• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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#ENDSARS: Nigerian youths have aspirations


Many of the youths that took to the streets in 2020 demanding the dismantling of the Special Anti-robbery Squad (ENDSARS) claimed police harassment, lack of trust in the government, among others.

The protest which started as a voice against brutality later turned to a fight against the government and everything that represents oppression and corruption in Nigeria

A year after, many Nigerians believe that nothing has changed contrary to the many promises of the Federal government to address the pressing needs of the youths. Instead, they are being tagged ‘idle youths’.

However, according to the British Council report, Nigerian youths are full of aspirations. They want to advance positively, they have a quest for values-driven leadership; many of them want economic prosperity and security among others.

Read Also: Without jobs, protests like #EndSARS can reoccur – Analysts

In the same vein, the panelists at the World Bank media brief held on October 14 revealed that a greater number of the Nigerian labour force are within the age of 18 to 35years and that most of them have aspirations for a better living standard.

Nevertheless, according to experts, these aspirations of the youths are not given the embers to thrive thereby leaving most of these youths frustrated.

Emmanuel Okomo, a public servant believes that if proper attention is given to the aspirations of the young ones, it will help tackle challenges such as crime and substance abuse, unrests like the ENDSARS protest, and many other vices attributed to youths.

Olayinka Bolarinwa, a social critic, said Nigerian youths have been neglected for a long while, besides, they have been grossly brutalised by the police force and other related uniformed personnel which was the reason they protested in 2020 and are set for another showdown.

“The youths have values for security and believe that there is a need to put an end to all manners of discriminations going on in Nigeria, and to foster unity in order to move the country forward,” he said.

Bolarinwa regretted the level of discrimination in the land which cuts across social strata and ethnicities in Nigeria.

“This was not the Nigeria handed over to our indigenous leaders in 1960 by the British colonial masters. Our leaders and various arms of government have raped our country, and this must be called to a stop,” he said.

Amadi Bright, a public servant disclosed to BusinessDay that the youths are not as bad as being painted but rather that the governments are shielding away from their responsibilities.

“Nigerian youths are advocates for justice, opposing acts of criminality and abuses of power, and calling for reforms that will maintain the rule of law and ensure high-quality governance,” he stated.

Delphine Haruna, a student, believes there is a need for the government to look into the funding of the education sector and retool the curriculum to help product graduates who will fit into the modern labour market.

“Bearing in mind the value and importance of education, youths want all Nigerians to be able to realise their potential by acquiring the right skills and knowledge, both by widening access to schools and universities and by developing curricula, teaching methods, and practices that are fit for purpose and adapted to the life experiences of young people today,” she said.

Richard Udoh believes if the leaders could adopt policies that will lead to a new leaf in the way of doing things by embracing soft security as against hard security. This he said they could do by providing enabling environments for the youths to excel.