You know how you wake up in the morning and something about this country will just kill whatever flicker of hope you have left?
I have made peace with the fact that my generation will not change Nigeria. We are going to be in this mess for a long time, except God comes riding down in a billow of clouds and white horses
Anyway what killed my little hope? When I passed out of NYSC a few years ago, before which we had to do our final clearance. Our passing out was sort of an emergency, so we had only two days in my local government to do clearance and we were over 200 corp members.
First there was no electricity to power the mini laptop we used for biometrics. Then when power came, the laptop, remember I said it’s a mini(?) Refused to load. It was just too small to carry all the data of the corpers in that LG. This problem has been persistent from the day I started NYSC. One year later, the LG still had only one mini laptop for the over 500 corpers under its care. Our Local Government Inspector had to go fix the laptop and before she got back it was past 3. That was when the clearance process began.
Most of us left our homes before 7am that day so we could get there on time and finish up. So by the time the process started at past 3, everyone was tired, hungry and grumpy. We’d been under the scorching sun all day. When we first came we wrote our names down on a sheet so we could use that list for orderliness. Orderliness ko, orderliness ni
Immediately the LGI started clearance, the Nigeria in us came up. People began to go behind the window and all sorts. Naira notes exchanged hands, people whose names were not on the list went inside. We were all struggling to see who we knew inside to ‘help’ us. I wanted to I swear, but by this time it was almost 6pm, I was just too tired and somewhere in my mind, I knew there was no way I won’t do my clearance. But in that time and space, people who didn’t look for a way to get inside and do their clearance were tagged suegbe.
A little past 8, the LGI said she was exhausted. We were asked to write down our names. She assured all of who waited that she would attend to us first thing the next day.
Brethren, to write names became a third world war. We pushed, shoved, we couldn’t coordinate ourselves to stand in a single queue and write down our names. Tempers went off, it almost denigrated into a fight many times.
I got home at 9 pm that day, thoroughly exhausted, clearance undone. I couldn’t help thinking, is it this my generation of graduates who are going to lead Nigeria tomorrow or we have another batch somewhere? We, who will think of ourselves first, who cannot stay on a line to write names?
A few weeks later Emmanuel Macron won the French Presidency and Nigerians reignited the #nottooyoungtorun hashtag. They asked for the older generation of Nigerians to let us have a chance. “Which us?” I wanted to ask? Same people who are paid to tweet and sell propaganda that yam is blue and garri is pink?
While the whole debate was ongoing, older Nigerians, people who took over power from their mid-late twenties were saying the youths are not ready to lead or rule. That is just very rich.
We are our own problems, and we are neck deep in it.