Open Letter To Nigerian Youths

Open Letter To Nigerian Youths

Dear vibrant, loving and concerned Nigerian youths,

It has become absolutely necessary and imperative to write you this letter. I am as concerned as you all are about the current situations in the country, regarding economic and security challenges. I am a Nigerian business man whose business has been negatively affected and so, suffer the effects seriously.

I am a man who thinks with my head before I talk with my mouth, to avoid making wrong postulations and conclusions. I am also a man who makes use of my education to analyse current issues and situations to be able to know and figure out why things are the way they are. In other words, I am one who is not given to making spontaneous conclusions about problems without looking beyond the problems to know the causes…Continue Reading

I am a Nigerian who has followed the trend in Nigeria since 1979 till date and have observed that no Nigerian government has not been outrightly condemned since then. I am also yet to see Nigerians not given to lamentations at any given administration, be it civilian or military.

Yes, there has always been complaints of one national problem or the other, ranging from economic, security, religious, corruption and the like, which have prompted religious bodies to embark on praying for God’s intervention in their respective churches and mosques. Recall that the Catholic Bishop Conference of Nigeria on June 27, 1993, composed a prayer called “Prayer for Nigeria in distress”, which is said during Masses in all Catholic Churches till date. Recall also that in 1998, another prayer called “Prayer against bribery and corruption” was also composed and is said in all Catholic Churches till date.

From the civilian administration of Shehu Shagari to the military government of Buhari; from the military government of Buhari to that of Babangida; from Babangida’s to that of Abacha; from Abacha ‘s to that of Abdulsalami; from the military government of Abdulsalami to the civilian administration of Olusegun Obasanjo, we have witnessed consistent lamentations. From the civilian administration of Olusegun Obasanjo to that of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua; from the administration of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to that of Goodluck Jonathan and from Goodluck Jonathan’s to the current Buhari administration, we have also been witnessing the same lamentations and in each case, there have been clamour for change of government.

Much as I agree that some of the administrations mentioned above performed below expections, some were erroneously and unfairly condemned. As a troubled and concerned citizen, I have been under serious thought as to why this has always been the case.

In my reasoning, I identified key factors responsible for these consistent condemnations, which I have categorised into four. They are the mindset of Nigerians, illiteracy, restriction of view points to the Nigerian shores and disobedience to God’s commandments, with respect to responsibilities to our leaders.

Nigerians tend to have the wrong mindset of things happening around them without application of wisdom and common sense to critically analyse the situation with a view to making objective judgement. They follow the bandwagon trend of things without application of their individual initiatives.

They rely on unverified information or rumours, and so make conclusions, which more often than not are wrong. Some Nigerians, in their individual and private positions, do heinous and unscrupulous things, yet they are very quick to condemn others in other positions, a case of having big logs in their eyes and wanting to remove specks in others’ eyes.

I sympathize with some illiterate youths and the aged alike who I will not blame for making wrong inferences in condemning government leaders under which hardships are experienced. This is because they don’t have the academic or educational knowledge to look beyond the hardships to understand that there are certain reasons beyond the leaders for such hardships.

Unfortunately, there are the educated ones (youths and the elderly), especially those who studied economics, who behave ignorantly. Ordinarily, they would have applied their educational knowledge to do comparative studies and analysis at any given time to know if the government/leaders are to blame for certain problems in the society, and then use the knowledge so gained to correct or educate the illiterates.

We have witnessed incessant condemnations and complaints against President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to the extent that there is the usual clamour for change of government, with some people supprisingly and ironically asking for the return of a corruption infested PDP government. The same party, which squandered and plundered the resources of this country when it was in a state of oil boom and plenty.

Have you ever thought of and reasoned about what would have been the faith of this country if the same PDP government was allowed to remain and preside over our country at the time of the global oil glut of 2015? That was when the price of oil plummeted from 150 USD/barrel to 30 USD/barrel, the major reason for the steep fall in the value of the naira and the consequent rise in commodity prices.

Why condemn a government that not only inherited an impoverished economy, but under which the unfortunate oil glut occurred? Why it was trying to manage the country out of the effects, another global crisis of Covid-19 emerged in 2019, a pandemic that humbled and drastically affected the economy of all the countries of the world.

Immagine also what would have been our faith with this oil glut of 2015 and Covid-19 if the PDP was to be in power. Why blame a government that is managing the country and trying to steer us out of this Covid-19 pandemic and it’s effects, when yet another event of the Russian/Ukraine war erupted, a war that also has negative effects on the world economy?

Ignorants and illiterates will ask what has the Nigerian economy got to do with the Russia/Ukraine war? Any thing that affects United States of America and European economy directly affects other countries’ economy.

There is no country in the world that is not currently in distress as Nigeria is, courtesy of these three global crisis of oil glut of 2015, Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia/Ukraine war. If you do not have access to the reports of current world events, you should have relations living in other countries who should tell you that things are terribly hard in those countries too.

The almighty United States of America and most European countries are currently in recession. The citizens of these countries rather than blame or condemn their governments, support and rally round them at this hard time.

Here in Nigeria, we jettison God’s injunction that says, pray and support leaders of your government as contained in 1 Timothy 2: 1-4.

We disobey God who says, “Do not curse your leaders”. We curse, abuse and vilify our heads of governments.

We blasphame against God who sees beyond us and is responsible for the enthronement of every leader in all countries of the world, including Nigeria, for specific assignments and reasons. We know that God does not make mistakes in the choice of who He enthrones as the head of government.

There is no unprintable names they have not called our current President. Instead of thanking God for enthroning President Buhari, a corrupt free man, who despite the scarce resources occasioned by the three global crises mentioned above, has provided us with vital infrastructure like several kilometres of roads, railways and housing.

There are various federal constituency projects spread across the communities in the country, diversified economy through the provision of financial insentives to agriculture and the dogged fight against corruption. We sin against God by wishing the president dead, with some even saying that he’s dead, and that one Jubril from Sudan is acting as him in the Villa.

We should appreciate God for enthroning Muhammadu Buhari as the president, who since his inception, has not meddled with any election in the country, unlike his predecessors. Rather he is bequeathing to us a sound electoral system that provides that everyone’s vote counts, which all Nigerians will be proud of.

Some religious leaders, instead of admonishing their congregations to hearken to God’s words, are surprisingly partaking in the cursing and abusing of the president. They have turned the pulpits and altars from where good news, prayers for leaders and solemn worship of God are supposed to be administered arena for making noises. They are shouting in the course of blaming, condemning and cursing government leaders with, however, the exception of a few churches, especially the Catholic Church, which in daily Masses pray for leaders and the country.

How do you reconcile these acts of disobedience against God with the profession of being a Christian? What we have in this country are people who parade themselves as Christians in words but in deed, they are not.

I am not saying that this government of President Buhari is infallible. I am not saying that President Buhari is a saint, for nobody is. I am not, you are not. What I am saying in comparative terms is that this president and this government has outperformed the previous presidents and governments, taking into cognisance what was on the ground at inception and the unforseen global occurrences since then.

Do not forget the excruciating pains Nigerians used to undergo queuing daily at the petrol stations to buy fuel. But now, that is in the past. Remember that the South-South and South-East regions, for several years, were crying and yearning for the second Niger bridge. This government, despite the meagre financial resources available, embarked on the construction of the bridge, which, before the end of this administration, will be commissioned .

In the area of security and insurgency, recall that we used to have almost on a daily basis, bombings and killings, to the extent that some communities in the northern states were captured and taken over by the bandits/Boko Haram. But now, we see remarkable reduction in the activities of Boko Haram, without any community in their hands.

Dear Nigerian youths and well meaning citizens of Nigeria, granted that we have not had it so bad in this country, no country of the world is better off either. Just because we have not had it so bad globally from 2015 till date, we must not throw our education to winds by being quick in condemning, blaming and unfairly judging this government. Rather we should apply the basic knowledge and principles gained from our education to understand the reasons for the hardships and so, enlighten the uneducated.

I listened to the Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, Alhaji Babatunde Raji Fashola, on Channel Television on the 24th of July, 2023, speak about infrastructure provision since the inception of this administration. Even though some of the things he spoke about I already knew, but I was enlightened the more about a lot, hearing from him.

I hope you too, our dear youths and citizens listened to him as well. You know Fashola, being a man of integrity and honour whose track record of achievement as Lagos State Governor as well as his achievements as a minister speaks volumes, should be taken seriously when he speaks.

We must not also throw our religious values and teachings to the winds to vilify, curse and disrespect our leaders. Rather, we must obey God by displaying Christian/Muslim values and virtues, praying and rallying round our leaders and government at all times.

We must not carelessly act by what we hear, but we should act by what we see in a rational and wise manner. We must, while reacting to certain issues and problems in the country, not restrict our judgements based only on the way we see it in the country, but also we should look at it from global point of view.

One thing I know for certain is that Posterity will remember this President ( President Mohamadu Buhari) and his Government under whom this country has been held together , despite the the senseless & UnGodly agitations for cessation , as one of the best in the history of Nigeria.

Vincent G Uba, is the National Co-ordinator, No Alternative To Tinubu 2023 (formerly No Alternative To Buhari-Osinbajo 2019)

Former President, Catholic Brothers United


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