There is no doubt that the youths are the leaders of tomorrow, and no nation can prosper and maintain its existence without the youths. As true as these words are, the situation in Nigeria is static; one wonders if tomorrow will ever come for Nigerian youths.
Nigerian youths are underdeveloped, under-utilized and have been reduced to mere campaign tools, to be used and discarded immediately after elections. The most youth unfriendly political office holder becomes youth friendly when election approaches, the motive is to lure the youths and turn them into political thugs causing vandalism and killing each other all in the name of politics.
Youth empowerment is a phrase that has been overused by the politicians to an extent that it means nothing to the youths any more. Every politician kick starts his/her campaign with promises of better days for the youths. Unfortunately most of them are hopeless and selfish; they only care about their children and foreign shopping trips for their spouses with funds meant to be used for the betterment of the leaders of tomorrow.
In Nigeria today, unemployment is rampant causing so much anxiety and frustration which has resulted to the emergence of rebellious groups such as the movement for the emancipation of Niger delta (MEND). Looking back at history one will realize that MEND came into being due to the greed and selfishness of our leaders, for if they had given the youths of the Niger Delta what was due to them there won’t have been any reason to rebel.
Our leaders instead of addressing the issues of poverty and unemployment in the area started a war of words, with easterners pointing accusing fingers at the North and West and vice versa. Though these arguments still exist, the bottom line is; the money did not change the situation of Nigerian youths irrespective of the parts they come from.
Another political season is here; a season of lies and false promises. Already some shameless politicians who absconded from the electorates are beginning to return with the usual slogan; youth empowerment and job creation. I will like to use these paraphrased words of Martin Luther King to call on Nigerian youths to stand firm and salvage their future.
Let us march on poverty until no Nigerian parent has to skip a meal so that their children may eat. March until the youths of the Niger Delta get what is due to them. March until the self representatives who hide under the guise of representing us disappear from the political arena. Let us march until we send to our local government councils, state houses of assemblies, national assembly and the presidency people who will not fear to do the right by us.
Let those whose greed keeps us unemployed and oppressed do whatever it is they do in their names, not in the name of the youths.