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The Nigerian youth is not clamouring to be included in the scheme of things because he is dissatisfied with the state of affairs and earnestly desires to engender changes. That is not his motive. He is coming because he feels
that it is time for a younger person to “eat the money “. He is coming to continue an old sin with modern sophistication. To develop rounder and more shinning pot belly as public patrimony is guzzled. Forget his outward, superficial posturing as the firebrand inspired to reshape our political edifice. In Nigeria, the elders have eaten sore grape and the children’s teeth are inevitably set on the edge. On the strength of this indubitable fact, I would be glad if he could be frank about his motives. If he could stop affronting our collective intelligence with these windy moralising and halfhearted pontifications.
Let him follow the Kenyan example and be blunt. There was this Kenyan man who aspired to the state house of assembly. He was 30. His campaign slogan traveled viral for its honest hilarity. In his poster, this young Kenyan wrote ” It is time for another man to eat the money ” . I convulsed with laughter seeing that slogan. But with deeper reflection, I was compelled to salute his frankness. He did not try to sugarcoat and sell any new philosophy. He did not treat anybody to any newfangled and roundabout logic. He unpretentiously disclosed his intention. Had I franchise in that election, I would have gone for the devil I know.
Unlike the honest young man from Kenya, the Nigerian youth would like to get into power riding on the crest of pious fraud and by variously demonizing the older generation. I get infinitely miffed each time I read a young Nigerian make such remark as ” these old rogues messing up with our destiny “.
Is the young Nigerian different from the ” old rogues”? To find an answer you need a trip to our institutions of higher learning. While on the journey, pause and observe the mock politics that students play on campus. Their understanding of politics is not different from one ” grab and run game”. They fall upon each other with all the desperation of dogs competing for a piece of bone.
While in the University, there was this young man who presented himself as a speckless saint. Like the conventional Nigerian politician, he made wild and unbelievable promises. Students were fooled en masse. He was given a landslide victory. As the perks of his office flowed in, his taste and style changed dramatically. He began to wear the swankiest wrist watch. Moved into a new and more posh apartment. Began to habitually trot a briefcase, part of his new trappings of state. It was with a mixture of consternation and amusement that we watched our friend’s pot belly show up to crown it all. It was not long before his subordinates who felt shortchanged in the looting-fest were seen ferreting the neighborhood for him, armed with broken bottles and rage. Most recently, while ASUU was on strike, functionaries of the SUG in Awolowo’s Uni divided their own loot with dangerous weapons.
When PMB began this discredited anti-corruption crusade, mind-blowing revelations tickled in daily. It was at that point when Sambo Dasuki was naming names. We would wake up every morning to fresh and wilder pieces of corruption news that made us trivialize or even forget those of the previous day. One day a friend shook his head sadly and told me that the politicians being exposed are fools. I expected him to call them callous and conscienceless. Those were the then commonest qualifiers. The mischievous look in his eyes made it flash upon me that I was to know a new dimension to the way we regarded the fingered men. Still shaking his head, he said: ” Okike, they are fools. Idiots. Simple. Look Okike, I can steal a trillion dollars and no one would find out “. I was nonplussed.
It is still the young Nigerian that daily hit the street to march for infamous causes. If he was not protesting for the bank accounts of corrupt politicians to be defreezed, he was marching in solidarity with a government that has no value for human rights. He was always backing the monster from either side. I doubt if he would be different from the monster.
I’m certain that you’ve not seen a public lecture organized by young Nigerians steering Okey Ndibe, Femi Aribisala, Pius Adesanmi and numerous other honest crusaders for social justice; but I’ve not the smallest grain of doubt that you’ve heard of or even witnessed hundreds of such lectures featuring Ali Modu Sheriff, Buruji Kashamu and their bedfellows. The young Nigerian is a rotten-minded lot jostling for a space to showcase his dexterity in criminality…