A country’s youth reveal its social condition. In Elliot Aronson’s briliant book entitled The Social Animal, he noted that how we make sense of our world makes a difference. And we attempt to make sense of our world hundreds of times a day. Even the most trivial or important decisions we make, are all dependent on how we construct and make sense of our social world. So for example, when a country fosters hope and inspires its youth, the country in turn is hopeful and inspires itself. When a country educates and employs its youth, the country educates and employs itself. When a country heals its youth, the country heals itself. And when a country allows its youth to innovate and thrive, the country innovates and thrives for itself. But what happens when a country attacks and kills its own youth, well then following my logic or how I choose to make sense of my world (however accurate or flawed this logic maybe-just bear with me), the country attacks and kills its own self. Such was the mayhem in Nigeria today. Today, Nigeria attacked and killed itself.
The government took it upon it’s hands to shot at unarmed protesters asking for an end to police brutality. Such moments open ones eyes to the fact that Nigeria is under siege and not open to ensuring that young people have a voice or fully participate in the country’s future. And what then is a country without it youth population, without a future. One of the reasons I mentor graduate doctoral students is because I know the significance of getting the next generation ready for research in the same way someone got me ready years ago. Nigeria is not ready to mentor its young. The actions of today, the unnecessary use of force on young people protesting for things to change, protesting to stir things up with police reform, illustrates this point vividly. We all anxiously wait for what remains to be done so that a New Nigeria, where the labors of our hero’s past are truly not in vain, arises. Until then, keep rising young Nigerians for yourselves. For when a country’s youth take it upon themselves to rise up, the country will be forced to rise up as well.