I write with a profound sense of fear for our nation, for our individual integrity and for the future of our children.
Every nation has a turning point a�� a time when the original impetus for change has run its course. History shows that this is often a vulnerable time. Opinion on where to go next is sharply divided. Indecision prevails at precisely the moment when decisive action is most essential. Nigeria as a nation is no exception. We know where we’ve come from and why, but we don’t have a clear plan of where to go now. Ours has been a revolution from colonialism, independency and military regimes to the terrible lack of good governance associated with political instability, economic unrest, insecurity, corruption, unemployment, poverty, diseases, a ballooning population a�� to mention but few. We are at our turning point now. The decisions we take in the next few years will have far-reaching consequences for the state of future generation.
If one is to observe from a critical point of view, one will notice that a family of five a�� for example at the beginning of the 21st century; that is half a score and eight years ago has now multiply to more than a double and there is no significant increase in their net annual income or any increment in the number of independent persons in the family. Just as described by Malthusian theory, birth rates are multiplying exponentially and food supply arithmetically, wea��re currently on a course for a future of mass starvation, over population and high rate of dependency.
Parents no longer pay much attention to leaving better children for the world rather they are obsessed with the thoughts of leaving a better world for their children, hence they dona��t value the morality, character and decency of their children. The children accept in totality whatever the environment has to offer as they cannot discern good from evil. Today, we have grown-up not brought-up children as it is the environment not parents that teach children morals; parents do not care to educate their children on sexuality as such knowledge is seen as a taboo in our societies, children learn it the hard way on streets, movies, magazines, books or peer groups. Indecency, immodesty, immorality, fornication etc. are now the cardinal principles in our society.
Another startling issue is the high rate of illiteracy observed in our present generation. Yesteryears, we have uneducated illiterates, but today we have illiterates with certificates. Our educational system is at its lowest ebb; we have many higher institutions, non-functional specialized institutions, limited standardized education, and poor learning environment with inadequate learning materials, theories are not put into practice with rare exception. We value certificates more than knowledge; there are high numbers of graduates with no job opportunities as those that have to retire in order to make way for the next generation refused to.
Education is the key to success a�� another misconception. It is no surprise that the number of educated illiterates is on the increase. That, after all is where the drive to be successful has led us. What is surprising, however, is that the youths failed to notice such fallacy; they failed to understand that success in academics does not mean success in life and they failed to realize that education is not synonymous to success. If you have the impression, as many do, that getting a degree certificate is automatically getting rich, then think again. Today we have poor graduates and rich politicians, artists, businessmen etc.
As it is said, an idle man is the devila��s workshop. A ballooning population of unemployed educated illiterates with high rate of dependency coupled with moral decadence is more than a workshop for the devil. This can be observed in the engagement of our youths in political thuggery, ethnic and religious unrest, robbery, rape, kidnappings and abductions, internet frauds and even terrorism. It is either we control the population or the population control itself; Boko haram extremists, IPOB agitators, Herders-Farmers clashes in Adamawa and Benue, Niger Delta Militants, Kaduna killings, Zamfara shootings, Mambila massacre and so many more. Lives are lost on daily basis to an extent that we lost count on the number of bad news, we dona��t solve these problems but only forget them as more devastating events keep coming up chronologically; we tend to forget a calamity which occurred yesterday only because that of today is worse and would forget todaya��s because tomorrowa��s would be worst and so on.
If care is not taken and such atrocities prevail, the future will be bad. Inequity that exists in our society is a disgrace. The poor will be pushed to the wall with no food to eat, no good source of drinking water, no medical facilities to treat their sick, no schools for their children and theya��ll revolt against the elites, when such occurred, the security personnel would not be able to control the situation. The country would not be habitable and highest degree of disorderliness will set in, mass migration would be observed as it is currently seen in some countries and governmentwould not be able to maintain itself. The future of our nation is at stake and it is our combined responsilities and collective efforts to put things right.
I therefore urge the society, collectively and individually to look afresh at what is happening in our nation, to recognise the opportunities, as well as the threats to future stability.
I challenge parents to give their children proper upbringing and control the population by giving birth to only a certain number of children they can take care of, whom the society will be proud of and whom they can held their heads high and say so-and-so are my children.
I challenge the youths to wake up to the fact that the future of this country lies on their shoulder, to grow up and be masters of their fates not some old cohorts who would not make way for them and they should shun all sorts of unscrupulous attitudes such as drug abuse and it likes.
I challenge religious leaders to rethink their methods of preaching in order to guide our attitudes towards one another, to recognise the value and beauty of the fact that we are all humans and to make sacrifices to accommodate those who are of different identity.
I challenge academics to look in radically new ways at the maintenance of peace and stability so as to educate the populace.
I challenge politicians to change their attitudes of wealth accumulation while in office and be ready to serve but not to be served.
I challenge the media to continue sentization programs and avoid publishing articles that will intrigue public unrest such as hate speeches and to be objective in all their activities.
I challenge investors and businessmen to think not only of directing resources towards making profit, but to turn increasingly towards the less glamorous but vital task of helping our economy and country develop.
Above all, I challenge the government to bring forth policies and laws that will enable all individuals to benefit from the abundant resources the country has and prioritize strength in providing standard educational system where courses like arts and music, catering, bakery, graphics and design, fashion design, among others would be treated from secondary schools to our higher institutions not just the conventional medicine, law, biological sciences, economics, accountancy, biochemistry, engineering and their like, as not every graduate would end up practicing their profession or end up as an academic.
Muhammad Muawiya Alkali
Writes from Numan, Adamawa State.
4th March, 2018
SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (opinions)