While some of us have been busy talking about the Nigeria of today, I wonder if we have spared a thought about how this country will be in the next twenty five years. On October 1, 1979, when Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari was sworn-in as the Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan was just a 22 year-old undergraduate of University of Port-Harcourt. Shagari was 54 years old. Ayo Fayose was 19 years old. Bukola Saraki was 17. And Yemi Osinbanjo was 22.
The generation of the likes of Shagari, Richard Akinjide, Adisa Akinloye, Sabo Barkin Zuwo, Sam Mbakwe, Jim Ifeanyichukwu Nwobodo, Ume Ezeoke, Christian Onoh, Akin Omoboriowo, Olusola Saraki, Sunday Awoniyi, Garba Nadama, Awal Ibrahim and so on has gone for good! Some of our brothers and fathers in their 40s, 50s and 60s now, were in school then, either in the university or secondary school. They had lofty dreams, both personal and societal.
They were always motivated by nationalists and inventors who had impacted positively on the cause of humanity. They were voracious readers of novels and other books. Nelkon for their Ordinary Level Physics, Lambert for Chemistry, B.O Adeleke and Goh Cheng Leong for their Geography. They had Phebean Ogundipe for Practical English, William Shakespeare, Chinua Achebe, Cyprian Ekwensi, Ola Rotimi and Wole Soyinka for Literature and others like that.
They were always flaunting their knowledge of current affairs. Inter-school quiz, literary and debating competitions were the in-thing. Nowadays, students can hardly string a sentence together in English without errors. Fast forward 35 years on and you will be shocked and disturbed. Have you ever spoken to or engaged a 20 year-old boy? Ask him what motivates him and he is likely to mention music, hip hop to be precise. He has hundreds of downloaded songs on his phone.
He can sing all of them off hand. He knows all the singles of Nice, Naeto C, Timaya, Davido, Whiz Kid, off hand. The babes among them take pride in enticing men old enough to be their fathers on social media with seductive physiques. But they don’t know anything about history of nationalism in the country. Ideas about good society, responsible family and good conduct do not motivate them. They just want to make money because that is what the society has engraved in them.
The men are after money by all means because their friend who is into online illegal business is riding a good car and living a large life. The ladies are also fucking their fathers’ mate and riding good cars. The things that interest the contemporary Nigerian youths are things that do not add value. They have google but they never use it for the advancement of knowledge but to download pornographic videos and other inanities. Yet, in twenty years time, they are the ones that will be contesting to become governors, senators, and even president.
We youths belong to a generation that does not care about morality. We belong to a generation that is motivated only by money and its acquisition. By 2035 to 2040, some of us will be senators, governors and so on. I wonder if we have ever spared a thought for how this country will look like under us. Those who are presently ruling Nigeria have failed us already. They have proven themselves to be irresponsible. They have told us many times that we cannot trust them with our lives and properties. Now that they have failed us, will this continue?