The 2021 Ramadan fast in Ilorin, capital of Kwara State, again brings to fore a salient and, indeed, impressive camaraderie and mature engagements that have now become new normals within the youth circle in the State.
Almost throughout the fasting period, it’s quite usual to see young people of different political backgrounds and even orientations converging to break breads together, either during the Iftars hosted by some of them or by stakeholders within the State. But the physical convergence was only an offshoot of the maturity already exhibited by many of these young people in some of the online fora, especially WhatsApp groups, where daily conversations happen about almost all subjects on the face of the earth.
It’s a daily occurrence to see conversations between and among Kwara’s young people on the social media tilted toward verbal fisticuffs, but these often end up in banters and jests that show glaring display of maturity and selfawareness. Even on occasions when they throw harsh and almost unbearable jokes at one another, the youths have proven not to take issues to heart and to treat matters that would ordinarily lead to strife as though they were some kind of comedy of wits.
The way and manner the observed friendliness and matured interaction happen across political divides is even more cheering. The other day, one of the young followers and staunch loyalist of former Senate President Bukola Saraki hosted youths in his house. Young people across all the major political parties in Kwara State where in attendance, sharing jokes and backslapping in a very convivial environment. Even the young Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Yakubu Danladi who belongs to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in the State graced the dinner hosted by his PDP brother.
There were many of such events that brought to fore the growing maturity and relationships devoid of emotions among Kwara youths. One of them was the Tafsir hosted by the APC youth influencer and a former student leader which brought together youths from all political parties. Another was the Iftar dinner hosted by the renowned banker and a former APC governorship aspirant.
The display of amazing sense of brotherhood and oneness by the youth of Kwara is not limited to the public space alone. Within the professional sphere, the team spirit and unity within the ranks of the online media practitioners in Kwara State dominated largely by young people is easily noticeable. Through their umbrella body, Association of Kwara Online Media Practitioners, ASKOMP, the young media influencers in the State have been able to show that even in business, a supportive relationship can replace the hitherto common strife and competition. This much was observed by no less a person than a former minister of youth and Sports, a man who more than anyone else understands the sort of cutthroat relationship that young people tend to have, when he hosted members of ASKOMP in his house. “Your biggest strength as young media practitioners in Kwara State is your unity and comradeship,” the former minister noted.
While it is hoped that the
entrenched mutual love and respect that currently pervade the youth circle in Kwara would endure, and that politics would not destroy what is no doubt becoming a captivating reference for young people elsewhere, it is also expected that the enlightened youth community would project the lessons in maturity to their less edifying brothers, especially on Facebook who still fight proxy wars for politicians, using gutter language and swear words as weapons.