Nigeria’s young: The story of collective negligence.
There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.
– Nelson Mandela
Where do we begin? How do we start to discuss the way and manner in which successive generations were repeatedly betrayed time and again by those mandated with the responsibility of equiping them with the proper mindset and mental fortitude to cater for the challenges of their own times?
If we ever decide to genuinely be honest to ourselves,we would stop viewing today’s issues as ills that just emanated as mere challenges of the day,but rather as conditions that should be traced far back to the few years before the actualisation of independence and a few years after.
Within that period was a window,a window where those involved in the shaping of that era could have chosen a visible framework with which to model our society after going forward,a template to aid in charting our course away from the ignominious,but sadly they never did,and subsequent generations have had to constantly grope their way through the dark,repeating the same mistakes.
It would have been a simple decision for any other multicultural nation,but the snag in the case of Nigeria was always the fact that even with the varying cultural backgrounds of the different regions,obstinacy and hubris were qualities shared by the various groups,so it became a monumentally difficult or perhaps impossible task for them to learn what they did not know,or unlearn the things that had held them back all along.
We are still discussing our society’s neglect of our young.
So picture the individual bequeathed with all the paraphernalia of modern civilization at that time,possessing little to zero knowledge on how to perpetuate it’s continuity,and grossly unwilling or unable to learn. What hope for generations to come after him. Now multiply this scenario into it’s millionth incarnation.
And so eventually what we were left with was a system that had no plans for the replication of whatever little virtue it possessed if any,and no carefully crafted way for acquiring any going forward. Place on repeat. Over and over and over again. No thoughts towards the future or the generations of human beings who would benefit or suffer due to their ineptitude.
They could only imitate the “colonial masters” pretend to be African versions of them,but never capable of taking their own society close to the heights of personal and societal accomplishments of those they believed they were imitating.
They never understood the dynamics and mechanisms that went into the strategic construct of modern civil society,so while they could imitate the superficial like mannerism,mode of dressing,system of governance,structure of academic institutions and so on,they were abjectly deficient in the intrinsic capacity to build on what was bequeathed them,or at least maintain it as it was. Pretenders.
They did not understand modern society’s use of orientation agencies to aid in strengthening the moral fibre of the young,and educational institutions reinforcing a proper value system. They did not understand the need for the upholding of the integrity of institutions, they did not understand how the absence of this could birth the total corruption of any system.
Now the discussions are about tramadol and Ghana SK (Indian hemp),about benylin with codeine,about brown and sniffing of glue,about the use of designer drugs that we don’t have space to focus on today,about the degradation and debasing of our women folk,the compromising and corruption of our young men,and the searing of the conscience of our society. Most of the time these young people are exposed to this ills as early as from twelve years old.
Who will save our children.
In their delirium over the halcyon days,the independence generation,or what is left of them,are blind to the damning realities of today,a mixture of effete intellectuals suffering delusions of grandeur,parochial minds trapped in the stone age, and degenerate scum disguised as societal leaders,and they have ushered in a brood of criminals,drug users and dealers, raising youth with slothfulness ingrained in their DNA’s. But there might be a silver lining.
The generation of Nigerian musical artists and actors,the “new generation”, have deviated from the mould a little bit by successfuly showcasing their immense talent and grit. They have shown a country that gave them nothing that they too can succeed, they have shown the independence generation of irredeemably fell characters that they too can dare the heights of achievement enjoyed by their foreign counterparts.
But here again,the past lays hold once more on the industry and accomplishments garnered by these successful youth,you see Success without the moral equivalent fails to yield results that move society,and in some cases,such success can become detrimental if not properly honed to suit progressive inclinations.
So what are we left with.
A desperate need for societal re–engineering with a view to elevating the moral construct of our society,extolling hard work over graft,elevating regard for our fellow man above the apathy that has caused our society untold hardship and pain.
Without this,we would continually scour the darkest aspects of the human nature,and constantly reap of it’s brutal savagery.
This should not be what we bequeath to generations after us.