14 Oct 2013


By Ezim Osai,
Monday, October 14, 2013

Be the change you want to see in the world
-Mahatma Gandhi

As a nation we celebrated our 53rd year of Independence only  while ago, and many of us ask if there is anything worth celebrating, whether we were better off when we were under colonial rule, whether independence is a curse…Truly our nation is in perilous times; the memories of the Eagles’ Square bombing of 2010 still lingers in our minds. We are unable to rest easy when we see our government spending billions on celebrations when there are so many poor, hungry and unemployed youths. The question that I ask is “what are we doing about it?”
We all write about it, talk about it, gist about it, make noise about it, but a lot of us do nothing about it. The problems in Nigeria are numerous but the major problem amongst us youths is our myopia and "self-centredness" and hypocrisy.
We are quick to condemn without contemplation and research, we say our government is corrupt but yet we embezzle money from our Halls of Residence, Departments, and Faculties. We complain that Muslims vote Muslims and Christians vote Christians and Northerners vote Northerners and Southerners vote Southerners when during our own elections in school we vote some candidates because they belong to our faculty or hall of residence or state union. We complain about unemployment and misappropriation of funds when we spend our allowances on gadgets and fashion. We complain of poor infrastructure when we vandalize the little that is already there. We complain of poor teaching when we do the same when on youth service and yet we expect someone to do better for us.
We live in the 21st Century and Nigeria is not by any means a socialist nation! The government cannot do everything for us, we must not lie on our backs and wait for everything to be handed to us on a platter of gold, we must not wait for the latest scholarship scheme but learn how to multi-task and generate income ourselves. When we see European and Americans inventing things and coming up with ways to make our world a better place do we not feel hollow because we cannot do those things ourselves? We all want a chance to get out of the country in search of ‘greener pastures’ and we forget or ignore the fact that Europeans built Europe and Americans built America. They did not talk about propaganda and policies but put all these things into practice. They paid for the land with their blood, sweat and lives and whatever they enjoy is the legacy their fathers left them and one they are intent on building stronger.
Youths are the future of every nation and if we cannot change our mentalities and help to make Nigeria a better place then the next generation is doomed to live in a land far worse than it is now. We must learn to live responsibly and learn tolerance and street sense. We must get out of this farce called the tertiary school system and seek true knowledge. Not because university comes after secondary school but because we truly want to know and we truly desire to become better. We must give our younger ones proper orientation before they leave secondary schools so that they know that books and the real world are light years apart. We must learn how to make sacrifices and how to live a life of determination.
After 54 years it is very evident that our fathers have failed us; we do not need to fail our children. We can only do this when the words of our anthem have become true “one nation bound in freedom, peace and unity”. 

Ezim Osai is a 200L Physics major at the University of Ibadan. A Taoist and a Christian, he loves Cooking, Travelling, Reading, Writing, and loves to absorb nature.

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