Where do you begin to make demands with this current administration? Before you close the conversation on insecurity, unemployment cries for help. By the time you open the conversation for an economy that’s not growing, the poverty level begins to tear through your clothes. It is a big circle of problems with the country.
We could blame all the country’s problems on bad leadership. Why not? Nigeria has a history with accidental presidents since return to democracy in 1999. A history of presidents who bring nothing innovative to the table.
You will hear former president Olusegun Obasanjo, and his vice, Atiku Abubakar, crying day and night that they caused the mobile phone revolution in the country. And you wonder how. It gets even more surprising when you hear them say, “we brought Facebook into the country”. Amidst your angst, you laugh at the country’s politicians.
One of the duo, Atiku, has tried being the president severally and, in 2023, he may be trying again. He is going to ride on the same colour and specie of horse that the current president, Muhammadu Buhari, rode in 2014. Most likely, those men have the saviour complex and have next to nothing to offer.
Amid all of this, we should remember that we have a country rich in resources. A country rich in human and capital resources. We could not even begin to understand the revolutions that took place in the last ten years.
Talk about the phenomenal growth of the betting industry. Recall that betting used to be a taboo. Even millennials condemned players in the industry, asking them to channel their resources to other industries. But, those same people are ‘cashing out’ from betting these days; especially when betting was legalised. And more people are now making inquiries as to how they could also tap into the betting industry.
Away from that, we have the amazingness of the Tech industry. If we did a list of the solutions the tech industry has done, we would be reading a book. But, that’s it. All this is in a country with hardly any leader with the will to turn problems around into progressive change.
We have had too many hashtags on social media caused by the country’s many problems. For today, it is the ASUU strike that has lasted mostly all through 2020.
If we left out the ASUU strike, we will be counting too many other problems like the coronavirus pandemic, heightened insecurity, etc. But, we cannot leave it out, not when the future of a generation is sauntering on a thread. This is the reason for the #SaveOurFuture trend. Indeed, it is one hashtag after another – every other week. We cannot count how many trends are actually related to #SaveOurFuture. Nigerians have used #EndASUUStrike, #EndASUUStrikeNow, #BackToSchool, #SchoolReopening, etc, to ask the government to reach a consensus with ASUU so they actually move on in their academic careers. But here we are.
#SaveOurFuture is representative of a generation of young Nigerians do not simply want to eat from the national cake (borrowing from Buhari’s book) but want to get an education and be part of the change we are crying about. However, we have a country where the education system has been shut down for eight months – leave out COVID-19 lockdowns – and leaders who hardly care.
It could be because their wards attend private higher institutions where ASUU is non-existent, or because they possess the financial capacity to go on education tourism. That’s not a problem in itself, because even developed nations, with great education systems, sponsor their citizens to other countries for education tourism. And, private universities were not built to decorate the spaces where they are located. It becomes a problem when these people look away from their responsibilities when they have the capacity to solve the problems.
The pressure is not yet much, more reason the ASUU strike has lasted this long. We say the country’s young demographic are the future of the country. But, even this demographic laugh at the paradox of being called the future when this future is bleak.