© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Dear Nigerian youth, everything shouldn’t be about the hustle
By Fredrick Nwabufo
Dear Nigerian youth, I will be brief. Hello from the “woke side”. I hate to knock your hustle, but you are about to give yourself up for conscription into an enchanted army of influencers and social media bugs again.
You did the same thing in the build-up to the 2015 presidential election; you sold a septuagenarian from Katsina state as Mai Gaskiya; as liberal, detribalised, ascetic and as a “reformed democrat” to a famished crowd of young Nigerian men and women who were at sixes and sevens under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
I do not blame you much for your action. Nigeria at the time was sandwiched between two hard choices – choosing between a tested and certified failure and an untested disaster. In fact, I was part of the problem. I will explain why.
In October 2014, in the build-up to the presidential election of the following year, I had an hour interview with President Buhari – then presidential hopeful – at his residence in Abuja. It was an hour of vacuity and vapidity. The president expressed an unmitigated level of intellectual impotence. However, I saw in him candour; it is clear to me now that candour without competence is like a car without an engine.
I spent two days transcribing the audio file. Why? There was nothing I could get out of the interview. It was a jumble of incoherent and unseasoned thoughts. But “we” tried to make the president look good nevertheless in the published copy. And because I was disillusioned with the government of former President Jonathan I became a one-man campaign army for Buhari on Facebook. But now I am “woke”. I know better.
I am aware that some young men and women have constituted themselves into a social media infestation defending and lying for the government for a monthly pittance of N250,000. I do not blame them; Nigeria has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world. The job problem has even worsened under this administration. I beg you Nigerian youth, do not join them because it is unwise to make decisions based on immediate circumstances.
In conclusion, Dear Nigerian youth, the country is in your hands, whatever influence you think you have, do not expend it on any political golliwog or fossil. I believe we can do better, and we must do better.
Your concerned brother,
You can reach Fred on Twitter @FredrickNwabufo, Facebook: Fredrick Nwabufo