• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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BusinessDay

Nigeria’s future and the danger of intolerant youths

Nigeria needs to secure the future of youths today

It is often said that if any country should have the taste of per minute troubles like Nigeria, it will collapse with a speed of light. That being said, the future of Nigeria is still dangling with the dangers of the uninformed lads across the length and breadth of the country.

Having access to information ought to be an added advantage to a number of people but unfortunately, that has caused a seamless trouble for people of this country. In 2020, when some citizens in the course of a protest demanded for the reformation of the Nigeria Police, the level of heat received by the Nigerian government was so enormous. This ranged from the rigorous physical protest to online campaign in and outside the country.

While those campaigns were ongoing, a frontline EndSARS influencer (Doctor) who is based in UK wrote on his twitter page ‘I heard according to UN Constitution any protests that reaches 30days will make UN intervene in that country’ and that tweet with nearly twenty thousand retweet, contributed to the continuous and aggressive protest in Nigeria.

Surprisingly, none of the educated folks with access to the tweet could paste the message on google to authenticate the post. Although that wasn’t the first time misinformation and fake news would be spread in the country, the truth is that the magnitude of attacks the nation witnessed during the EndSARS protest and yet, survived was huge.

There is no law to the effect that one cannot choose or pick a side, be it at work, family or political gatherings, neither is this freedom of choice a crime

The question therefore is, can the nation continue to survive the numerous attacks from its citizen who are hell bent on enforcing their unfounded personal opinion on it?

In 1932, Bonnie Eizabeth Parker and Clyde Chestnut Barrow, well-known criminal couple started terrorising the towns in the United States of America by robbing, killing and maiming. They headed the popular gang robbery, stealing money and foods from banks, restaurants, gas stations etc.

They told the people a version of their story, convinced them that they robbed only from the rich and not the poor. Their activities and mayhem continued for two years and during that period, the people of America worshipped them, which made it more difficult for the government’s Special Task Force to locate them.

As a matter of fact, on a particular occasion when the couple went for shopping in one of the cities, the whole town came out rejoicing and hailed them until they left the town. Eventually, when the law caught up with them and they were killed, over fifty thousand American citizens attended the burial ceremony of the couple.

Clearly, Bonnie and Clyde were able to garner pity and fame from the people by taking advantage of the fact that America was going through depression in those years. This is similar to the situation in Nigeria which went through series of economic crisis from 2019 till earlier this year.

From a serious rise in inflation, Covid-19 pandemic to EndSARS protest, the country had battled with a whole lot of issues which made certain persons come out like saviours as Bonnie and Clyde did in America. One among many is the product marketing of the Labour party presidential candidate, Mr Peter who was sold as a new kid in the block. No doubt, Mr. Obi is eligible to contest the last general election.

However, if history is well researched, some of the quality ascribed to him should have been trashed. We should not forget that he was a two-term Governor of Anambra state under APGA before he cross-carpeted to the Peoples Democratic Party, where he was appointed as an Economic Adviser by the Goodluck Jonathan led administration.

Also, as at the time he indicated interest in the race, his name had not been cleared from the Pandora Paper. More interesting, at the one-year anniversary of Mr Charles Soludo, the Executive Governor of Anambra State, he mentioned that the same Anambra State which Mr. Obi governed is the erosion capital of the world and the state is shrinking due to the previous governments’ inability to construct perfect roads with drainages.

It should only be obvious to even a blind man that Mr. Obi appears cool and perfect on a face value whereas in reality, he is more like bad goods packaged and sold.

In the build up to the presidential election, some of the prominent religion leaders lend their voices in the campaign, for or against the current government. Pastor Poju Oyemade who happens to coordinate the yearly political discuss in the country via ‘The Platform’ had invited the candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Obi on countless occasions which made him a bit popular as some of his usual magical solutions to Nigeria penetrated the heart of his audience. In one of the events, Mr. Obi claimed that he wears only one wristwatch, which portrayed him as being economical and frugal.

The Platform afforded him a great deal of image branding for Mr. Obi but unfortunately, this could not continue late last year when the pastor made a personal observation on the political dynamics of Nigeria. Some of the pastor’s choice of words didn’t go down well with the uncontrolled mob garnered by the leading candidate.

Pastor Poju was verbally attacked, threatened and eventually bullied to delete those statements from his official twitter handle. Questions started to well up in the hearts of people who could think for themselves and those who aren’t swayed with the online rhetoric’s and biases on why people should be bullied for having a diverse opinion on issues.

Then, it went far more with various online attacks on the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Adeboye whom they insisted must make his political stance known otherwise he is automatically one of those responsible for the problems of the country.

Notwithstanding that the General Overseer ignored all the threats, the one of 20th February 2023 by a Jnr. Lambo who demanded that if the church doesn’t make a bold statement, he would remove sound equipment and lighting he donated to the church caught the attention of many.

Oftentimes, you will wonder if truly the country is a religious nation as being portrayed in the world. Research shows that the country has over 85 million Muslims and 80 million Christians, (that’s more than 82% of the country) worshiping God every weekend.

Read also: Nigeria’s total public debt hits N46.25trn

In about a week to the election, many Nigerians decide to come to the country to exercise their civil responsibility to vote since the National Assembly hasn’t passed the law to enable Nigerians in the diaspora to vote from their end. As Nigerians trooped into the country from different destinations to vote for their preferred candidates, many supporters of Mr. Obi went on to attack those who indicated on their page to vote for another candidate, wishing them bad luck on their journey etc. Celebrities like Olawale Brymo and Toyin Abraham were made to go through hell.

Then, you start questioning if any of the holy books teaches us to be that vile and wicked against one another. One can truly imagine if some citizens of this country aren’t anarchist, with the ways and manners they address issues. Amazingly, there is no law to the effect that one cannot choose or pick a side, be it at work, family or political gatherings, neither is this freedom of choice a crime.

As funny as it may sound, the overzealousness and flagitious actions of the young people can be excused but what could be said of elder statesmen? It was a bit shocking to everyone when Chief Ezeife Chuckwuemeka made a bold statement on Arise TV that the President-Elect won’t be sworn in on May 29.

In fact, it took the intervention of the TV host for him to retract his statement. We cannot continue to live in a country where everyone issued threat on issues they feel not satisfied with, when alternatives methods are multitudinous.

Obviously, we can’t have a peaceful nation when the elders in our society who ought to direct the young ones on a better path are already entrenched in bigotry and hate. Now, the anger in the land has been systematically built over the years with only the exclusion to a weapon, which is like holding the nation from exploding from within.

The question then is, if our citizens ignore the message from the revered men of God and other sane elders but only listen to the hate poured out from some elders, where do we go from here? The painful part is that the hate inside some Nigerians within and outside the country continues to fester because how do you explain the cases of citizens of this country who had relocated more than a decade and are happy funding insurrection in the country?

Where do we go from there? What are the chances that Nigeria will continue to survive this internal attacks from its unpatriotic citizens who are hell bent on seeing things only through their prism but none other person. How do we wake up the brilliance and curiosity of every Nigerians to verify fakes news which they can smell on their own.

One would think that the ‘Change Begins with Me’ campaign the introduced by the Ministry of Information in 2016 would go a long way in addressing this. However, the implementation was a bit shoddy. It therefore seems the government needs to get back to the drawing table, to enlighten its citizens on crucial responsibilities for a greater Nigeria.