Nige­ria youth, what can we do bet­ter?

Daily Trust - - OPINION -

My peo­ple use to say that; doc­tors can only pre­scribe treat­ment for ail­ments they un­der­stood.

Is sweet to know that youths are no longer #TooYoungToRun (to some ex­tent), so elec­tions are go­ing to be open races hence­forth. As a young per­son who seeks to reg­is­ter al­ter­na­tives, what will you do dif­fer­ently? What are your own ideas to pro­mote eco­nomic or so­cial de­vel­op­ment? And how much do you know about gov­er­nance sys­tem?

Now the an­swers to these ques­tions aren’t buried in well-crafted rhetoric. If they were, the APC lead ad­min­is­tra­tion would have solved all Nige­ria’s prob­lems by now. The an­swers are rather sub­jects of abun­dant in­for­ma­tion and deep knowl­edge of past and present, which help project a re­al­is­tic fu­ture.

Some­times in early 2016, a young busi­ness­man who had just be­come Kogi state gover­nor by chance was grant­ing his first in­ter­view. Hopes were high and peo­ple cheered as he dished out rhetoric, prom­ises and ideas of poli­cies. At the end of the in­ter­view, I shook my head and hung my hopes back in their wardrobes. The abysmal the­ory of lead­er­ship buried be­neath his ide­ol­ogy and his poor un­der­stand­ing the state’s chal­lenges was very dis­ap­point­ing. As duly ob­served, he took less than 5months to prove his in­com­pe­tency to the gen­eral pub­lic.

The moral of the story is that with an over­dose of power and de­fi­ciency of wis­dom, beau­ti­ful in­ten­tions can be­come evil plots; kind hearted he­roes can eas­ily be­come ruth­less vil­lains; and hum­ble pub­lic ser­vants can be­come the night­mare of their peo­ple.

This is ex­actly why as young peo­ple who crave pos­i­tive change, we must com­mit to un­der­stand those sys­tems or ide­olo­gies we seek to abol­ish. We must be on the hunt to fully digest the de­tails of why things went side­ways, be­fore at­tempt­ing to fix it. So many peo­ple with no­ble in­ten­tions had tried and failed woe­fully in the past due to in­suf­fi­cient knowl­edge and lack of un­der­stand­ing, we shouldn’t ply the same route.

Our na­tion’s fate is at stake and we can’t re­ally af­ford sec­ond chances. Sen­ti­ments and pas­sion are very good mo­ti­va­tions to a course, but knowl­edge, ob­jec­tiv­ity and cre­ativ­ity al­ways get the job done per­fectly. Be­fore you hate Obasanjo, be­fore you in­sult Jonathan, be­fore you kick against Buhari; pay at­ten­tion to their paths and fig­ure out their mis­takes. Only then can we rise above their lim­i­ta­tions.

The only way to be bet­ter than our past is by un­der­stand­ing and learn­ing from them.

Idris M. Kabir,

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