Connect with us

Feature/OPED

Youth and a Nation That Builds on Weak Foundation

Published

on

youth nation building

By Jerome-Mario Utomi

Prior to the recent ‘youths revolt’ in the country which got the young Nigerians once described as ‘lazy’ busy on and off the social media platforms and led to alignment and realignment of opinions as well as resulted in the proliferation of leadership related associations, I have had the opportunity to read with rapt attention about the danger of building a nation without the youths, written by some prominent and well foresighted Nigerians on one hand and relatively controversial citizens as well.

It was against this backdrop that this piece stems to among other aims examine and weaves together the spiralling counter, trans, cross opinions by these public affairs commentators particularly as their comments in a larger context, surprisingly points to the fact that as a nation, we are faced with an urgent responsibility of nation-building.

With the above highlighted, let’s focus on specific arguments.

The first school of thought argues that since May 1999, when democracy re-emerged on the nation’s political sphere, only the likes of the incumbent governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello, and former Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), have been able to emerge state governors at a relatively youthful age.

This they argued is not a sign that Nigerian youths are not matured politically enough to be saddled with critical political positions, but simply because the nation is unfortunately blessed with a huge number of ‘coercive’ and selfish leaders as against truly ‘democratic, pacesetting and coaching’ leaders

Leaders who believe that they are laced with the wisdom of Solomon, feel they are more nationalistic or patriotic than other citizens, yet, cannot accommodate to coach or invite the youths to start learning leadership via a sincere political apprenticeship and do not believe in grooming of the youths. They (leaders) lack the idea of community organizing and are also deficient in emotional intelligence that is needed for providing good governance.

While noting that today, youths lack leadership experience because they have not been given the opportunity to participate and learn what leadership is all about like the Obasanjos and Gowons of this world that had that opportunity at their very youthful stage, these Nigerians with critical minds submitted that Nigeria will continue to build on the weak foundation until the present crop of leaders recognises that naturally, any nation that fails to accommodate its youths, those that will provide the future leadership of the nation, will continue to encounter difficulty in nation-building and national development.

ALSO READ  Christianity, Africa’s Development, Civilization & Economy

In the same vein, others rued that the inability of Nigerian youths to occupy political or leadership positions in the country, be it elective or appointment should be blamed on the nation’s inglorious departure from politics of ideas to money politics or what is currently referred to as the politics of the highest bidder which the youths have no financial muscles to partake in and, therefore, settled for the easiest option at their disposal which is praise singing or what is referred to as Otinkpu in Igbo local palace.

Responding to the allegation by some that In today’s Nigeria, and in politics, both the adults and the youths in politics are bonded by a common denominator: corruption and abuse of public office, these pro-youth commentators again described such allegation as baseless as corruption knows no age, gender or tribe and is not limited to the youths but cuts across all spectrums.

To further validate their argument in defence of the youth, they pointed out that without the youths in the present government, corruption has become even more entrenched as scandal upon scandal have completely laid bare the anti-corruption stance of this administration and those who were initially deceived by the present government’s alleged fight against corruption has come to the conclusion that nothing has changed.

Whatever the true position may be, in order to take the right part, choose the right values and adopt the right perspectives, there are some facts that need to be underlined about the nation’s leadership imbalance.

ALSO READ  Inheritance: The First Son Takes All In Esan Culture

First is that in this clime, “youths are the leaders of tomorrow” has become a form of a mantra, a sermon by our leaders that we can describe as gospel without the truth. They preach this without taking pragmatic steps to develop or design strategies that will help it see the light of the day. While the mantra rends the political wavelength, this category of political office holders remains in leadership positions till they are well above 70. It becomes more of a slogan or anthems for the political parties. It lasts as long as the electioneering period and fizzles out as soon as the winners emerge. Youths are never assured again that they are “the leaders of tomorrow” till the next electioneering campaign. And the cycle goes on and on. This has been the grim fate and burden which successive generations of Nigerian youths have grappled with since 1960.

Secondly, the youths that hitherto watched their nation’s political and leadership affairs from the political gallery are, however, beginning to view public office holders’ tales and narrative as one-sided especially when it is coming from our present crop of leaders. It has become a tale that revolves around a particular plot constructed around electioneering, with the sole aim of achieving an electoral victory.

Meanwhile, as a fallout of the above coupled with recent happenings around the world’s political arena as regard emergence of some youthful Presidents occupying exalted positions in their countries have served as an awakening of political and leadership consciousness among Nigerian youths. Heightened youth agitations around the country have become a hot topic for national discourse and have taken the centre stage around the world.

Apart from the just-ended #EndSARS protest, supporting the above assertion is the recently held youth dialogue themed “Towards A Peaceful and Prosperous Plateau” jointly organised by Global Peace and Life Rescue Initiative (GOPRI) and Plateau Intelligentsia Development Initiative in Jos, where youths according to media reports, again sought active involvement in governance, deploring the ‘sit-tightism’ of the older generation, whom they argued were “closer to their graves.”,

ALSO READ  The UNILAG’s Post UTME Crisis

While the young Nigerians at the event argued that they have untapped fresh ideas to govern the country for “dynamic leadership” to crystallise, they noted that it was time for youths to chart the path for the nation’s greatness, citing instances from both developed and developing countries and submitted that they were not afraid to speak the truth to power.

This time the warning in the opinion of this piece should not be ignored.

This is the time for those who see and understand and care and are willing to work for the progress of this country to internalize the words of Chinua Achebe that true leadership is using knowledge, power and authority to ensure the living standards of the people are improved. And acknowledge that great leaders are characterized by their ability to create positive impacts on the lives of their subjects by the way they place heavy emphasis on the understanding that the economy would look after itself if democracy is protected; human rights adequately are taken care of, and the rule of law strictly adhered to. And their nation’s affairs centrally planned over a period of time with actions spelt out for both normal and contingency conditions.

Finally, aside from leaders identifying that public order, personal and national security, economic and social programmes and prosperity is not the natural order of things but depends on the ceaseless efforts and attention from an honest and effective government that the people elect, it is also imperatively urgent for Nigerian youths to develop a pragmatic collaboration which will represent a set of values that encourage constructive views as well as provide support for leaders with the interests of moving the nation forward.

Jerome-Mario Utomi is the Programme Coordinator (Media and Public Policy), Social and Economic Justice Advocacy (SEJA), Lagos.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Feature/OPED

Christianity, Economics, Politics & Why Education Does not Work

Published

on

Education Does not Work

By Nneka Okumazie

There are at least two guarantees of most education – procedure and profile: a procedure that shows how to reach an outcome and a profile that shows that the procedure was passed. There are other possibilities with education, but many get through both destinations and park.

There are lots of places around the world, developed and developing, where people rail about education quality or inefficiency. But, maybe those aren’t the ways to look at education if procedure and profile are achieved.

Looking broadly at education – there are 3 Fs to consider: fiction, fusion and fission.

There are many things anyone can read, learn or be taught but not understand. There are things that are real that can be explained but would seem like fiction to many.

It is possible to explain how telecommunication works to anyone, but many may not get the concept of waves. It is possible to see rockets and explain the science to many but would be too complex to understand.

ALSO READ  Africa, Olukoya: Is MFM a Fear Mongering Church?

There are lots of new technologies, advances that people can be told about and shown, but would remain as fiction to them.

There are people who learn many procedures, get the profile, but remains fiction to them.

Knowledge – in general, is fusion, information coming together to become a unit or adding new units to existing.

Procedures – are a fusion of stuff. Fusion is common, happens often and can be informal.

Fission is the hardest and rarest of education.

Though people have spikes of fission on some aspects of what they have learned at some point, splattering and effervescing of extraordinary magnitude is the origin of major paths of advances through time.

It is true that many advances take years with continuous tests and efforts, but the intellect of fission does much at any time in the process.

Thinking about one thing and having several spectrums of it – towards accuracy is the height of the result of learning that the world needs more of, but gets less and less of.

ALSO READ  Election, Debate and the Need for Attitudinal Change

Quality of education may guarantee some fission, quality of tutor, sources, or mentor may try, but sometimes, it is either innate or something electrifies at some point.

Intellect fission results in hyper passion, courage, etc. different from those possessing procedural education that have to passion – [positive or negative] or courage – [positive or negative].

There are people with passion against something who don’t know much, only swinging around procedural knowledge.

There are others too, with some courage to hate, for wickedness, greed, factionalism, etc. that have procedural education, but not intellect fission.

They may get information, but they are not the intellect of fission for progress.

So how is intellect fission achieved?

How is it possible to learn something and the immanent mind reams, flips and sprawls it towards what others cannot just see?

ALSO READ  Inheritance: The First Son Takes All In Esan Culture

Maybe focus on how fission intellect.

As progress has glided in the world, so have troubles.

There are solutions and answers needed that education of fission would have provided, or education to spark fission.

But because profile education or stage is in demand – there is less and less care for the education of fission.

Many positions are filled with people who have profiles, but unlikely to move anything forward.

Though some curiosity, observation, creativity, analysis, understanding, great memory and insights may be results of some fission – but just like rungs of a ladder, difference abounds per reach and height.

Criticism is mostly a procedure. Deceit is a procedure. Getting rich is mostly procedural as well.

There are many things that are procedures – input and output.

[Proverbs 20:13, Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.]

Continue Reading

Feature/OPED

Christianity, Government, Ideology, Dumbness & Politics

Published

on

Cambodia Tyrant

By Nneka Okumazie

Is falling for false information dumbness or a factor of human limitation? Assuming this, in the most difficult to verify situation suggests human limitation, there are limitless amounts of things that people fall for – signifying dumbness.

It is easy to get people provoked, happy, moody, emotional or whatever expression is desired, by characteristic twists or turns for those outcomes.

It is almost impossible to be smart all the time. It is rare to be smart most times, but it is possible to be dumb most times – with few flashes of smartness.

Dumbness is probably the nucleus of behaviour – with smartness as the shells. Dumbness pulls many but smartness takes work.

Dumbness sometimes is the default of thoughts, sight or other senses. If it appears or speaks like this, it means this; if it acts or moves like that, it is that – without question.

It is far easier to predict that people would be dumb than to predict they’ll be smart. Lots of irrationalities come from dumbness. Deception, though a popular tool, uses dumbness.

It is not often the smart or sensible paths that draw many, but the simple, or feels part. Something can feel so good to taste, smell, or other senses, but does not mean it is good for behaviour, health, etc. Many take the feel-good and damn the consequences.

Something may be so good at present, so easy, so advantageous, so acceptable, but does not mean it is good for the future. Some answers may seem so right, so appraisable but dumb, cheap and impractical.

ALSO READ  Inheritance: The First Son Takes All In Esan Culture

It is possible to have gone somewhere to get something at some point, but – would – years on, cause major problems for the people.

There is so much dumb thinking – so much outsourced thinking that turns out to be wrong.

One of the most common spots of dumbness is power. It is often assumed that people in powerful positions manoeuvre to get there and stay there, but predicting the behaviour of the powerful is quite easy because of how power drives dumbness because many assume that just being powerful means smart or better than others – it doesn’t. Ideology can take over power so dumbness can be the leader.

Do whatever you like as long as it does not affect anyone is another dumb statement that does not account for the possibility that private habits can be triggered externally depending on the situation, or say calculation – that assumes it is possible to get away with it, or not get away, but to do it regardless.

In science, evidence determines much. In justice, evidence matters a lot. But some justice failed because the evidence was not presented, or was countered, or ignored not because the crime was not committed. So the supremacy of evidence as the determinant of real true or false – isn’t that smart, it’s just the established rule.

Be careful what you think, or guard thy heart with diligence may seem odd to some, but the heart is the point of pull or plan for most wrongs. Thinking in certain ways is to have done it.

ALSO READ  Kogi and Bayelsa 2019 Governorship Elections: Foretelling the Outcome

Selfishness – or the best for one person or group, seems like what is preferred by most, but this classic dumbness becomes a loss, starting from the ones who think it’s of maximum benefit.

The present in all its hardship for many – is a matrix from the past, in how some took to selfishness, for the advantage of the day, to become the loss of the future for things linked to them.

The circuitousness continues.

There is the smart spectrum and there is the dumb spectrum. Some choose or it chooses them. There are those in the dumb spectrum that no knowledge, exposure or information does much to get them away from it. As a fact, as some get more exposed, their dumbness deepens.

Some people often feel others are smart while others feel others are dumb. Smartness or dumbness is not often determined by sides. Most times, dumb people throw dumbness to everyone else, as in the playbook of critics. Criticism – most of the way – is dumbness repackaged and responsibility defenestrated.

Understanding is relevant in how smartness navigates, but dumbness convolves into what many would choose.

Though technology was supposed to make smart, it powered mass social media that lets dumbness go wide. Most people hear, see or read there, they sometimes forget about it, but sometimes end up behaving in ways that express those actions – without tracing it back there.

ALSO READ  Election, Debate and the Need for Attitudinal Change

Also, most people say stuff as themselves, but often just channelling from that source or acting in ways that blend with what the source would like.

It is important to have internal strength, not just seeking always for the external, but to have this strength to wait a bit or a little, to process things through and properly, before going along the easy, one-way-think option available to all.

Though smartness is far better than dumbness and maybe should not be compared, but smartness at its best is limited. It is possible to be smart, using the information available and be wrong. So even at the peak of smartness, it should be understood that limitations abound.

God is a spirit.

This means God does not exist in the physical or cannot be seen, or instruments used to find distant physical object cannot be used to find heaven or see the Almighty God.

God ways, thoughts and judgement are different.

This means using statements like if God loves why to suffer – isn’t an expression of that understanding.

Genuine Christianity is what Christ wants, but many combine their Christianity with sin and all kinds of acts. Christianity as an ID is not answering the call to be truly born again.

Everyone can be right in their own eyes, but the Creator of the world, Jehovah Almighty knows all.

[Matthew 22:29, Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.]

Continue Reading

Feature/OPED

Encouraging Girls in Science to Bring Fresh Perspective to Problem-Solving

Published

on

Tolu Oyekan Inclusive Economic Recovery

By Tolu Oyekan

Over the years, the study of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) has increasingly gained grounds across the world.

Nigeria is not left out as many young people are becoming more interested in studying science subjects at secondary and tertiary levels of education.

This is no surprise as our world today is largely driven by technology. Technology encompasses practically every facet of our lives.  Life has become easier through the application of technology.

For instance, Information and communication technology (ICT) has proven to be invaluable as the world tries to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic challenges. The application of ICT tools kept people connected made essential services accessible and sustained businesses.

The 21st century brought about lots of scientific innovations which have propelled the need for students at different levels to become more proficient in the knowledge of STEM. Besides Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics; other STEM subjects include Actuarial Science, Statistics, Psychology, Robotics, Information Science, Atmospheric Sciences and Educational Research.

Experts have discovered that early exposure of students to STEM and technology-related subjects will help young people develop a passion for technological pursuits and eventually help them pursue a job in a STEM field.

Right now, the fastest-growing job categories are related to STEM with recent studies indicating new jobs in areas such as data analysis, software development and data visualization, virtual reality, artificial intelligence etc.

However, girls are highly under-represented in STEM and ICT classes; globally the percentage of young girls undertaking ICT courses range from 8.9% in Switzerland to 20.0% in the United States, except for India with 50.5%. What this means is that except this trend changes, women will remain under-represented in future workplaces.

ALSO READ  COVID-19: Government Must Make Policies to Curb Community Transmission as Lockdown is Lifted

This year, the International Girls in ICT Day held on April 22 with the theme: ‘Connected Girls, Creating Brighter Futures’. On this day every year, stakeholders in the technology space and indeed all of us should seek opportunities to empower girls to develop digital skills so as to pursue careers enabled by technology.

As these young girls move on to take up various careers in the ICT sphere, they are faced with several challenges, particularly finding a perfect work-life balance. Conditions like pregnancy, breastfeeding and child care pitched against rigorous work hours put many women in disadvantaged positions. In many cases, childcare centres are not found close to places of work resulting in women working part-time or accepting lower-paying jobs to focus on their homes or quitting their career early.

There is also the glass ceiling issue affecting females in ICT such as gender biases during appointments, promotion and career improvement opportunities as well as harassment, biased evaluation by peers along familial responsibilities, which could cause increased stress.

There could be several factors that account for the under-representation of girls in STEM. One which is quite obvious, is the issue of the environment, culture as well as the emphasis on gender equality and encouragement of growth mindset. A report from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) shows that the learning environment and social belief system affect girls’ interest and achievements in STEM/ICT subjects.

Another study showed that in countries like Sweden and Iceland where gender parity prevails, girls perform better than boys on Math tests. On the other hand, girls from countries like Turkey where gender discrimination is greater don’t do well in math tests.

ALSO READ  The UNILAG’s Post UTME Crisis

Research also shows that majority of people view STEM fields as which should be ideally dominated by men; a view which still holds sway to this day. Society views women in science and engineering jobs as less competent than men unless they are exhibiting success tendencies.

No doubt, there are many women who are excelling in science and ICT-related fields.  Some examples of women excelling in ICT globally include Sheryl Kara Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, Facebook and founder of LeanIn.org; Ruth Porat, Chief Financial Officer of Alphabet Inc and its subsidiary, Google and Ginni Rometty, Former Chairman, President and CEO of IBM, In Nigeria, worthy role models for girls are Funke Opeke, founder, Main One Technologies; Omobola Johnson, former Nigerian Minister for Communication Technology; Juliet Ehimuan, Country Manager Nigeria, Google; and Cherry Eromosele Group Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Interswitch, to name a few.

The beautiful thing is that girls definitely bring a fresh sense of perspective to problem-solving in the classrooms and workplaces as professionals. One of such ways is using her ‘voice’; by this, I don’t just mean talking. It is when a girl challenges the status quo, excels at her studies, contributes to making policies or suggests an idea that moves their schools or organisation towards a new course of action.

Some studies have shown that teams with women as leaders were more successful when facing tasks that are more mentally challenging and required complex problem-solving abilities.

But this good performance only showed if the women spoke up if the men believed that women were capable contributors, and if the team acted on the women’s suggestions.

ALSO READ  The Delusions of Charles Onunaiju About The PTF

To ensure girls are more interested in STEM and ICT careers, women already in these fields should get more involved in the development of STEM policies that will favour and encourage girls to develop an interest in these subjects. These will include exposing girls to STEM fields, encouraging participation in STEM programmes, providing scholarships, as well as supporting learning opportunities in communities.

And men can be effective allies in gender equality conversations. They can start with listening to their female counterparts and taking their concerns seriously. Men in a position of authority can bring their influence to bear by amplifying women’s voices, educating other men against stereotype, credit women’s work and ideas fairly, advocate for policies that remove bias and advance equality. More importantly, men should show their support, at home, the workplace and in other social circles.

At Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the education and encouragement of girls to fit adequately into the future of jobs is a core aspect of our ‘Back to The Future’ agenda. Currently, there are more women in the BCG workforce in Lagos, than there are men. Working with this crop of brilliant women has brought interesting and insightful perspectives to problem-solving. So, I know first-hand that women bring a fresh perspective to problem-solving.

I hope that more girls will begin to have an affinity for STEM subjects and capacity will be built in ICT-based endeavours to gain new skills and enhance problem-solving.

Tolu Oyekan is a partner at BCG

Continue Reading

Like Our Facebook Page

Latest News on Business Post

Trending

%d bloggers like this: