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For some time now, I have engaged in extensive debates and discussions with other well-meaning Nigerian youths on different platforms, forums and meetings concerning the future of the Nigerian Youths. I am also involved in various youth advocacy schemes. I have read divergent articulated views on the challenges facing the Nigerian Youths today. However, in my quest for solution, I came across some poignant questions, revelations and conclusions which are unsurprisingly quite synonymous to the opinions of most people I have engaged on this topic.

First, I am able to deduce the blatant exploitation of the Nigerian Youths by the political class and the super-rich. A situation where Youths are lured during campaigns, used and dumped immediately after elections. These observations are particularly buttressed by the recent back-door recruitments of children of the rich and mighty into lucrative government agencies like the CBN, FIRS etc while the youths and children of the poor are left unemployed and hungry despite their huge contributions and efforts during the electioneering period.

Secondly, there is a deliberate system put in place to impede the Nigerian Youths from attaining full potentials. This process prevents young people from seeing themselves as potential assets to themselves, their communities, and society at large.

Thirdly, is the leadership question; Does Nigerian Youth have mentors? Is there a successive plan or strategy that will help the Nigerian Youth attain position of leadership tomorrow? Nigerian Youths are mostly celebrated abroad and not at home, why?

30 year old Dr. Ahmed Adamu is a perfect example of a Nigerian Youth being celebrated, exalted and sought-after in the diaspora, but while at home, the system deliberately hinders him from serving his Fatherland and thus hindering the Nigerian Youths and Nigerians from gaining from his wealth of experience. I kept wondering why President Buhari failed to appoint this youthful, erudite and congenial trailblazer Minister for Youths! Dr. Adamu is the immediate past Chairperson of the Common Wealth Youth Council, an umbrella organization representing over 1.2 billion young people in the Commonwealth. CYC is the largest and most efficiently coordinated youth organization in the world and our own Dr. Ahmed Adamu was the pioneer chairman!

It cannot be gainsaid, that the contemporary 21st century Nigerian Youth should be led by a leader who has capacity to initiate youth development and at the same time broadening youth’s participation in governance, politics and civic activism. This is exactly the kind of leadership style and quality exhibited by Dr. Adamu while he held sway as the Chairman of the Commonwealth Youth Council, yet upon return to Nigeria, Dr. Adamu has not been given the opportunity to serve.

Sadly, our current and past Ministers who supervise Youth’s Affairs have not shown capacity for positive youth development. In Nigeria, most often than not, persons who supervise affairs affecting youths are not they Youths themselves, in some cases, octogenarians are drafted for political conveniences to ‘lead’ the 21st Century Nigerian Youth! This scenario is best described as the use of “analogue equipment in a digital age”. With this kind of mindset, sure, we are bound to get a slow and very poor result. This type of system is also responsible for the dearth of innovative initiative and sustainable positive youth development strategies lacking in the country.

Are you looking for the major factor vitiating the positive growth of the Nigerian Youth? Are you looking for what is impeding him from attaining full potentials like his counterparts in other climes? Do you want to know the reason why the spirit of the Nigerian Youth is stifled? Those saddled with the responsibility of formulating policies that affects the Nigerian youths over the years are liable! They lack foresight, they are not proactive, and they have no positive policy for the Nigerian Youth- the only strategy they have is the deceitful and insincere appellation “Leaders of Tomorrow”. Which Tomorrow? When those who ruled this country 30 years ago are still in charge today!

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