The height of naughtiness on zukerville
Sir: Dare Babarinsa’s article of March 31, 2017 in The Guardian newspapers titled: “Buhari, Biafra and the burden of date” aptly captured the obtuse state of mind of the Nigerian youth of today. The article is an indictment on the part of this generation for allowing themselves to be used as ping-pong or tools in the ugly Nigerian political space. Free speech on social media doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be mindful of the consequences of hate and divisive outbursts.
When you celebrate free speech, it doesn’t mean it is free from palatable or unpalatable consequences. Our lack of understanding of what we want now is a serious encumbrance on the lives of the next generation.
It has never been this bad on social media. When I wrote sometimes ago about the potency of social media, I thought my people would wake up to embrace a platform that has the potency of equipping or weaponising their minds towards a collective emancipation of our people. Nigerians have greatly abused the zukerville with some stupefying tantrums on this borrowed global village. What you read these days on zukerville are enough to punctuate or cause your cessation or stop your presence on social media. The current Nigerian youths are the most unserious youths that have existed or populated the country in recent times. They lack insightful mind and holistic management to use what they have available to get what they need for their future development. Some of them wanton in grotesque grandstanding, unnecessary attention seeking and political opportunism.
Regrettably, a long rule of corrupt and inept politicians, with the military incursion or adventurism into Nigerian politics is the culprit for these misguided religious and ethnic bigots in Nigeria today. Nigerian social ill is not peculiar to one ethnic group, it cuts across all of our geopolitics and ethnic nationality. The sad part of our conundrum is more pronounced among the youth from the western and southeastern part of Nigeria. Their northern counterparts are keenly watching with amusement geopolitical battle ragging as they battle with war of words, and igniting a pseudo and replica of Biafran war on social media. Unfortunately, these groups of people believe that the fragmentation of Nigeria is an elixir to self-induced or self-inflicted problems.
Amusingly, those who were not even born before or during the civil war are very indolent and recalcitrant to read the sad history of a needless and unforgettable war, a war that consumed millions of innocent people in the eastern part of Nigeria. It is heartwarming that responsible Igbo elders and elite are calling these youthful bigots and cyborgs to order. Those who lack the knowledge and happenstance of history will continue to savour ignorance to rewrite or repeat history.
My recent published open message to my brothers and sisters from the Igboland generated a lot of unnecessary controversies, but those who understand the import of the message therein are rational citizens who could see the future of Nigeria beyond parochial and sentimental issues. Corruption is our main problem in Nigeria. This is the mantra they need to collectively channel their talent and energy on instead of issues that will further polarise them.
My Muse, late Professor Chinua Achebe also articulated this hydra-headed monster (corruption) in his ace books: “The problems with Nigeria” and “There was a country” and yet, they refused to read and digest the books that are a compendium of knowledge and wisdom.
In my published and goodwill message, I suggested to those fanning the ember of war to thread it softly, softly. I also admonished people who hide under the canopy of religion and tribalism to advance unrealistic venture; they should be advised that those who have witnessed the affray of Sango will never abuse the king of Koso.
It is pertinent to also remind these aggrieved groups of individuals that while they anticipate tomorrow, they should strive hard to deliver today in a very smart way. These misguided youths are misusing or mishandling today to regurgitate the horrors of yesterday for avoidable ugly future. Instead being the willing tools in the hands of those who are mortgaging their future, and eking unmerited profits from their ignorance, it’s high time they exerted their influence and youthful energy on issues that will revive our comatose nation and secure their future.
A stich in time saves nine; and a word is also enough for the wise!
Yahaya Balogun wrote from the United States of America