HOW CAN I PARTICIPATE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF MY NATION? – A Submission by Cletus Dimowo
Listen closely and read between clenched teeth, it was in the same sobriety that this piece was borne. I had been to the hilltop to ponder on the anthill. More realistically, it was a fleeting epiphany as the ecstatic thrill of Osos’s silent breeze forced me to meditate on three ants I saw emerging from a crevice. Their antennas and mandibles roved very fast and they seemed to be saying something about the Giant of Africa.
Kai! the first one interjected; “Nigeria don’t know what they have in terms of human capital…with a demographic bulge of over 80 million youths, yet they still wine and dine with the lowliest of nations… the indices of development tows low and poverty flaps its tentacles on the fabric of the nation”. Hush! The second one interrupted, haven’t this vibrant blood squeezed time to study about the Asian tigers and how the youths of those four nations expedited industrialization and brought prosperity? The wittiest ant continued; “the youths are the pillars and backbone of any nation and they must be properly oriented in jingoism for the prosperity of the land yet we cannot but shower a little bit of encomium to the youths of Nigeria for their chauvinist act against police brutality and bad governance in 2020 but the bigger question remains; how can they sail upstream when the treacherous water of terrorism, herds men attack, unemployment, political turmoil, illiteracy, tribalism and religion keep dragging them down the drain. Every day, the news headlines are aching but fortunately we have the silver bullet for them.
The ant and the anthill give a perfect analogy of how Nigerian youths can change the narrative of our dear country, Nigeria. Have you ever seen an anthill before or have you been perplexed by the dexterity in which ant colonies disposes their duties? Every single ant working sedulously to secure the best interests of the colony.
It was this unique encounter that changed my perspective some two years ago (2021), from a naive and nonchalant 200 level Pharmacy student to a passionate and diligent member of two non-governmental organization relating to my discipline, which are Anti-Drug Misuse and Abuse Program (ADMAP) and Living Everyday Above Depression (LEAD). Ever since we move about neighboring communities of Ekosodin, Osasogie to mention but a few in Edo state on medical mission to sensitize individual on the danger of drug abuse, counseling them as well as offering them free medical checkup. My proactive commitment to this course has given me a sense of responsibility to the development of my nation. I will not fail to install the words of Theodore Roosevelt “start where you are, use what you have and do the most you can”.
Many a times, we hear of the epitaph “lazy Nigerian youths”. For a better Nigeria to emerge, the youths must change this course and entrench socio-economic development by maximizing disruptive technological trends and racking up the self-employment model. This would drastically assuage the spate of crime and unemployment in the country. Constructive and analytical frameworks that stirs youths’ capacity development must be welcomed. For example, the Precious foundation foundation, Essay and photography competitions, workshops and seminar, youth empowerment and other human capital development program. With this we would surely shoot for the stars.
In light of the foregoing, it has been well established that a new Nigeria is possible when the pillars of the nation- the youth- become more aware of their role and like the ant to the anthill- Nigeria youth can birth a great nation that would become the cynosure of the whole world in technology and socio-economic development. If we are waiting for the conditions to be perfect before we reach out for solution we may never start. I strongly believe that collectively with a proper mix of honesty, diligence, integrity and excellence that will launch our nation to a path of sustainable socio-economic growth and foster the emergence of a prosperous and united Nigeria.