THIS minute, Nigeria’s youths enjoy patronage by external forces, who see us as pliant objects, sad wrecks of civilization modifiable by buffeting nature.
In truth, many among us carry on like survivors of dystopia, whose ethical thinning manifests by pitiless experience. We seem weathered like driftwood yet helpless amid familiar and unfamiliar storms.
Consequently, predatory forces from abroad comprising shady media, political and non-governmental organisations have emerged to “help” us. As a necessary ruse of rescue, they have sunk their fangs into the flesh of Nigeria’s youth via poisonous patronage.
These external actors wield toxic news agenda, diplomatic intervention and dark psyops streamlined to foster bigotries and rage of disgruntled, impoverished segments of Nigeria’s youth divide.
They will keep desensitising the youth to guiltless rage and incendiary politics as long as it fulfills their preferred narratives about Nigeria – a hideous agenda to accelerate the country’s self-destruct.
The ill-fated Arab springs must, however, serve as a reproach to the country’s youth. Nobody could love Nigeria more than Nigerians hence our need for caution in accepting and celebrating help from abroad.
Libya, Syria, Egypt, Sudan, Iraq, would tow a different path today, had they a second chance. They would shun their western patrons’ gift of ‘democracy’ and ‘freedoms’ if they could turn back the hands of time.
Basking in the attention and patronage by external forces from Europe and America, the nation’s youth currently feel dignified, but in truth, they are being paralysed.
They are being goaded into a melancholy state of contraction from which there is no escape through action. Every action they had been incited to take against their oppressors in the ruling class, for instance, has manifested as actions against self, the collective good, and the future of the Nigerian State. Think #EndSARS.
Now that the consequences of their previous actions and rage have begun to manifest, they retreat into the wormhole of fear. However, they have taken the battle to social media: the threshing ground of separatists, hoodlums, maniacs, cowards, and all shades of patriot.
In the physical public arena, the youth has been reduced to only passive responses: fortitude and endurance. But in their new-found battle zones on social media, they parade as warriors and fearless patriots.
The failure of the #EndSARS protest and its inability to birth a political movement anchored on the progressive dreams of youth, public service and patriotism, stemmed from its protagonists’ directionless and acquiescence to the dystopic visions of their sponsors at home and abroad.
Eventually, they built what was supposed to be a liberating movement into a national threat; they turned the protest arenas into forbidden open spaces, an agoraphobic wasteland.
As the protests snowballed into chaos, the world waited with bated breath, the usual culprits especially – known for marketing arms and ammunition to warring factions in exchange for plundering the affected countries’ natural resources, among other crimes.
This minute, external predators offer to help tell our story and protect us from the oppressive oligarchs. The youth mistake this for love. But it’s a love that would goad them to untimely death and desiccate their flesh; a love that would raise their hopes only to crush them to skeletal deficiency of being.
At the backdrop of this plot, it is scary to see the tenor of rage being hurled about on social media, mostly by the youths. Many profess love for country but in truth, their passions manifest crude iniquities, distressing orientations, negative energy clusters, and abraded grief, all fostered by loss, poverty, and unbearable gloom.
The contemporary youth manifest as Nigeria’s secret fear. They are what is left when the oppressive oligarchs are done devouring Nigeria, the dry bones they picked over after they looted and wolfed down our collective harvest.
Of course, nationalist consciousness still thrives, but images of the self and the collective good have gotten smaller; corrupted to be precise. Yet our youthful patriots preach and provide healing but with palsied hands.
Their versions of love and healing fail to fill the space vacated by leadership, religion, and society because they are products of a dysfunctional social unit, the Nigerian family. The family despite its historical repute and value as the core and most significant social unit is under severe attack in Nigeria – as in all climes. But this is a discussion for another day.
If there is a revolutionary dialectic in Nigeria, it is in the tension between individual and self. But this is often mistaken for tension between individual and state, individual and groups, individual and the system, individual and the almighty Nigerian factor.
The real battle is between individual and self. The dutiful patriot must discipline and restrain himself. Seasoned with miseries and deathly solemnities foisted upon him by governance failure and an oppressive political class, he mistakes his battle with external elements and forces of oppression as his life’s purpose.
In tackling them, he yields to that innate lust that ignites the heart towards selfish pursuits. He scoffs at posterity and ancestral dreams. Private lust wins over the public good, flaming up in Nigeria’s funeral pyre.
To attain true progress, the youth must free themselves from innate and external shackles of thought and action. They must understand that the oligarchs make the compromised youth leader their consort, that the latter might, in turn, mislead the youths to sabotage self and state.
To rebuild Nigeria, I reiterate, that the youth must seek legitimate participation in the political process. They must seize the moment to regroup, adopt or establish a viable political party, duly registered, and founded on humane principles of nationhood, citizenship, and thought.
They must present through legitimate means, to the National Assembly, a request to normalise the use of the international passport, driver’s licence, national identity card, and BVN (for electronic ballot) as acceptable means of voting at the 2023 elections.
Of course, the political class will object to this given their penchant for hoarding voter’s cards to fulfill their election-rigging master-plans, but I reiterate that it’s worth starting the debate over that.
They must unite with societal segments they hitherto ignored and dismissed as too violent, too dumb, too compromised, and too wild, like the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), the trade unions, among others.
They must move to quash the oligarchic caste system that reduces several youths to political hooligans, arsonists, and assassins. They must initiate debates and deliberations spanning various fora, nationwide, whereby they would honestly thrash out crucial issues that aid the reduction of Nigeria’s youth to disposable social elements and cannon fodder for political violence.
They must eschew violence and the inclinations for hate-speech, and their synergies must be guided and adapted through an ad hoc and premeditated coordination in repelling moles, armed goons, and saboteurs, who would be sent to disrupt their rallies with tribal toxins, fake news, religious venom, and filthy lucre.
Then they must scorn poisonous interventions by countries whose major interest is to abolish our sovereignty, plunder our resources, and lay us bare.
We mustn’t forget how foreign media, governments, NGOs goaded Arabians to a scalding spring, only to desert them afterward. The same voices that incited them to carnage shut their borders against them claiming they were toxic refugees.