed ourselves to be thugs in those election violence we haD to be part of because our (literal) grandfathers still wallow in politics and will not just dive in and be swallow for the fish, if only we did not oblige when they’d rather we wore life vests – riddled with the holes of their mischief – and dived in to save their sinking, stinking, political careers, if only we had stayed true to our vision of leading this potent nation to actualising her potential in tomorrow’s greatness, if only we had faced our business of investing, of acquiring, of replacing, of succeeding...
...Then many a youth will not be jobless, frustrated, or thronged to death, then Boko Haram will not be within our boundaries, then our gramps and grannies will be in the Homes and not the Villas and Lodges, then Nigeria will overtake and take over.
And it can yet be...
If we will choose our own path and be stuck to it, if we will outline our journey and set out in earnest, if we will not allow ourselves to be distracted, if we will decide in our youth what to do and stay true to it, if we will displace and replace - rather than ally and align with - those who set our country still to draw her back; then will we surge forward and reclaim our place among the nations.
As is said, when the bush rat ages, it suckles at her offsprings' breasts. Nigeria is of age, and it is high time we nurtured her, it is high time we stood up for her, it is high time we chased away those who exploit her, who devastate her, who strangle her.
We must start (to mind) our business and help each other up.
It is our business is to save Nigeria.
Medical Student, OOU, Sagamu.
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