8 November 2012

Nigeria: Is It a Crime to Be Young and Educated in Nigeria?

I write this piece with a heavy heart, and a soul full of pain and anger. It's for the first time in a long while I am contemplating mayhem and bloodshed. Not even the havoc unleashed by the Boko Haram dogs of war has set my own blood boiling. The killing of four students, three from the University of Port Harcourt, by an irate village mob has sharply brought the nature of humanity in Nigeria into my focus.

Barely a week before this unleashing of thunder and lightning, close to 40 students were summarily dispatched in Adamawa in the troubled northern part of the country. The manner of their killing was undoubtedly scripted by Satan, straight from hell.

Putting these tragedies together and musing over the bloody terrorists campaign that has claimed promising young lives, I have to ask: is it a crime to be young and educated in Nigeria? What have the youth of Nigeria done to deserve this public stripping in broad daylight? No sane society deliberately destroys its foundation - but that is going on here. Although the scenarios and circumstances differ, the end product is the same: uprooting the flower of the nation.

I dare say that Nigerians between ages 11 and 40 are an endangered species. Especially those who are educated or show the potential to speak for themselves. Various factors have determined this campaign against Nigerian youth by their society. Corruption. Poverty. Lack of realistic and humane national youth policies. Continued adherence to primordial religious and cultural beliefs and practices. The institutionalized gagging of youth. Inefficient law enforcement and security systems. Dereliction of duty by parents and schools. And, not insignificantly, the inadequacies of the youth themselves. These are but a few such factors.

How the Jonathan administration handles the Uniport and Mubi murders will determine what we, young Nigerians, conclude about the role of his government, supposedly led by a member of the younger post-independence leadership class. I call upon all Nigerians and their friends to continue screaming till something happens. Similarly, we should not stop shouting till those men who used Facebook to lure and kill Cynthia Osokogu are judged.

What manner of human beings inhabits Aluu, the village where the boys were butchered without a hearing? It is doubly shocking when you realize that is the hometown of Elechi Amadi, the famous Nigerian author and a man of character, intellect and compassion. Many questions abound. But for now let us beam our searchlight on police investigations into the matter. They should not be removed till all who washed their hands in these boys' blood pay the price.

Let all Nigerians realize that if the youth reach their tether, all of us will burn.

Copyright © 2012 Radio Netherlands Worldwide. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.