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A New Nigeria: Nigerian Youth as the Catalysts for Change

Much has been said about the harsh realities in Nigeria, and it seems that the average Nigerian has given up on the country. But, Nigerian youth have much to offer the country for a new Nigeria. It is now common lingo to say “this country no go better again,” “this country hard,” or the legendary lyrics by Idris Abdulkarim, “Nigeria Jagajaga, everything scatter scatter.” The fact still remains that Nigeria, to the global eye, looks to be run by a bunch of “know nothings.”

People who have overstayed in government, running down the country, making it look like a joke to the global frontier. One would believe that at each senate meeting, they open each seating with the phrase “what is the way backward” because it seems like the nation continues to drift into the dark ages, making it a subject of laughter and sarcastic outbursts when one speaks of a ”New Nigeria.”

The Possibility of a New Nigeria

The possibility of a New Nigeria seems bleak and impossible, in fact there now exists a school of thought that believes it will take another Noah’s ark and a greater flood to cleanse Nigeria of its ordeals. Some even believe the flood will never come because the flood gates to Nigeria would be sealed shut by militants and terrorist, and some even believe the ark would be sold and the proceeds shared at the top by the leaders.

It would be part of the national cake that never goes down to feed the masses. It is also possible for the flood gates to burst open because “Aba made” glue was used, but then the “Agberos” would take charge of the ark and sell tickets to the highest bidder. In the end the poor would just end up being eradicated because they chose to be part of the problem.

The Problem of Nigeria and Why We Need a New Nigeria

The problem of Nigeria is not just its leaders; the problem of Nigeria is the Nigerian. The mind of the average Nigerian has a tendency to be sincerely dubious without the thought of it being wrong or out of place. From various norms and terms like “African time” for lateness, “na Naija we dey o” when one wants to normalize or justify an inappropriate action or inaction. What is considered basically civil, like proper disposal of trash in a bin instead of tossing it to the open environment, which tends have ripple effects on the environment.

Most Nigerians don’t even know about global warming, some who do, are nonchalant and careless on the subject because they are more concerned about trying to make ends meet and feeding. Nigeria is functioning in a vicious cycle of terrible masses electing terrible leaders who make life harder for the masses thereby making them even more terrible and the cycle continues to go on and on reaching the state we presently find ourselves.

The #ENDSARS movement was the last most significant reaction by Nigeria youth, though a gruesome series of events, it sparked a hope in the possibility of a New Nigeria. Young people all over Nigeria united under one mind set stronger than the Nigerian syndrome of being selfish and self-centered, not wanting to cross the government. The #ENDSARS movement was just a tip of what the enlightened Nigeria youth can achieve. It ended bloody but amidst the blood one can trace roles the young people in Nigeria can play to ensure the birthing of a New Nigeria.—and there are significant roles the Nigerian youth can play in birthing a New Nigeria.

Nigerian Youth as the Catalysts for Change

First, Nigerian youth have an extraordinary way of making things go viral. They function like a virus that once it infects its host has the capacity to override the host’s normal activities. Nigerian youth have that power; with the magical tool of social media one can easily sell a good cause to the masses. The #ENDSARS movement was a success because the Youth took it as a personal yet collective fight against bad governance and responded with a mass turn out during protests. Much is to be expected if the same spirit can be caught by Nigerian youth to stand as patriots for any cause. Much exploits can be anticipated.

Secondly, taking a step further, if Nigerian youth would be more mindful towards self-education and capacity building instead of just relying on expired curriculums in institutions that are on strike most of the time, there will be a significant shift in mind sets and expectations. The widened horizon of any average Nigerian youth has the capacity to birth outstanding innovations, solutions and possibilities. The adaptive nature of a Nigerian globally, makes a Nigerian the best persona to solve Nigerian problems.

Nigerian Youth in Politics

Thirdly, if Nigerian youth cannot impeach or eject corrupt leaders out of office, they can prepare for the aftermaths of their leaders funeral. There is no elixir of immortality and it is certain that every human on earth has an expiration date hence the need to prepare the replacements.

Nigeria might not be the best place to pick ideal mentors in leadership but there are exceptions. There is a need for Nigerian youth to pick leadership mentors in their locale and internationally to strike a balance when it comes to addressing Nigerian issues. The older ruling generation will most definitely die off; hence the need for Nigerian youth to build strong networks, hubs, and leadership forums that will birth potential Nigerian leaders who can right the wrongs of the leaders of the past.

There is hope for a New Nigeria, but it does not lie at the top. It is in the grassroots along with all the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of the Nigerian youth. Only when nurtured can these spark the much-needed wildfire of change.

Final Thoughts on Nigerian Youth and a New Nigeria

I believe there is a bright future for Nigeria. We have a lot to overcome including corruption, but Nigerian youth will play a large role in shaping the future of the country. Hopefully we all take this responsibility seriously and create a positive new Nigeria.

Youth of Nigeria: Reshaping the Country for the Future

Ruth Simon Lamiya

Ruth Simon Lamiya is a writer and spoken word poet. She enjoys inspiring people through her writing and speech. She believes in being a fire lighter to people to always be the best version of themselves. She is currently a part time YouTuber, writer, editor, self development advocate and peace ambassador. She can be reached through