Nigerian Youths #ENDSARS demonstration
The images coming out of Nigeria relating to #ENDSARS movement in the past week show that Nigerian youths have run out of patient about injustice, insecurity, unemployment, police brutality, incessant killings, and above all their future uncertainty. As noted by Okafor, (2011), the Nigerian youths are not only a major part of the future of Nigeria nation but a “major stakeholder and useful resource” in building the Nigeria nation project.
Nigeria youth population and Unemployment rate
The Nigeria population is estimated at 200million of which the youths under the age of 35 represent about 60% of that population and some statistics show that the Nigerian youth population under 35 is about 70 to 80million. There is also the assumption that Nigerian youths are lazy, while at the same youths unemployment rate is as high as 50% in some states. As known, Nigerians or Nigerian youths have been on the disadvantage side from birth because they emerged from a country that has no value for its citizens’ wellbeing or development whatsoever.
Nigerian youths predicament
How can Nigerian youth become part of the “major stakeholder and a useful resource” in the Nigerian building project? when they are faced with government that has failed to invest in their education and development. How can Nigerian youths become a useful resource in the country’s growth? when they are faced with lack of good health care system, daily insecurity especially in the hands of the nation’s securities that are supposed to protect them. In fact, not to mention high corruptions from all levels of government apparatus of the nations, police brutality, insensitive youth killings, lack of opportunities for the youths to mention but a few.
Lack of infrastructure development
In spite of these observable predicaments faced by Nigerian youths,’ they are expected to stay quiet as if all is well, especially from the political class that has failed to provide the needed infrastructure, such as good roads, water, electricity, sanitation and security that could reduce the suffering of their citizens vis-a-vis the Nigerian youths.
Prevalent youth unemployment in Nigeria
Moreover, Nigeria is the only country I have seen whereby graduates or youths at the age of 30 have not had their first real employment. The prevalent youth unemployment in Nigeria has created negative implications for the country’s stability, security, and society harmony. Youth unemployment problem in Nigeria now seems beyond control and has produced “army of idle hands” resulting in increased poverty and high crime rate in Nigeria.
The #ENDSARS demonstration in Nigeria in the past week should be a warning sign to all. In particular, the Nigerian government, that Nigerian youths are not as lazy as once thought and their silent should not be seen as foolishness.
Finally, the #ENDSARS demonstration should also become one of the first steps for which Nigerian youths need to start to organise and demand reforms in all systems and levels of government of the Nigerian society. Only by so doing can Nigerian youths become “a useful resource” in the Nigerian nation-building project as well as have the dream country they deserve.
Dr. Constance Omokaro-Romanus Director: Prection Consultancy and Research Services (www.prection.com) Director of Operations www.latesttravelprices.com