Hooliganism according to OxfordAdvanced Leaner's Dictionary is a young person who is violent and noisy inpublic places. Hooligans are people that often cause confusion during politicalrallies. They are people who graduate from playing truancy in schools todisturbing public peace and order. Hooligans are everywhere! Some of them arebetter described as “Agboro” in our local parlance. They constitute publicnuisance in some cities. They extort money from first time visitors to suchcity. The most annoying part of it is that some state governments now patronizethem because of their nuisance values. Before the 2011 general electionsin Nigeria, politics was viewed and treated as dirty game by some people. Theuse of hooligans as political thugs by some politicians to snatch ballot boxes,wreak havocs on their political opponents and intimidate voters used to be theorder of the day, but, the 2011 election

minimized the menace of such dreadfulrealities in the country. Today, some states and local governments areemploying hooligans as rent collectors and task force members. Some evenrecruit them as members of the neighborhood watch, where some of them terrorizethe people they were meant to protect. The vexatious aspect of it now is thatdifferent waste management agencies use these uncultured fellows, who have noregards for human rights to harass decent people in their abodes, as they swampin to people's home to demand for illegal money or be whisked away to theirgulag Worst still, some hooligans use“Man-know-man” to get recruited in to the Nigerian Police Force where theyextort money from motorists plying certain roads. Long time ago, the story ofhow a driver who played prank on a mobile police man who demanded for “Green”,that is N20 from him, but, he gave the MOPOL man a wrapped green paper wasshort dead filled some sections of our media. One

of such police man oncedescribed himself to me as a licensed criminal, because his uniform permits himto carry arms he said. But, I must commend the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar, for his unrelenting efforts to sanitize theNigerian Police Force and remake it! However, in somecommercial cities, hooligans are competing with policemen on who will enforcethe law. Some of the business men in such cities use the nuisance of these boysto add values to themselves, as they send them to go and harass anybody whodare challenge them in some of the sleazy dealings they indulge in! Some ofthem also use them to settle sculls or beef with their business rivals. These hooliganslive big than some of the salary earners because their services are easily employedby those who want to attract attentions to themselves. Such people delusivelyindulge in the fake sense of security and importance such unholy practicesaccord them. How do we confront

head-onthe menace of hooliganism in some of our tertiary institutions when somelecturers who are suppose to be the shining lights of decency, patronize them andsometimes join them in perpetuating their shambolic acts? Lecturers aresupposed to be sententious before their students, but, experiences of moderntimes have shown otherwise! No governmentplays with the future of her young people, because there are the assets ofevery nation. The ministry of Youths Development should not concern its selfwith the affairs of the literate Nigerians alone, but, they should alsointroduce programmes that catch our youths during their younger ages and imbuethem with positive mindsets and dispositions to life. They should be made tounderstand that life is not all about joy and happiness or bed of roses, but,sometimes there are ephemeral thorns that require patience, vision, courage, determination andpersistency to overcome. They should know that hope is the only thing we

areleft with when everything is taken away from us. And while weeping may endurefor a night, joy comes in the morning! This is because; there has never been anight without morning. They should also be made to understand that, in the vicissitudesof life, our nose may be bloody, but we must remain focus in pursuing our goals, and like AbrahamLincoln said in his famous letter to his son's teacher: “Teach him gently, butdo not cuddle him, because only the test of fire makes fine steel. Let him havethe courage to be impatient… let him have the patience to be brave”. Parents on their own shoulddefine their reality before deciding on the number of issues they want toproduce! Having the ability to produce more issues should also be extended toabilities to train and take good care of them in accordance with Proverbs 22:6which says: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, hewill not depart from it”. ComradeEdwin Ekene Uhara is

an activist and a public affairs commentator. He is alsothe National President of Young Nigerians for Change.07065862479,[email protected], Ben Mbamalu Crescent, Achara Layout, Enugu State.

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Articles by Edwin Uhara