“Parents listen to your children, we are the LEADERS OF TOMORROW, try to pay our school fee, and give us sound education”. We grew up chanting excitedly with all the zeal in us this age long rhyme as we march into our respective classes.

Some parents headed this call, paid our school fee and gave us the  SOUND EDUCATION our young mind clamoured for.

A pertinent question to ask is; have youths really became  the much acclaimed LEADERS OF TOMORROW?

The existence of youths in any given society s highly germane and indispensable. Mother hen and father cock cannot expect their genealogy to continue after their demise without mating to hatch PROPER CHICKS so also any society that will not go into extinction after the expiration of the life span of her leaders should contribute meaningfully to the growth and development of her youths.

Nigeria is a largely populated country with nearly half of her population comprising of youths. The future of any country is solely dependent on her youths. But what becomes of such youths who are besieged by myriads of societal and moral decadence ranging from cultism, drug addiction, homosexuality and what have you?

The youthful age is considered as the most crucial stage in the life of man being a time when life decisions are made and a time to harness potentials and set life goals.

In the past years, Nigerian youths played significant roles that lead to economic, commercial, political, social advancement to mention but few in the country. Most of the nationalists who agitated for independence were youths in their mid 30s whose heroic  and remarkable efforts birthed Nigeria’s independence from the British administrators. These youthful heroes maximized effectively the leadership positions entrusted to them to bring about the Nigeria of their dream. Their heroic deeds is indelibly inscribed in the sand of time never to be forgotten.

Unfortunately today, the story is considerably different unlike the former days. Today’s youths have been ensnared by youthful delinquencies like drug addiction, internet fraud,cultism, hooliganism, homosexuality, rape et cetera et cetera that is hampering the development and rating of our country in the world system.

An average present day youth who is not a consumer of hard drugs like Codin, Refnol, Shisha etc is considered “OLD SCHOOL” by his peers just like Chief Ebenezer Obey’s line in one of his oldies “TIWON BANI KILON MU, TOBANI COCA COLA, WON ANI KOMAIYE JE, JEDI- JEDI LOMA PA”. (When a young man is asked what he should be offered at a bar and he requested for Coca- cola, he will be jeered by his peers of dying from pile). Each corner of the streets is filled with SCIENCE STUDENTS (our supposed leaders of tomorrow) mixing and drinking shots of CHEMICALS and thereafter go on a exploiting and terrorizing spree to commuters and the neighborhood.

“The youths is the hope of the future” (Jose Rizal). But it is saddening that the supposed ‘HOPE OF THE FUTURE’ are not seeing anything worthwhile about the future talk more of taking actions to bring to fruition this desired future instead they are concerned with frivolous and delinquent acts that is dragging the name of the society in the mud and demoralizing our value system.

Nigeria is plagued with all sorts of problems most of which are as a result of the alarming rate of moral decadence in the country. Our value system has been seriously maimed by the rate of moral recklessness of our youths. If the youths will truly be the leaders of tomorrow as claimed, something needs to be done to curb this dysfunctional siege that has ensnared the youths.

“After chasing away the hawk that is bent on catching mother hen’s chick for its dinner, it is important to also chastise mother hen for allowing her chicks to roam aimlessly” Nigerian Government on their part have not done exceedingly well enough. Educational institutions which are a high determinant in the development of the country is being neglected. Some of our educational institutions are nothing but eyesores. Students learn in dilapidated, harsh and not too conducive facilities yet the Government seems unperturbed. Many youths roam the streets aimlessly without attending school due to financial incapability and some of their own volition. The few ones who are opportuned to attend school learn under these unfavourable conditions and we seem unperturbed?

According to Erasmus,”The main hope of a nation lies in the proper education of its youths”. If youths will truly be the ‘leaders of tomorrow’ there’s need for a revamp of our already dilapidating educational system to meaningfully impart the desired knowledge into the youths to achieve the desired effect.

The youths are being used as tools of destruction in the society by the BIG WIGS . They are used as political hirelings to cause mayhem in the  society especially during elections. Is this how our youths will become the supposed LEADERS OF TOMORROW?.

someone recently share a post which read thus; ” If you are a thug to a politician, tell him you want to marry his daughter. His response is a reflection of who you are to him” I doubt if such response would be the affirmative becauseno one would want to become a In-law to a ‘futureless hireling’. This is to prove that the love bestowed on a chicken by its owner is never intentional but to nourish it till it becomes edible. He would rather give his daughter’s hand in marriage to one of the sons of his political clique. This is a pointer to youths to see themselves beyond being used as tools of insorbodination but be determined to do away with such  and live meaningful life that will contribute immensely to the betterment of our country Nigeria.

The family is the first agent of socialization where a child receive first hand learning on how to become a well meaning individual of his society. Many parents have failed in this regard by leaving the care and upbringing of their children in the hands of caregivers and teachers whose hands may be filled with other responsibilities to attend to and therefore not be able to give the necessary and proper upbringing to these children.

Most parents, fathers especially are so concerned with their means of livelihood that the proper training needed to be given to their children are neglected at the peril of these children who sometimes grow up without being taught the necessary prerequisites of rightful living and get swayed by youthful exuberance to eventually become miscreants terrorizing the peace of the society.

If these delinquent acts are allowed to continue, then it is needless to say that, the hope and future of Nigerian youths as the LEADERS OF TOMORROW is blinking like a lamp in the midst of a whirlwind.

The society at large; the Government, and the family have all failed in the pursuance of a radiant future for our youths. Both parties have a fair share of blame. However, all hope is not lost, there is still hope for a tree whose trunk has been hewed but its roots intact. It can be resuscitated with few drops of rainfall. The spate of delinquent behaviours among youths can still be abated if the following proffered suggestions will be taken into consideration.

Youths should see themselves as instruments of reformation of our dear country and not that of destruction. They should see themselves as the only antidote to our already demoralized value system. They should rise up to the challenge of making Nigeria; our country a haven of peace, security and tranquility.

“Change they say, begins with you”. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, he said; “Be  the change that you wish to see in the world”. Youths should not expect Government alone to make the desired change but should also play effectively their role in the  complete eradication of these delinquent behaviours that has captivated Nigerian youths.

Government on their part are not also left out of this reformation move.  Quoting Franklin D. Roosevelt, “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future”. Youths should be empowered intellectually, economically, financially to be independent and self reliant. If youths are gainfully engaged, this will to a great extent cause a massive decline in the delinquent acts perpetrated by them. An idle hand is said to be the devil’s workshop. It is not only his workshop but his permanent residence. When youths are meaningfully engaged and allowed active participation in the affairs of the society, they tend to  likely contribute tremendously to the development of the society.

There should also be a hand of sense of belonging stretched towards the youths by the Government. Abraham Maslow in his theory of the hierarchy of needs never left love and belongingness out of his highlighted needs. The arm of love and belongingness  should not be stretched towards a particular sets of youths in the society but for ALL. The “not too young to rule” bill should not be on some unattainable  stipulated criterion for eligibility to participate, it should be a “free for all” bill.

Parents; the first agents of socialization should see to the proper upbringing of their children to become meaningfull individuals and not a bone in the neck of the society. Children should be taught high moral standards that  will contribute immensely to the society. They should be taught to love their society with all their heart, seek her good and not her downfall by disturbing the peace of the society through delinquent behaviours that hamper her the societal growth, development and rating among member countries.

Decisively, the aforementioned proffered suggestions if painstakingly considered and implemented will give a ray of hope to the blinking future of Nigerian youths.

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