Author: Pelumi Olajengbesi Esq.
There is no universally accepted definition of youth, however for the purpose of this discuss, a youth can be defined as a period of transition from independence of childhood to adulthood. It can also be defined as a special group of people with such stamina and passion for realizing goals and objectives.
Youths are like the backbone of a nation and have the propensity to change the dynamics so as to have a progressive society. Any nation that must excell must take advantage our her youth population and productivity. Nigeria can be a great place, if the youth of Nigeria will see themselves as a critical stakeholder in Nigeria project. Unfortunately, available indices made it clear that the attention of our youths has not been sufficiently channelled into Nation building and more needs to be done in setting the right agenda.
What is the Right Agenda?
Youths are the nation’s strength; their characteristic energy and capabilities supports the body politic. They also form a sensitive age group that habour dreams for important social changes which engineers growth and development. This will be worthless when it is not put work for self and national advancement.
According to the Nigeria 2006 census the youthful population constituted over 70% of its population, this is of no doubt that the quantum of population is of great asset to the Nigerian state. Youths are fighters, their voices have been heard in societal issues such as equality, bullying, unemployment, exploitation, poverty and other problems the world faces today. Despite that, what are the challenges. I have encapsulated and the solutions into four items
National Value System
There is a misplaced educational priority goals in the country which must be addressed for our society to be able to produce functional and useful citizens throughour School system. Alot of young people are either not having education at all or poorly educated.
Education is most important goal of a nation. When education fails the nation had failed. Government must give premium attention to offering best education to the our generation. Our curriculum must be designed to address lots of problems battling with the Country.
National Value System:
There is apparent decay in the Nigeria value system as a people. Nigeria is gradually turning into a jungle where people desperately want to make money without what will be the implication on our society.
Poverty has remained one of the most dangerous attack on humanity and weapon of the political class to constantly subjugate the people. Poverty is evil. It is no doubt that a larger population of the Nigeria people are poor which continue to serve has impediment in having to quality education, social and political exclusion, multiple forms of discrimination and limited employment prospects and opportunities. Until poverty is banished, Nigeria may not witness any meaningful turn around.
Many youths in Nigeria have remained politically active through “political movement” instead of engaging in political parties, young men and women are active politically in universities but very often disillusioned with political leadership and political institutions thus excluded from policy development.
The Nigerian youths campaigned for “Not too young to run bill” in July the Nigerian senate and House of Representatives passed a constitutional amendment that reduced the age of running for president from 40 years to 35 years and governorship positions from 35 years to 30 years, but the price of the forms were ridiculously expensive that it was tagged “Too poor to rule “ the assumption was that they had to have Godfathers who would support them financially, this further discouraged Nigerian youths from politics.
The general presumption of the country is that youths do not have the sufficient knowledge to go into that field which is demeaning. In order to guarantee a drastic change in governance young people’s active and meaningful participation is of crucial importance.
There has never been a greater time In history were a person could reach millions of people around the world, social media platform such as Instagram and Twitter can create massive social awareness, it would make people familiar with events and in learning new ways to solve national crisis, through social media a person can launch awareness and advocacy campaigns for the eradication of social evils from the country.
Youths can develop the country through their physical strength such as farming and sports.
Sports could be a diplomatic bridge to peace and a vehicle for hearing political and cultural rifts among communities.
Records shows that the Australian youths used sport as a vehicle to contribute to targeted development, they had committed $49 million to development, through sports programs the money was used to identify non communicable diseases prevention and enhancing people with disabilities as a priority area. Prakash Gupta said that sports was a catalyst that brought international community together.
When Nigeria was witnessing greater tension it was more important for the sports team to foster greater solidarity to foster unity amongst other countries and to overcome national and international enmity it also overcame discrimination on the basis of race, religion and disability.
Educating the youth is a fundamental aspect that would boost the economy towards growth and sustainability of the country. Education to the youths is like a soul to the body it provides for social and political enrichment of the country. The government should also provide sports equipment so as to facilitate the youths involvement. they should also reduce the prices of the forms to make it more realistic for the youths to be actively involved. They government should also provide youth empowerment program so as to improve behavior, increased self esteem and increased self efficacy.
In conclusion the role of the youth in building and setting the right agenda is crucial as they are problem solver having influence over other young people, with extreme ambitious characteristic However,they would not be able to do this without the support of the government and other youths to create a better Nigeria.