By Azeez Kolawole Idris.
The Nigerian National Youth Policy defines youth as between 18-35 years of age. This age bracket and up to about fourty years of age has been thought and believed to be the most energetic and productive time of one’s life.
In most cases, most of investments in career, education and other pursuits occurs here and matures as the age goes further. Therefore, it could be said that whether to be a success or failure depends more on what is invested at the youth age.
Investments of concern ranges from education, trade, ethics, culture, traditions and security. All these kinds of investments are very important as they may make or mar the success of the future of youths.
Youths are the pillars of human capacity of any nation. They are also estimated to be about 35-40% of human population.
Youth population helps to drive the economy, leadership, development and major focus of global attention, perhaps because of the major saying “Youths are the leaders of tomorrow”.
However, it’s unfortunate, the level of criminality perpetrated by youths of this generation. This ranges from identity theft, kidnapping, armed robbery, drug trafficking, political thuggery, cultism, drug abuse, ritual killings, and most prominently, recent upsurge of the menace ‘yahoo plus’ which jeopardises fulfilment of the expected future ambition.
More importantly, the attention of all parents, guardians and institutions of learning must be called to the need to uphold our social ethics and values that our society has been robbed of, courtesy of the alarming level of moral decadence.
A lot of efforts could be geared towards redeeming the situation and make our youths the pride of our generation and generations yet unborn as the impact continues to seed more fruits of greatness.
The youths got it wrong when our social values and ethics began to yield low patronage and totally compromised. In the past, usually, youths engaged in activities, trade or education which guaranteed a promising future for them. However, recently, things turned around and the society celebrates and associates with luxury which has lured many youths into the idea of “make money-quick syndrome” forcing many to abandon their careers for all sorts of social vices.
High rate of unemployment may also be a risk factor but this has been greatly addressed by emerging trend of entrepreneurship and the harnessing of our agricultural potentials.
More so, the absence of good knowledge of culture is also a problem. Culture refers to the ways of life and beliefs of a particular group of people. Generation upon generation learn, inherit and respect it as their way of life. Major cultures of the world impart social values and ethics which makes the society a good place to live. For instance, almost all cultures forbids stealing, perhaps, because this act brings the thief and his family to ridicule, shame and disrepute. Host of other cultures also aim to prevent break down of law and order.
All these aforementioned are militating against a fulfilling and promising future for our youths. Consequently, once there is no basic requirement to lead a fulfilling and promising future, then the future is lost.
It is a common occurrence to see youths fail in public offices especially at this instance that they are needed to shine as young stars offering solutions to enormous challenges bedevilling our country because their education and exposure lack the ingredients of ethics and values required for such offices, hence the need to surmount it holistically.
This generation of youths are bad in governance and are doing more harm to this nation than the old breed of leaders. However, it should not be disputed that these old breed of leaders were Nigerian leaders in their 20s, 30s, and early 40s. Could it be that they were more patriotic than this generation of youths? Or because they hinged strongly to culture, social values and ethics?
More efforts must be geared towards redeeming the situation from religious houses, government, parents, guardians, institutions of learning (including schools) and individuals and regain a befitting society hinged on positive culture, social value system and ethics for our generation and generations yet unborn. So that the future in our hands as youths would be a promising one that could stand the test of time.
Azeez Kolawole Idris.
Argungu-based public affairs analyst, from Iseyin quarters of Oyo state.
DISCLAIMER: All views expressed on our opinion page are those of the writer and do not represent the position of INSIDER or any of its reporters/editors.