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Who will save the ZazuZeh generation?

By Guardian Nigeria
20 January 2022   |   2:33 am
Some critics call them the denizens of the street, ragamuffins, social misfits and a bunch of lazy goons. In fact, this set of Nigerians are quick to blame the youth for the ever-escalating wave...

SIR: Some critics call them the denizens of the street, ragamuffins, social misfits and a bunch of lazy goons. In fact, this set of Nigerians are quick to blame the youth for the ever-escalating wave of crimes such as armed robbery, kidnapping for ransom, rape, cyber-crime and terrorism without asking ourselves if we, as the elders  have been there for them, or playing our parts, as at and when due.

To their traducers, therefore, one would ask if the perpetrators of the heinous crimes appear from Planet Mars or Jupiter? Don’t they have parents, teachers, pastors or Imams that should be the moral compass to guide them right? What about the various arms of government such as the executive, legislature and the judiciary? What about the local, state and Federal Governments? Have they acted as the father-figure to provide for their welfare and protect them against social and food insecurity as enshrined in Section 14,Sub section 2(b) of the 1999 Constitution, (as amended)? The answers are obvious.

How many portables are out there on the streets with brilliant and beautiful ideas but lack the Olamides to believe in them, encourage them and go further to provide them the enabling environment to be the best they could ever be?  How many of those ideas have been buried with the frustrated talents, some of who committed suicide? How many people out there would identify the roses in the midst of thorns and make meaning out of what others would consider as sheer gibberish.

After all, was Chinua Achebe’s ground-breaking novel, Things Fall Apart not severally rejected by some publishers in Britain back in 1957 and nearly got lost? Has it not eventually gained global attention as the most widely read book by an African author and sold over 20 million copies as well as translated into 60 languages? That is apart from being converted into a blockbuster movie.

Similarly, was Michael Jackson’s first effort at making the epoch-making ‘Thriller’ album not rejected by Quincy Jones, the producer and had to be reworked all over? But has it not gone ahead to sell some 70 million copies worldwide breaking several records?

Let us for a moment consider the mind-boggling and humungous sums of public funds serially siphoned to feather the nests of members of the political class ever since Nigeria’s political independence in 1960.Couldn’t that have maximally facilitated in providing quality education, sustainable food security, sound healthcare delivery and the enabling infrastructural environment to provide mass employment for the Nigerian youth?

But what have our set of political leaders-past and present-left for them? Decrepit infrastructure, epileptic power supply, lack of quality education and healthcare delivery; lack of jobs, lack of single-digit interest loans to kick-start their ideas and a huge debt profile of N35.465 trillion as at June 2021. Yet, the Federal Government has kept borrowing ever since. So, who will pay these debts?

Definitely, the ZazuZeh generation will have to battle with increase in electricity tariff, pump price of fuel, a volatile political climate, joblessness and the attendant hunger and anger on the streets. We should begin to see in our restless youth nothing but pure, priceless gold, diamonds and pearls, even if in their raw stage. All they need is to be identified, honed and polished to bring out the best in them. To achieve that, our political leaders should devolve the enormous resources at their disposal to identify the millions of potential portables and create the enabling environment for them to excel.
Ayo Oyoze Baje.

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