The contemporary Nigerian youth is in a perilous state. Perhaps his ignorance of this peril is more pernicious than the reality of the peril. The youth could be best described as a victim of ‘sensory overload’, as his 5 senses, including his psyche are caught in a myriad of modern day distractions. These distractions revealed in Ipads, blackberry phones, social media, reality and talent hunt shows are breeding a generation of Nigerian youths guided by the ‘herd instinct’. A generation of intellectually debased individuals focused on materialism and individualism, yet oblivious to the true essence of society. On a wider scale, the Nigerian social system is slowly, but surely programming the psyche of the youth. A young child that has not experienced good governance, electricity, good roads and pipe borne water, would deem this as normal, taking such notion into adulthood. As such rather than demanding for manifestoes or people-oriented programmes from
politicians, he is satisfied with the cash hand-outs he receives. Rather than embrace partisan politics, he finds succour in personal sentiments and ethnic politics.
Even the educational system cannot immune the youths from this impending disaster. Cultism, nepotism, underfunding and intellectual dearth have eaten deep into the Nigerian educational system. Strikes have ensured that students spend more time out of school than in it. Lackadaisical lecturers who cling to ego-boosting titles of ‘prof and ‘Dr’, offer nothing but theories formulated in the renaissance. There is mor of indoctrination rather than education.
One may say, religion provides an escapist route, but this too, like the other social institutions have orphaned the Nigerian youth. Preachings which extol prosperity cum materialism, and miracles have ingrained a quick-rich syndrome in the veins of the Nigerian youth. The family which is the root of society and its institutions is under severe attack too. Definitions of man, woman, husband and wife are fast blurring because the young minds are indoctrinated into accepting homosexuality. Values of honesty, empathy, respect and reciprocity are being replaced by vain things. Benchmarks of beauty and physical charateristics are used in accepting the appropriate female. As for the males? It has always been money over character
The role and importance of the youth in directing and actualising societal progress was best exemplified in the Nazi’s quest to dominate the world. The Nazi leadership appreciated the difficulty in indoctrinating the older generation. As such, focus was shifted to the young minds still trying to carve an identity for themselves. Through the mass media and oratory skills of Hitler, the Nazi successfully created a machinery revolving round the ingenuity of the youths to perpetuate global domination agenda. During the colonial era, the missionaries met strong reisitance in the older ones, who saw their presence as an invasion of culture and identity. What did they do? They established schools were under the guise of obtaining education, where orientated into accepting western religion,culture, tradition and values. Thus, paving the way for generational subjugation.
What then lies the future of nigeria, if its youths are being programmed to become zombies. Computer games are replacing play groups, reality TV and talent shows have become clogs in the reading culture, whilst the social media and smart phones are increasing animosity amongst our youths. Over-testing in schools have shifted emphasis from learning to earning grades to pass. So why wonder about the increasing crime rates, delinquent behavior, materialism and individualism amongst the Nigerian youths. The highest divorce rates are recorded amongst couples married under 5 years. The last WAEC results had over a million candidates failing. The Nigerian youth indeed is in a perilous state.
This is not a coincidence but a well orchestrated plan To box the youth into submission and ignorance. Former president, Obasanjo once advocated for the abolishment of social science courses such as philosophy, psychology, sociology et al. How then would people know their rights? How would technology and science be channeled for humanitarian purposes rather than imperial ones? How then would we raise a nation of thinkers and ideologies which would guide society? The failure of the social system to create an enabling environment for the youth to thrive is a well-scripted plan of the political elite whose aim is to keep the nation in subjugation. This is the reason the children of the political elite don’t attend the same schools or experience the same dysfunctional existential realities of the Nigerian youth. The same way they youths are being groomed to be followers; the elites are grooming their children to be leaders. Why should monies be allocated to local governments, but universities are starving for
funds. Why should a mere counselor earn more than a professor to whom is responsible for his existence? This is a case of placing more value on the fruit than the tree that bore it. There are more talent shows than programmes that celebrate scientific inventions and social thinking. We are breeding a generation of entertainers rather than thinkers and innovators, zombies rather than leaders, sheep bound by the herd instinct.
Jean Jacques Rosseau enunciated that man is born free, but moves about in chains. The shackles and statue of ignorance have to be broken by the youths. The onus is on him to occupy his mind and charter a new course for himself and the nation. The nigerian youth should realize that his actions and inactions play a significant role in forming the future of generations yet unborn. He should realize that he has been dumbed down to accept the convoluted realities of a vampiric social system. But he is at an advantage. He has age, strength and vigour on his side. Unlike the aged, he alone holds the key to the future, because he who has (the) youth on his side, controls the future. Singapore is a perfect example of how the youth can elevate a nation from the doldrums of underdevelopment to the topmost echelon of industrialization. The Nigerian youth owes it to himself to make instill a generational change because he is living on the borrowed time of unborn generations. Our fathers may have failed us, but our children would curse us, if we stand aside and watch.