Opinion

Dreadful Future for Nigeria’s Children, By John Araka

The seemingly easiest way for young people to live their dream of affluence, abundance and comfort is, unfortunately, to resort to criminality. Although this is most unedifying, our uncaring society is to blame for the unpalatable option.

In a video that has gone viral, three boys, all below 15 years, were hanging around someone’s gate. When the owner of the compound asked what they were doing there, they said they were there to “hustle”. When asked what that meant, they boldly responded that they were looking for “yahoo, yahoo work^ to do.

This graphically shows the abysmal level that Nigeria has degenerated to. These young children, who are supposed to be among the leaders of tomorrow, have only one consuming and dangerous ambition of joining the fast growing ranks of the “yahoo, yahoo” criminals. These are groups of miscreants who use mysterious ways to get very rich overnight. Many of them, indeed, are millionaires for doing nothing concrete.

Prof Wole Soyinka, the Noble Laureate, once described his generation as a wasted one. Looking back now, that was the golden era of Nigeria. That was when children’s ambitions were to go to school, make good grades and end up in any of the prestigious universities or any other higher institutions of learning. They were determined to clinch academic laurels that would bring honour and pride to their families and communities as well as enhance their standard of living.

By the way, why should unemployed graduates, who wear worn out shoes and clothes as well as depend on their parents to get transportation fares, feed, buy bathing soap and even toothbrush, several years after leaving universities be anybody’s role model?

Then, too, neighbors who were medical doctors, engineers, journalists, accountants, lecturers, bankers, among others, were the role models of children. The reason was simple. These top professionals were the iconic personalities who drove good cars, lived in decent houses in the high-brow areas, wore the best dresses and shoes as well as eat sumptuous meals and sent their children to the best schools. And when the children graduated, they were sure of getting lucrative jobs on merit. They didn’t need to know a business guru, a parliamentarian, a governor or a top politician before getting employment.

Nowadays, those who graduated with even first class or acquired doctorates will count themselves lucky if they manage to get menial jobs in Nigeria. In fact they hardly get employment, unless they have godfathers who “know somebody who knows somebody else at the top.”

Education is, therefore, no longer attractive to the present young generation. This is more evident in the villages, the city slums and among the illiterates who populate the low socioeconomic class. Education is no more seen as a veritable ladder that a child of a poor man can use to climb from the dungeon of excruciating poverty to the alluring ambience of affluence associated with the middle class.

The question that many young people often ask these days is: why waste several years burning the midnight candle to acquire a chain of degrees or diplomas that will not improve their livelihoods, but would rather drive them deeper and deeper into frustration and despair due to joblessness which may linger on indefinitely? It is not uncommon to see millions of brilliant Nigerians, who graduated over five years ago, yet have not gotten any paid employment for one day. This is most disheartening.

The seemingly easiest way for young people to live their dream of affluence, abundance and comfort is, unfortunately, to resort to criminality. Although this is most unedifying, our uncaring society is to blame for the unpalatable option.

Read Also: The New Nigerian Tribe – Sen. Prof. Sola Adeyeye

Perhaps, the most common felony is the “yahoo, yahoo” which seems to trump kidnapping and armed robbery in terms of the quantum of money that accrues by merely pressing buttons on their phone or computer in the comfort of their home. No stress. Chances of getting arrested is remote. Even if apprehended, they would throw bundles of crisp naira notes at the law enforcement agents to buy their freedom. After all, did the immediate Prime Minister of Britain, Mr David Cameron, not describe Nigeria as “fantastically corrupt?”

The perpetrators of yahoo, yahoo, flaunt their wealth with reckless abandon. They live big. They are ostentatious. They drive the latest cars in town. They buy or build the most eye-catching mansions in their environment. They befriend the most beautiful and sophisticated ladies in their neighborhoods.

That simply explains why many young children, some in their teens, see them as their role models. Of course “who no like better thing eh?”

By the way, why should unemployed graduates, who wear worn out shoes and clothes as well as depend on their parents to get transportation fares, feed, buy bathing soap and even toothbrush, several years after leaving universities be anybody’s role model?

It is most heart-rending that our excessively corrupt and extremely incompetent leaders have foisted on us all a future that is mortgaged to the detriment of our children and grandchildren. It is not inconceivable that in no distant time, illiterate yahoo, yahoo boys with a lot of money to throw around will dominate the commanding heights of our sociopolitical life. There is the possibility of some of them eventually becoming our presidents, governors, council chairmen and parliamentarians. It is difficult to believe that an enormously endowed country like Nigeria can contemplate such a dreadful future for her future generations.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also
Close
Back to top button