Sir: Any nation that denies its young population the necessary support and an enabling environment to contribute their quota in this digital era may continue to have them dominate everywhere but nowhere.
Outside the shores of Nigeria, Nigerian youths are everywhere and have proven themselves in chosen careers. Some have been winning elective posts in their host nations. This also explains why most Nigerian youths would do the unimaginable to find their way to such climes.
But here at home Nigerian youths are nowhere and the story is obvious to be ignored. Even in this “era of change”, the kind of birds that have been flying and perching on the trees of the presidency and the president’s body language so far leave a lot to the imagination.
That explains why there may be no end in sight to the inexorable rise in crime rate. Crime has become so lucrative a venture that some faint-hearted youths now see as the last alternative.
Although I condemn taking to crime as a means to an end, it is a comeuppance that befalls a nation that relegates its workforce to the threshold of servility, they have become vulnerable and a threat to the largest growing economy in Africa where oil wealth has enriched the elite that failed to create jobs for the unemployed youths.
Is it not an irreversible irony that the same people that graduated and had government and private jobs waiting for them are the ones that would encourage the younger generation to embrace jaded skills acquisition and also dictate the kind of skills one will acquire?
This has shown a failure at all levels in previous permissive governments to sincerely stimulate growth and development and inculcate the spirit of self-reliance in the youths.
In as much as I am optimistic that things would get better in this era of change, if adequate measures are not taken to address the challenges that have befallen the youths and tackle such head on, terrorism and kidnapping would continue unabated. Soon the government may also have no choice but to look for alternative accommodation for these youths because there will be no more space in the already congested prisons across the country.
• Joe Onwukeme, Enugu, Enugu State Quotes
Culled from The Gaurdian
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