Nigerian citizens bear their minds, nursing hopes of a great future
Sandra Odafe (student and entrepreneur, 23): A bright future of Nigeria cannot be accomplished without proper planning and strategizing. So I’m expecting the Nigerian government to focus more on the youth of the nearest future; I’m talking from 2017 and above. The government should devise ways of encouraging the youth to be self-dependent because these days there are no job opportunities, you have to create a means of livelihood for yourself instead of depending on salary. In order to achieve this, they should organize empowerment programs and concentrate more on the educational sector to better the economy. So that in a few years from now more jobs will be created, profiting ideas will emerge, production industries will be a norm in every state of the country and there would be a paradigm shift from what we are now to a brighter and hopeful tomorrow.
Joseph Adeniji (unemployed graduate, 26): First and foremost, every growing youth deserves to see the long awaited leaders of tomorrow being given the opportunity to serve in any small or little capacity in this country. I believe there should be zero tolerance to bribery and corruption, full support to encourage a struggled certificate and every youth’s expectance to see a developed country. The Buhari regime has what it takes but when the head spoils, the followers go berserk. In a civilized country like Nigeria, youths like myself wants to see a situation where a student who graduates from the university and goes for youth service are paid after which he/she is given allowances till a he reaches a particular point in time where he would be able to get on his feet. The future Nigeria I want to experience is one where there would be enough job opportunities and people will be given the full liberty to speak their mind without compromise.
Ayoka Ebere (student, 21): I pray Nigeria will have improved a great deal. For now, I am anticipating and the government to resolve this food crisis in Nigeria, because this recession in really eating deep into the hearts of Nigerians because we are suffering. The government should alleviate us from this suffering because it will lead to more crimes in the country and the government as well as the masses will suffer. I want the government to find a way to resolve this economic recession because everything is now expensive and people cannot afford two-square meal, people are giving out their children in exchange for food and this is a very poor report for a country like Nigeria. So, I am expecting the government to invest in our agriculture by doing it the right way so that those farmers who farm on a large scale will be able to make gain. Subsidy should be given to support them as well. They can’t say that we are all moving into agriculture when we still have our oil. The government should resolve the issue with the Niger delta avengers from there we would make massive improvement in the country and the Nigeria of the future I am hoping to see will start to suffice from now.
Victory Wilson (Teacher, 24): I am expecting Nigeria to be an agricultural country. We are blessed with loads of natural resources but we are not making good use of them, we are wasting them instead. In the nearest future, I want my country Nigeria to be able to export her own agricultural produce. We would exchange our agricultural products for information technology other countries would have to offer, thus binding our nation. Also, I want to see youths in power, leading this country. Since I became knowledgeable in my younger days we always sang ‘’we are the leaders of tomorrow’’ even at this present time, we are still told the same thing but its still the leaders of yesterday that keep ruling this country. The aged ones don’t want to leave power, the younger ones have no opportunity to take this country to greater heights and this is one of the major causes of a stagnant development of Nigeria. So, my future should be agro-based and free from advanced citizens in power.
Temi Olubiyi (Web designer, 28): I want to see a Nigeria where the gap between the rich and the poor is not so wide. I want a Nigeria of my dream, a Nigeria with greener pasture flowing with milk and honey, where people from other countries will run to Nigeria to seek solace. It should be a dream country for everyone, not minding the age, race, tribe or even gender. I don’t have to travel to America, Canada or the United Kingdom before I can achieve my dreams. I can achieve my dreams here. I want that Nigeria. I want a Nigeria where every citizen will be equal before the law; the rule of law should be practiced, there should be equal rights and no segregation or discrimination. Long Live Nigeria…
Joseph Agbakederi (civil servant): I want our leaders to put in place policies that will favour the common man. Human right has been abused on daily bases. Let the judiciary fight it so that our rights can be respected. Then coming to the Niger Delta, we want to see a situation whereby leaders elected will remember why they were elected to lead their people. They should look back home and see the needs of the people. For government agencies, there should be a process of continuity so that in areas where the previous administration did not do well, the present one will be able to continue from there.
Mrs. Bukola Onwamaka (Fitness Expert): Every child deserves good education, good health and good environment. No child is supposed to experience any form of child abuse or violence. But in this administration, we keep seeing cases of so many children living in poverty, no food for them to eat, no clothing and shelter.
In the Western world, it is rare to see any child going hungry. They make children no one priority, they, therefore, provide a place called Shelter, where those that have nothing to eat or live can come and stay. These countries have top-notch welfare scheme for their citizens, especially children.
It’s so common now to see young children getting raped by close relatives and neighbours. The government needs to adopt very strict punishment for s*x offenders, because sometimes these cases are swept under the carpet, especially if the offender is affluent. They also need to start making women and children’s Rights number one priority.
Mrs. Marcella Iyitor (Chief Executive Officer, Niche PR): Women and children’s rights are human rights. We must mainstream women issues in our highly polarised political debate. Looking at the place of women in the Muhammadu Buhari presidency, what is there to applaud? Women are still marginalised. After education, economic independence is a key weapon for emancipating Nigerian women. The corporate sector of Nigeria is important here. Our corporate sector should not be indifferent, but look at the micro-credit system for Bangladeshi women, which was introduced by Grameen Bank, as a model. If it can work almost miraculously in that high population enclave, it can work in Nigeria. However, the condition of women has not been static, but I must also state that in a truly empowered and rehumanised Nigerian woman, I see truly liberated Nigerian men. After 56 years, we can start the real change today.
Abosede Adeola Oyeleye (Executive Director, Children Emergency Relief Foundation, CERF): In spite of the increasing documented cases of violence on children and women, a lot is yet to be achieved in the area of bringing perpetrators to book. Policy, legislation and funding by the government to enhance the rights of women and children are inadequate. A critical and fundamental right for children is the right to life. The most Current Nigeria Demographic Health Survey (NDHS 2013), states that of the 7,028,000 yearly live births, 854, 000 die before their fifth birthday. One in every eight children dies before their fifth birthday. There should be greater sensitisation of children themselves about their rights to mitigate the abuse of children, which is on the rise. Due to the nature of some of our cultural inclinations that promote violence on women, policies should be adopted that will protect women more.
Cletus Momoh (unemployed graduate): My expectation has we mark 56th Independence Day… I like speaking positive even though we are experiencing hardship this year in the country. I wish our President Muhammadu Buhari good health and wisdom to pilot the affairs of the country. And again, I expect him to provide job opportunities for graduates roaming the streets without jobs. This will go a long way to reduce youth restiveness most especially here in Calabar South.