The Agonies of the Nigerian Youth Featured

Saturday, 31 December 2016 00:00 Written by  Published in KidsZone Read 951 times
Curbing youth restiveness Curbing youth restiveness

Fatimah Idris Ahmad writes that unless drastic measures are taken to address the problems of youth in Nigeria, the country might be heading for the rocks


Youth are not given their desired prominence in the scheme of things in our society. This finds its expression in unemployment, illiteracy, traditional beliefs, poor government policies, social factors and parental influence on their wards. Indeed, if we are looking for a society that is free from rancour and violence, a society where social development and peace will take root, then some decisive and responsible steps must be taken to address the multiple challenges the youth are facing by giving them the desired recognition in the scheme of things in our great nation, Nigeria.

First and foremost, as a child’s first and most important teachers, parents are the ones who provide the fundamental building blocks of education. Parents should educate a child on first words and teach them new ones, teach them to count, read and write. As a child grows up, many parents become guides, advisers and role models. Parents interact with their lives every day, and consciously and unconsciously, have a huge and powerful impact in shaping their lives. Parents are expected to lead by examples.

Parents who are open to new ideas and embrace lifelong learning will certainly create an impression, in fact positive ones, on their wards. A child’s life changes when his or her parents are teachers, who will ask questions until they have a clear understanding of the answer, keep open minds to other points of view and encourage their kids and spouses to follow the dreams on the paths to richness and rewarding life. This will instill in the child an inquisitive mindset and subconsciously expand his or her scope of knowledge in the process.

Illiteracy is a factor that contributes a great deal to the agonies of Nigerian youths. The wave of illiteracy is flowing in an astronomical speed. You will find out that we have many illiterates, most of whom are armed robbers, drug traffickers, drug addicts, human traffickers and all sorts of things. If a child is deprived of the right to go to school, I mean going into senior secondary school or the university, they might tend to develop idle minds which are the devil’s workshops. Some parents send their wards to hawk while others prefer hanging around with bad peer groups and these peers might either be smokers, gamblers, drunkards, armed robbers or miscreants. This will likely get them initiated by the bad peers which may eventually lead to having high rates of criminals or wayward boys and girls in the society. No nation can record significant progress in this kind of atmosphere.

Nowadays, our youth are not interested in giving their best; they prefer going for quick money. They forgot their values and integrity. They allow money to be in total control of their lives and thinking. Due to this unnecessary passion for wealth, they get themselves involved in all sorts of illicit activities such as armed robbery, vandalization of pipelines, drug and human trafficking and many more anti-social acts.

Nevertheless, our government policies don’t suit the lifestyles of the youths. Youths love free life, and in a situation whereby government restricts their movements, they can go as far as doing anything illicit just to get their way out.

Furthermore, most traditions have various superstitious beliefs which restrict the youth from doing what they like to do. For instance, the practice of female circumcision makes girls feel sad about themselves; so also the belief that a child should be denied the chance of eating egg. He or she might use all means to get it and this can lead to stealing.

It is very paramount to take into account various recommendations so that decisive solutions can be proffered in order to address the multifaceted challenges facing the affairs of the youths.

As a matter of fact, youth rehabilitation is expected to be encompassing and should be seen as a matter that involves everyone. This is because the act of not taking care of the youths will likely manifest itself in many anti-social activities, including armed robbery, prostitution, and all the likes.

The government and public spirited individuals should create employment opportunities for youths through apprenticeship schemes. And on the trainees’ graduation, funds and working materials should be provided as to enable them to be self-employed.

Also scholarships should be provided for the youths in order to enable those who are financially handicapped to have access to quality education. Governments on their own part should see youth developmental programmes as a matter of top priority and should therefore capture youths’ employment in their priority list while making their budgets.

This, and only this, is the path through which we can have security of lives and property in our country. As any nation that neglects its youth is heading for the rocks.

Fatimah Idris Ahmad is of F.G.G.C Minjibir.