If Nigeria’s younger are timid, tractable and apathetic to financial and political problems affecting their nation blame the anvil on which they’re cast. The federal government, the formative colleges, the schools and the predatory politics – all are the forgers of as of late’s early life. A device which lobotomises the younger from nascency has already denied them no longer handiest the power to emote, assume, act, but in addition the facility to talk up for themselves, combat for his or her rights and shield themselves.
There was once a time in Nigeria when the early life held the castle. They have been unbending to the caprices of the army and to the stimuli of concern and avarice. I can cite two epochs for emphasis – the crack of dawn of Segun Okeowo, the provocateur of the Ali Should Cross rebellion of 1978, and the nightfall of Omoyele Sowore – the trenchant voice of the June 12 fight.
In April 1978, the ministry of training led by means of Ahmadu Ali introduced an increment of 50 kobo (from N1:50 to N2:00) to the price of the day by day meal of scholars. However the Nationwide Union of Nigerian Scholars (NUNS) led by means of Okeowo won’t have it down its throat with out some justification. The union requested the ministry to revert to the established order, but it surely balked transferring duty to the superb army ruling council. A head-to-head was once inevitable.
Scholars poured into the streets to press house their calls for however gained police bullets as rejoinders. 8 scholars have been reportedly killed. However this didn’t forestall the righteous motion which engulfed all the nation. The early life held their flooring. They made their remark and their energy was once felt by means of the army executive. I name this epoch the crack of dawn of sweet sixteen activism in Nigeria.
Most effective 50 kobo build up in the price of day by day foods for college kids actuated a national rise up. However as of late, what has modified? I can provide an explanation for. Our formative colleges and universities are now not centres of vital finding out. They’re now robotic factories the place any person who is going in as human comes out as a device with flesh – crushed, damaged, pliable and malleable. The mold from which the like of Wole Soyinka was once formed on the College of Ibadan which made him assertive and bold has lengthy been smashed to smithereens.
College administrations in cahoots with scourges within the best realm of presidency have over time sterilised pupil unionism. Pupil leaders now not constitute their constituencies however the faculty management which maximum instances make a selection them. Scholars are stampeded out of explanation why and seized of the facility of impartial idea and significant considering. They’re suggested to parrot regardless of the lecturer and the college say. In reality, the strategies of a few universities as of late don’t seem to be far away from focus camps – handiest that there are not any gasoline chambers.
One more reason why we have now a soluble early life inhabitants is our predatory politics. I consider pupil unionism was once corrupted from 1999. Formative years activism as we comprehend it ended with the epoch of Sowore and the June 12 fight. It’s the explanation why I regard it because the nightfall of pupil unionism.
The Nationwide Affiliation of Nigerian Scholars (NANS) is now a membership of guys combating middle-age disaster. The affiliation is, in reality, a bankruptcy of any ruling birthday party of the day. It’s totally porous of concepts and highbrow grit. There is not any colour of distinction between as of late’s NANS and the Nationwide Union of Highway Shipping Staff (NURTW) – led by means of MC Oluomo. NANS handiest prospers for its sheer trade of violence and capability for noise.
Individuals of NANS management are living just like the quotidian Nigerian flesh presser in unearned luxurious, coursing via towns and cities in convoys labelled with self-importance plates. The top of pupil unionism ensued with the meddling of the political elegance. Agitators changed into one with the oppressors.
Essentially, if there was once to be a revolution in Nigeria; it might no longer come from the BBNaija-loving Nigerian early life on social media. They’re already seized of the psychological alacrity for motion. I consider the most important rebellion within the nation will come from hard-pressed younger Nigerians insulated from the disempowering instructional device and its corollaries. It’ll come from boys at the streets like we witnessed in Katsina when some protesters burnt the billboard of President Muhammadu Buhari.
I hate to mention it, however Nigeria’s revolution (protests for exchange) lies within the arms of the Almajiris – even if they themselves are exploited for political positive aspects. However they’re the outliers of the device. It’s the explanation why I see no level haranguing younger other people taken over by means of the truth display — BBNaija. They’re sufferers of the location themselves.
And why am I mulling protests for exchange in Nigeria? With the stunning revelations from the NDDC probe and the mindboggling disclosure of sleaze throughout all sectors of the economic system, I consider we can not make any growth as a rustic this manner. One thing will have to give.
It’ll occur. That vary that Nigerians search will come at the hands of the forgotten.
Fredrick Nwabufo is a author and journalist