Securing A Place For The Youths: A Call For Generational Shift And Economic Freedom
BEING A PAPER PRESENTED AT THE ORLU ZONAL YOUTHS POLITICAL SUMMIT FRIDAY, MAY 30, 2014 BY PROF PROTUS NATHAN UZORMA (The Reformer)
2. Conceptual Clarifications
3. The Need for Generational Shift
4. Between Them and Us- The Generational Gap Syndrome
5. Towards a Holistic Shift
Dear youths of our Orlu Senatorial Zone and Imo State, today is another day meant for your onward movement to self-actualisation. Today is the long awaited day for change in your perspectives in social life and destiny. This is my third time of coming to Orlu, within the past six months to talk with you. I remember very well during the Imo Youths Summit of 13th December, 2013 and the Orlu Youths Summit that inaugurated our visionary Newspaper on 14th December, 2013, as well as Saturday, March 22, 2014, when you all gathered and made me the Mayor of Orlu, etc., that I stressed on the need for the youths to have constant meetings and summits, where issues bothering on your wellbeing will be discussed. I am glad today, you used the advice very well and I bet you, the more of it, the more you come to the limelight of popularity and attaining your aims and aspirations in life.
This is a typical spirit of the progressivist, a trend of those who will succeed in life, because it shows you are planning to succeed in life. It is obvious that if you fail to plan, invariably, you have planned to fail. Your predecessors that are today considered as national idols and heroes once tolled same path. And I make bold to tell you that not all 'ancient paths' are obsolete. Many remain valid till today and possibly till the next thousand years, and by following and doing them, we remain orthodox and traditional. Besides, most popular generational shifts or paradigm shifts in various spheres of life world-over, were pure modern returns to the antiquity- The ways of our predecessors.
As a result of this, I wish to recall for you again today the hallowing of our great nationalist, Prof Eyo Ita, who exactly 80 years ago (that is, in 1934; as the National Leader of the Nigerian Youth Movement, NYM), declared that 'youths in other countries are driving forward, building themselves and their people, making their homelands beautiful, bright and stimulating, raising them to higher heights. This is the day of the Nigerian youth. It must build a new social order for whereas yesterday belonged tour fathers, today and the immediate tomorrow is ours. We can and must shape it according to our needs and desires.' I say same to you today, that you must build a new paradigm and social order; I know you can and must blend it according to your visions and needs.
In view of that, this paper is an excursus on youths' clarion call for generational shift and freedom. It thus, explores in great depths, through vivid linguistic analysis, clarifications and expository realism, what, how where and why the youths need to secure a place for themselves. This directedness makes concentration and location of the desired shift clearer. This envisioned generational shift is necessary for the revitalization of your societal membership, as well as instilling renewed and constant sense of purpose for the authentication of your zeitgeist. Thus, the paper focuses on 'generational shift and economic freedom' as urgent task that awaits the youths and where they need to make a clarion call to the entire youth bodies, to ensure that they secure a place for themselves in the process of the generational shift and thus attain self-actualisation and fulfilment in life.
2. Conceptual Clarifications
Definitions, according to linguistic analysts, limit vastness. Conceptual clarifications on the other hand, make for clarity and redirect one to the desired realm of interest. Thus, before we proceed to the theme of our discussion, which is clear and direct, it will be nice to make some conceptual clarifications about the keywords in our topic: Securing a place, the youths, a call, generational shift and economic freedom. This will help in proper reflection on the chosen theme and would also help the youths to know what sort of summons they are harkening to, who is calling them, the necessity of the generational shift, the need to answer the call and how to realise the aims of the summons.
a) Securing a Place
As a verb, 'to secure' means 'to get by special effort' or 'to make certain of'. To secure a place, means to obtain something by means of much and articulated effort. It implies to get something for somebody or for something. To secure something for somebody has an objective for which the provision accomplishes. Similarly, to secure a place for somebody, does not only imply having an objective, but entails the existence of a particular direction for the accomplished provision. It also insinuates the existence of competitors and some degree of competition because of existential insufficiency of the desired goody vis-à-vis the interested or competing beneficiaries, and the reality of the position, place or thing that the innumerable competitors struggle at once to grasp.
In the same way, it indicates that there exists somewhat solidarity or empathy between the one that is securing the place and the other that the provision is being made for. On this ground, one out-rightly perceives some type of anomalies: That at the ground where the provision is to be made for the one, who so to say, is not present; that there is no proper organization or administrative orderliness. Things are not right as they should be, and thus, everyone devises means of self-subsistence and of solidarity to his own people, group, class or generation.
This sense of solidarity has been a characteristic feature of each class, group or generation in the history of Nigerian politics, seeking to assert their quest for socio-economic freedom. Solidarity and oneness of purpose is the bulwark of synergy in which every self-asserting group divides their society into: The in-group (that is, the native-holders of authority that those in power use) and the out-group (that is, the strugglers for self-assertion).
This, according to our brother and great historian, Okwudiba Nnoli (1980:140), during the independence struggle that was championed by Nigerian youths, created a sense of solidarity in (both the in-group and out-group) membership of the nationalist movements, together with the identification and pride in the successes of the various unions.
Thus, the saying: 'Securing a place for somebody,' necessitates a direction and its prepositions- 'in', 'at', etc. This makes it necessary to specify where to secure the place for the other, that is, the direction which the prepositions (of position- 'in' or 'at', etc) awaits to state. Again, whenever the directional or positional prepositions 'in' or 'at' is used in conjunction with securing a something for somebody,' a position, a status, a forum, an epoch, an opportunity or a new history is created for the provided and thus a change in the person's sitz in leben (condition of living).
This direction, in which the provision is aimed at, is obviously absent in the theme that I am to discuss today: 'Securing a Place for the Youths.' I want to know, in which direction or position? When you want to send somebody on mission, there is need to specify the tenets of its agency. Which position; in or at which place? Is it a place for the youths IN the society, the church, or IN Orlu zone, Imo State, Imo politics and government, IN the forthcoming 2015 political dispensation, etc? These specificities are missing in the thematic precision.
Notwithstanding this imprecision in the thematic formulation of the paper, and being once a youth and a for-life lover of youths, I consider all these assumptions and unsaid in the thematic coinage as what you have in mind for the call for generational shift, and will treat them as if they were all said.
b) Who Is a Youth?
The commonest definition of the term 'youth' in all English dictionaries around the world is that of 'the period between childhood and adult age,' and as 'young people considered as a group.' For Thomas (2003:88) 'youth' simply means 'the stage of constructing the self-concept;' this self-concept of youth is influenced by several variables such as peers, lifestyle, gender, and culture. In line with this perceptive of youth as a phase of self-concept construction, John Wing Jnr (2012:9), defines the term 'youth' as 'the time of a person's life in which they make choices which will affect their future.'
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), 'Youth' is best understood as a period of transition from the dependence of childhood to adulthood's independence and awareness of our interdependence as members of a community. It further states that: 'Youth is a more fluid category than a fixed age-group. However, age is the easiest way to define this group, particularly in relation to education and employment. Therefore 'youth' is often indicated as a person between the age where he/she may leave compulsory education, and the age at which he/she finds his/her first employment. This latter age limit has been increasing, as higher levels of unemployment and the cost of setting up an independent household puts many young people into a prolonged period of dependency.'
Similarly, for statistical consistency across regions, the United Nations Organisation (UNO) defines 'youth', as those persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years, without prejudice to other definitions by Member States. All UN statistics on youth are based on this definition, as illustrated by the annual yearbooks of statistics published by the United Nations system on demography, education, employment and health. But, for activities at the national level, for example when implementing a local community youth programme, the term 'youth' may be understood in a more flexible manner. In this backdrop, UNESCO will adopt the definition of 'youth' as used by a particular Member State. It can be based for instance on the definition given in the African Youth Charter where 'youth' means 'every person between the ages of 15 and 35 years'.
Generally the common understanding of the phrase 'a youth,' is a young person who has not grown up to full adulthood or who is partially or provisionally under the continual care of parents or guardians in the society. Consequently, the youths belong to the ones under parental care. It also involves anyone who is learning as young adults, mid-career adults or those who are taking vocational training in established learning or training organizations.
The Psalmist (Psalm 127) while exhorting youthful age declares 'like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver filled with these arrows!' The youths are these arrows that the warrior (the nation, the state, our senatorial zone, etc) uses to fight in order to conquer, in order to save its territorial integrity and ensure its continual future existence. Thus, standing the youths on the rock of veritable survival and position in the society is comparable to the Psalmist filling one's quiver with the arrows. That is why the problems of the Youths are the problems of the society that wants growth and development. And the best and lasting form of desirable future development a clairvoyant society could envision and embark upon, is youths' grooming and enthronement into desirable positions that will ensure socio-economic stability, others are preliminary urgencies that have to be attended to.
Unfortunately, the general situation of Imo youths today is like the declarations of the Biblical Sheba son of Bichri (the Benjamite) who blew his trumpet and declared 'everybody to his tent O Israel,' (Samuel 20:1). The youths sitz in leben in the State today is also like the poetic insight of W.B. Yeats who (in his poem, 'The Second Coming') declared that 'Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold. Mere anarchy is formed around the world. The best lacks all convictions while the worst are full of passionate intensity.' The well educated, trained and zealous youths roam the streets unemployed, while there are men of 65 years and above who are holding up to four payable positions in the society, without relinquishing any even after their death.
Regrettably, our society today remembers the youths not as the most vital stakeholders of the present day society and the leaders of tomorrow, but as employable adults who are 20-35 years below retirement age, and this remembrance occurs only when the already siphoned employment opportunities are made public. Our society and government today, divide the youths into qualified and unqualified ones. The qualified ones (in terms of academics) amount to millions from our universities, about 70% of which are in search of opportunities to be saved from denials of means for self-subsistence. Graduates roam about the streets in search of jobs. On the other hand, those who are unqualified (in terms of academics), end up as debased factory-hands and sex solicitors. Many of these trekked from Nigeria across the borders to outside countries (such as Spain, Algeria, Libya, Italy, Morocco, etc), and in most of the cases, a great many of them got rot away in countless jails on allegations of sundry crimes, etc.
The very few that have the courage to stay back in the country, have to battle with dilapidated infrastructure, mass youth unemployment which the World Bank recently put at 38 per cent. With the near collapse of the education sector, only the children of the favoured few have access to quality service delivery either in one of the many mushrooming private universities now dotting the landscape of Nigeria or seek for greener pastures in Europe, Canada, the United Kingdom or the U.S. Some prefer nearby Ghana where Nigerian parents spent a whopping N140 billion in only three universities in 2012.
The flip side is for the youths with low tolerance level, are now actively engaged in armed robbery, kidnappings, acting as thugs for politicians, massive crude oil theft, and cyber crime called 'yahoo-yahoo' and the senseless killings of innocent citizens in the garb of Boko Haram terrorism. For how long can we go on this way? Are these the sort of youths that God predestined for our society and your generation? Or has our society not made the type of youths it wants to have? Are you contented with the type, quality and calibre of youths that your society today and its government want to turn your generation into? If you are, then be what you are and where you are. If on the contrary, you are not, then, rise and take a leap across the chasm of subjugation. Make the envisioned generational shift and attend the desired new life status and sitz in leben.
c) A Call for
The noun phrase, a call for something,' implies a demand, an invitation, a request or an order for the called or invited and referent to brace up and do something unusual or to attend certain levels, heights or somewhere. It is a clarion call, a request or an invitation for the people to do something.
According to the Macmillan Dictionary, a clarion call is 'a strongly expressed demand or request for action'. This in other words means 'a strong and clear request for people to do something'. Thus, the phrase: 'A call for' as synonymous with 'a clarion call,' means a very clear message or instruction about what action is needed for an immediate and lasting change.
Most of you have finished your university studies, gone to Youths Service and returned. Yet, I believe, fresh in your memories is the NYSC Anthem: 'Youths obey the clarion call, let us lift our nation high,' Even our National Anthem invites us as compatriots to rise and obey Nigeria's call to do something (to serve our fatherland) with prescribed methods (- With love, and strength and faith).
In these cited two 'nation-wide' Anthems, the country requests you the youths to obey its call to do something, either to serve the fatherland or to form formidable team and synergy to lift the nation up. Today, the call is by the youths to the youths, a self-alerting call that insinuates previous inauthentic living of one's youthfulness, laxity and negligence of duty, self-forgetfulness and present re-direction.
Every invitatory call has assignments, missions or duties that are specified. The national anthem has its, the NYSC specified its own as well; just as the Orlu youths call on their youths today, specifies the assignment as for 'generational shift and economic freedom.' But, as each of these specifies its duty-call, they have general features that reveal how or the modalities for their attainment. These modalities for attaining the duty-call are the major task of this paper.
What needs to be done henceforth is highly tasking. You need to really know whether this vision is possible by doing unbiased self, societal and organizational evaluation. Is a generational shift possible? How can we realize it? Are we ready to take the bull by the horn, knowing what it implies to take generational shift?
d) Generational Shift
Each human generation shares certain thoughts, values, and behaviours because of the shared events and environments that formed their lives, but experience has thought us that this generation differs from those of your 'parents' and grandparents'. This is obvious; ask any elderly one around you; who is sincere and realistic. That informs the reason why a generational shift today is necessary to revitalise your membership and sense of purpose in today's society and to authenticate your zeitgeist.
The word generation, has various nuances, but for the purpose of this paper, we shall limit ourselves to the signification of the term generation as 'a group of people of similar age that are involved in a particular activity'. It means an age or epoch in human history with specific ways of life and subsistence. Consequently, the adjectival form- generational, means- 'that which has to do with a particular generation in differentiation from the pre-existed'. It is based on this differentiation of one generation from the other that one can validly think of a generational turn, shift or change. Like notion of differentiationimplied in the adjective 'generational', the noun- shift, implies 'change'- A sort of novelty or difference that is observed from the previous situations, habits or the usual.
Similarly, generation could also be taken as a (single) stage in the history of a people. When the concept of change that inheres in the word shift, is applied to a 'stage in the history of a people', one will then be on the lane of social change.
Naturally, the nature of social change as implied in our intended notion of 'generational shift' refers to alterations in a social structure that have long-term and relatively important impacts. It is our duty as projectors and agitators of social change to make film resolutions on the visions for this, since it entails long-term consequences; especially, since as by enduring consequences that could be relative, it implies a durable impact that may not be same as it happened with Mr. A or Mr. B. - Thus, the need to be cautious.
e) Economic Freedom
The concept 'economic freedom'is the condition in which individuals can act with autonomy while in the pursuit of their economic livelihood and greater prosperity. It is the freedom to prosper within a country without intervention from a government. Everywhere in the world, economic freedom is the key to greater opportunity and an improved quality of life. That is why, it is said to be an engine that drives prosperity in the world, and is the difference between why some societies thrive while others do not.
It simply means socio-economic development and independence. Economic freedom is the sort of relational independence in commerce, industry, wealth and development in a nation, state, people or even individual; and entails the state of being able to do what one wants to do economically without financial restraints and other pecuniary encumbrances.
According to Friedrich A. Hayek (1994), living in a society with high levels of economic freedom leads to higher incomes, lower poverty, less unemployment, longer life expectancies, and cleaner environments, among a host of other benefits. More economic freedom improves well-being and leads to a higher quality of life.
The idea of economic freedom has raised many debates and theories among social scientists such as Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, Ludwig Von Mises, Friedrich A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, Murray Rothbard, etc. These thinkers are of the view that there are three fundamental principles of economic freedom. They are: Empowerment of the individual, non-discrimination, and open competition, and according to Professor Robert A. Lawson (2008), in living and ensuring the existence of these principles, the key ingredients of economic freedom are personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to compete in markets, and protection of person and property.
Obviously, this vision to some extent is rebellious as social stratification does not allow for universal economic freedom. Anthony James Catanese (1974:69) observed that the politicians, who are in-charge of the commongood of the society, have certain personality traits that tend to be somewhat provincial, privative and conservative. This is because, as they are politicians in the locality, they may put aside opportunities for changes in their life styles that may involve geographical (or mass) change or increased mobility toward the social ladder.
In the same way, the agitator for change may need the services of a planner who the politicians always need. The planner for A.J. Catanese (1974:41) 'as an actor in the political process in this fashion would rarely take a strong position because his offering to the process is objective and technical wisdom free of the influences from the demand and support groups'. This sort of hindrance results in an almost direct relationship between the advocate role (of the intermediating agency, linking the agitating group and the divide-and-share politicians we have today) and the assistance offered to those special interest groups which had the least ability to formulate their demands and supports in clear manners.
Consequently, the summoning youths need to be fully armed with the necessary armours required for survival and attainment of the envisioned objective. In reality, the possibility of engaging the entire youths into economic freedom is impossible as autonomy at its strictest sense debuts from the individual. Thus, the desired economic freedom has practical reality on singular youths and individuals, the collection of which entails the desired vision. This, I shall come back to in the treatise- Towards a holistic shift.
3. The Need for Generational Shift
Generational shift as a social change is different from the common conception of 'progress.' Thus, if by generational shift, you are envisioning progress, you are missing the track because the concept 'progress' carries a value judgement, and entails change in a desirable direction. This informs why Arnold Joseph Toynbee (1946) presented a challenge-respond theory of social change, of which civilizations rise only when a proper challenge in the environment (as you have before the youths today) is presented to a people who can successfully respond to it. The reason is that if a challenge from the environment is not issued sufficient response, or if the society fails to meet up with a challenge, then it will either fail to rise or decline.
The grand questions are: Are you youths facing real critical challenges in you social environment? Have you been able to identify what these challenges are? Have you as change-agitators sincerely evaluated their make-up and strength as sufficient enough to emit corresponding heat that can melt these cold challenges? Jesus, the Christ said that whoever wants to build a house must first assess his self-sufficiency before embarking on it. After proper self-evaluations, have the youths thought out sufficiently suitable responses that would meet up with the perceived challenges and threats to their progressive existence? Knowing fully well that the human society poses great defence when it perceives alterations in its existing social structures that bear certain degree of regularity, are you ready to swim against the fast flowing tide of societal habits and orthodoxy?
If the answers are affirmative, then you are ready for the generational shift, which to some extent signifies 'Paradigm Shifts'; which Sandra Harding (1998) explored as a process of change (in epistemological inclinations and resources) and perspectives in life. According to her, for swift execution of shifts in values or paradigms to occur, the objectivity must be strong. This is because, 'weak objectivity' cannot identify paradigms, and conventional notion of objectivity that links it to the neutrality ideal appears too weak to do what it sets out to do, (Harding, 1988:133).
Stephen Jay Gould (1981) also pointed out the necessity of shifting social climates to enable vigorously critical alternative hypotheses (or as it stands in the case of the Imo youths today, of alternative valid ways of survival) to emerge. It is obvious as humans that when a sitz in leben (life situation) is inauspicious, the sensitive man has to make moves and devise possible ways of ameliorating his living patterns and social realities.
The initiator of paradigm shift, Thomas Kuhn, in his celebrated work: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) conceived it as a necessary change in the basic assumptions or paradigms, within the ruling theory of science'. According to him, paradigm shift (or in the case of our topic, generational shift)occurs when enough significant anomalies have accrued against a current paradigm, and the scientific discipline is thrown into a state of crisis. During this crisis, new ideas, perhaps the ones previously discarded, are tried. Eventually a new paradigm is formed, which gains its own new followers, and an intellectual 'battle' takes place between the followers of the new paradigm and the hold-outs of the old paradigm.
Today, the term 'paradigm shift' has other usages and are used in other contexts to represent the notion of a major change in a certain thought-pattern, implying a radical change in personal beliefs, complex systems or organizations, and replacing the former way of thinking or organization with a radically different way of thinking or organizing. This applied usage is the foundation of our modern ideas of generational shift, and that is why, the social scientist, John Hassard (1993), insisted on the use of wide application of multi-paradigmatic approaches in order to understand complex human behaviour and causes of social changes while studying history.
Apart from these social scientists and environmentalists, many literary artists have written on the need of generational shift or social change, especially, when living becomes inauspicious. The Ghanaian author, Bediako Asare (1968) and our brother, late Cyprain Ekwensi (1971), in their novels vividly explored the needs of generational or even personal value shifts in life. Uzorma and Okoroji (2013:69) also remarked that one needs to critically study his environment and open up to the outside world in order to experience and accept change, and that enlightened mentality gives room for revolts against inauspicious living and thus resulting to constant societal changes.
4. Between Them and Us- The Generational Gap
According to Stanley U Okoroji (2007), 'every human being and generation partakes in three generations: The generation of one's predecessors, one's own generation, and the generation of his successors, which stands to set his proper generation as antiquity that could be desired as renaissance or rejected as obsolete.' The generation of the successors is to some extent better situated to evaluate the preceding and further their proceeding. This furthering is the basis of generational shift or paradigm shift, which is either a turning to or a turning away from specific life values and sitz in leben. Thus, before the turning, differentiations in paradigms and perspectives exist between the antiquity and the contemporary, which culminate in misunderstanding or generational gap.
Every youthful generation in life, strives to maintain the notion and role of generational shift as naturally assigned duty to it. Consequently, there exists a generational gap, a difference in perception of values or paradigms, of attitudes, behaviours and perspectives, between the young and older ones, which results in grand misunderstanding of the dispositions of each generation towards the other.
The Ghanaian playwright, J.C. De Graft, (in his work: Sons and Daughters, 1964), portrayed a generational shift and the tensions that result from the clash of two different generations in an area of rapid social change. He teaches that since it is a rebel, a struggle of supremacy and freedom of self (to choice, opinion, inclination, life and societal management, etc), it is strife between them and us: The sons against the fathers, the mothers against their daughters, etc.
In this generational gap, either of group must experience overriding influence from the other, impositions certainly must exist such that one will out-power the other, the feelings of disappointment and oppression are never found wanting, intrigues as manoeuvring tool are assured, the feelings of flaws must abound; just as autocracy and provisional anarchical approaches will reign.
What is at stake now is how to ensure that the aims and objectives, the visions and desires of both the in-group and out-group in the revolution process are one and constantly interact. Revolutionists world-over, never cared whose ox is noosed. Their revolt and insistence on new value turn shakes the society at the time and as it gradually assimilates the tensions, the changes are internalised and the agitators if successful are considered triumphant.
5. Towards a Holistic Shift
The enjeux and lead-way here, is- Where do the youths need to attend in order to achieve their aims? Our society is ravaged by the leadership-for-life syndrome. No ruler, no public office holder, no civil servant, wants to go out from office; even when the circumstances compel such, they tend to find suitable replacements that are alta persona to them. This alta persona is their hand to continually reach where they cannot reach right from the antiquity days of our present day society. Chinua Achebe's Arrow of God (1966:55) depicts this eternal benefiting scheme and validity by the native African and Igbo in the character, Ezeulu who told his son, Oduche that:
The world is changing,I do not like it. But I am like the bird Eneke-nti-oba. When his friends asked him why he was always on the wing he replied: 'Men of today have learnt to shoot without missing and so I have learnt to fly without perching'. I want one of my sons to join these people and be my eye there. If there is nothing in it you will come back. But if there is something there you will bring home my share. The world is like a Mask dancing. If you want to see it well you do not stand in one place. My spirit tells me that those who do not befriend the White man today will be saying had we known tomorrow.
This was the past generation's notion of youths. But today, this idea of self-undyingness in one's children- The youths, is no more in our society. Years past, elders considered the youths as their personal replacement, a sort of 'dragging-out anchor formed with a long rope, which the fisherman uses to drag out what lies in the depth of the waters where his physical body cannot reach,' (Uzorma & Okoroji, 2013:160).
In all spheres of life, the youths need to take over from the elderly ones: In government, in the public and civil service, in the family, in politics and the society, etc. Consequently, since the fathers have forgotten that their sons are overdue to take over certain functions and leadership positions from them; since the older ones are diehard in their paternalism and its features; since they remember not that values change and that man is dynamic; since those in government are our fathers and mothers, uncles and aunts, brothers and sisters, who do not remember us; since by dint of their insensitivity to our plights, we decide to revolt, what do we do? Do we need to fold our hands and watch them or should we voice out our discontentment and let them know that we are qualified and around? My dear, let me tell you the truth, if you can't make known your location, none can ascertain your position. If you can't say 'I am here,' none can validly say: 'he is here'.
You need to rise this 2015 and take your destiny in your hands. Let there be bargains on what is your lot in the forthcoming political dispensation in all its different levels at your reach, before ever you dare supporting the candidate before you. Election and campaign time has come when political aspirants will promise you Paradisso in Terra, when they will promise to carry you to the 7th heavens on the gossamer wings of their dragon-fly, when they will tell you what you want to hear and you give them your vote and mandate to siphon and abnegate you, and once they are in, they become unreachable. They change their phone lines and mount insurmountable protocols in their offices.
My dear youths, Prof Wole Soyinka in his book, Trial of Brother Jerome, said 'these daughters of Eve shall be your downfall'. The daughters of Eve that prowl to pull you down today as youths, are no more the damsels and belles of our communities who are already fallen (not because they are of the easy-virtue stuff, but) because of the socio-economic under-development of the Nigerian and Imo societies. They are, rather, those big-mouthed Honourables, those all-life-time unopposed candidates, and self-mandated leaders of our political society today who are perennial regulars in electoral and public offices. They are the gubernatorial aspirants, senatorial, reps, state assemblies, councils and wards political aspirants and leaders who make you perpetual bag carriers and eternal child. For them, though you are adults, your adulthood belongs to what Italian psychologists call Piccolo Adulto (Small Adult) and as such, you may be matured but of a Lilliputian stature, which cannot allow you take out anything on your roof. They have taken the positions as their perpetual birthrights and must be there by all means, at all costs and always.
You need to come out en masse, with love, unity and sense of directedness and purpose; contest for as many political offices as possible. Certainly, you make yourself known only in encounters. The Jewish philosopher, Martin Buber, in his works I and Thou(1970) and Between Man and Man (1979) strongly emphasised that authentic existence is only lived in encounters; and except you come out and hold the bull by the horn, manna will never fall from heaven for your socio-economic situations and aspirations in life to come through. Rise, for heroes never sat like self-recreating ducks. Think and think out ways for ameliorated subsistence. Go out and take than bargain for your right. Say NO to sweet-sounding words and promises that flow from the mouths of modern Imo orators. Cease to hearing them, but instead, pull them to hear you. Let the generational shift be all-round, in all spheres and apertures in life: In partyism, politics and governance, etc.
The youths also need to turn their focus towards creativity, inventions and to studying new areas of disciplines, which their inclinations and felt-talents pull them to. The Ghanaian playwright, Joe De Graft, in his generational shift lessons (Sons and Daughters, 1964), tells us that time has gone when one goes to study law, medicine, accountancy, etc., because they are professional courses or because Mr A or Mr B made it in life there. You should follow your talents and inclinations in your studies, career, life aspirations and dreams, etc. These and many more resolutions that you can raise as Communiqué at the end of this summit, certainly will assure, support and sustain the generational shift and economic freedom, which you are calling yourselves together to achieve and attain.
God bless your visions; may they never fail you! God answer your public prayers; may they never be preyed upon in the privacy of the Pharaohs of your time! God increase your courage and zeal; may they never fail!
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