We have in the past been too prone to tyranny of mediocrity and bumbling arrogance of ignorance. Our efforts at halting our national economic cum political decline have fitted on the level of tokenism and cynical symbolism” – Dim Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu.
I, Comr Amos Kalu, decided to write this piece as advice to my fellow youths in Nigeria and of Igbo extract in particular. I have watched with trepidation at the helplessness of our youths in the affairs of our nation and I wonder if we are actually ready to become the leaders of today or are we still reminiscing on the mantra of “leaders of tomorrow” to which our collective future had so blatantly been sold to, killed, buried and mourned.
After “kabashing” and juggling in my mental dexterity, I am yet to find proof to excuse our youth for the problems and neglect we so much find ourselves in Nigeria, a project for which we are collective stakeholders but for which we have been balked to the corner only to play the second fiddle to the elders we so much blame for our woes.
Luckily, the National Assembly has thrown a challenge to the youths by amending some sensitive parts of our constitution to give the youths room to compete and contest against the elders. How ready are we?
For a while now, the awakening seems to have dawned on the youths who have birthed many youth bodies, a right step in the right direction. But at a close analysis of the situation existent in most of these groups with respect to power tussle, one begins to wonder why the youths had always blamed the elders for being their problem when indeed they are their own worst enemies.
Permit me to break it down a little with a few examples. I read a piece from one Comr. Okwudili Victor, who happens to be the southeast Coordinator of a very vibrant youth Association known as YLAN. The artistry and glamour he employed to describe overthrow, rancor, in-fighting, and haggling for leadership positions make one wonder what they are actually trying to change if they are already more entangled by the same “Snail that killed their fathers. They still have the same snail in their hands. Does it mean they are not afraid of death?”
In the said article he published on the YLAN Whatapp group, he blamed Orji Uzor Kalu for hijacking Ebonyi State YLAN and he also did a lot of rigmarole to justify their failure as youth leaders who could not take their eyes off the “Bull Mark – Money”.
You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.” —Woodrow Wilson
Leadership is not by taking up a position of loathing some people for personal reasons. Leadership is about the ability to balance issues and achieve a continuum for which you will stand as a mediator in the state of affairs that concerns you and the people around you.
I was believing that the youths of Igbo extraction should grow above the mediocre political jobbing of camp A and camp B, but should stand up for what they believe is. We should support all the government efforts at bettering the lives of the people and point them out to any area they overlooked because knowledge is not complete.
I am still wondering till infinity what we have achieved through the political infighting that has continued to hinder our elders from forming a common political front that will enable them to influence politics in Nigeria. Bad as it is, same cancer bedeviling our elders is gradually eating up our system as youths. Either we cure it at diagnosis or it kills us in blossom.
“Don’t follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you.” —Margaret Thatcher
Comrade Amos Kalu is the Media and Publicity Secretary of the Young Leaders Association of Nigeria (YLAN), Abia State Chapter.