IN his Christmas day remarks, Governor Rochas Okorocha peppered his speech with sentiments that were quite repugnant and hence must be repudiated. He argued in his statement that “leaders cannot afford to hand over to the next generation”. As ignominious as his assertions are, we are condemned to being held captive by such antiquarian ideas owing to our collective silence and daming inertia.
Will the destiny of this nation be determined continuously by the clay footed class of 1966 and their equally clueless surrogates?
Governor Rochas hints at the lack of capacity from younger Nigerians to govern effectively forgetting that he and his sit-tight political elite have bastardised the fortunes of this nation leaving us as at this morning with 18 million young Nigerians unemployed or under employed.
If we were to score Governor Rochas’s administration, notorious for owing salaries, refusal to pay pensioners, white elephant projects, subversion of local government councils, flagrant disregard for court orders and a lack of inventiveness, it will be clear to all that for so long, the tail has been wagging the dog.
But for Nigeria where folly is applauded and simpletons ride on royal horses, a man who liters his state with photographs and billboards of him and the American president, when young Nigerians like Jaiyeoba, Tobiloba Ajayi, and their likes have met with Obama due to their altruistic and tremendous works without any fanfare of sort, should hardly be taken seriously.
I strongly believe that the boisterous future of this great country is domiciled in the hands of a younger generation with brave ideas and a new kind of thinking that profers witty solutions to complex problems. It is young Nigerians like Gbenga Sesan, who via his paradigm initiative platform has given ICT education to thousands of young Nigerians who could not just afford a computer but probably have not seen one.
It is the tremendous courage of Bosun Tijani and Femi Longe, who against all odds are building a vibrant local ecosystem via their co-creation hub platform, that even attracted Billoniare Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to Yaba, that give young tech start-ups not just hope but funding to actualise their dreams.
Whether it is Bikiss Adebiyi and her brilliant Wecyclers initiative or Fisayo Soyombo’s incredible feats in journalism, young Nigerians are proving their worth even in areas where government have clearly failed.
Dear young Nigerian and fellow compatriot, I urge you to brace yourself, for in 2019 we shall and must end the reign of the class of 1966 and replace them at all levels with men and women of ideas, integrity and track record of performance. Let us all obey this clarion call in such a time of absolute necessity.
Ayodele Adio , a social critic, wrote from Lagos.