Who And Where Are Our Prophets, For The Sake Of Our Youths?
Please, permit me, to start today's submission with Karl Popper's thoughtful provocation, when he said, “We may become the makers of our fate when we have ceased to pose as its prophets.”
The case of Aworiland is similar to that of the Nigerian state, where you cannot talk of any aspect of her affairs without lamentation!!! Every time and anywhere in Aworiland, what one sees, are humongous problems – from one indigene to another; from non-indigenes to indigenes; from within same town; from within same ruling house; from within and without politics; from one land matter to another; from one Chieftaincy to another and from one government to another.
Though, some of these problems are not peculiar to us but ours bring with it, strange and unwarranted involvement of non-indigenes which sometimes, make them intractable, and our inability to provide the needed capacity to resolve them is not only regrettable but retarding our future. I mean coming generations.
In Aworiland, we must be altruistically resourceful enough, to proffer plausible and innovative solutions in our quest to overcome our challenges. This is because other ethnic groups have challenged theirs, frontally, for the sake of their children.
We should not be tired of talking about our problems, no matter how unattractive and we should be ever ready to work out solutions. Our offerings should not and cannot continue, to be a restart, at every turn of every event but work in progress. We must talk productively and work our talk diligently with strategic trappings, which should be used, for control and navigation.
Undoubtedly, every nation; every ethnic nationality; every community and indeed, every group of people, where humanity exists, though they are few, there are people who are supposed to be in positions to lead and tend the collective good of their people into its reality. Desirably so, these few people are those who are referred to as prophets or better still, leaders of their people, arising from their positive contributions.
These few equip and involve their natives towards developmental goals. That is, growths which are beneficial to all or majority, in the areas of socio-economic, political and physical, and which are systematic and sustainable. These are champions of their people.
In the main, these few have chosen to be selfless and where they cannot, they are, at least, helpful. These few, have desired to make a difference, positively, for their people. In fact, these could be those principled and felt obligated to the larger interest of the group. Also, and sometimes, they could be those who have volunteered to stand for what is right and prepare their people for meritocracy. My Brothers and Sisters, is it not noble to be in one of these groups? On the other hand, their absence makes all manners of growth (socio-economic, spiritual, human capital and advancement) to be as far away to their natives, as the sky is, to mother earth. Because of their absence, selfishness is encouraged, isolationism venerated and individualism dominates. As a result, acrimony and all that are inglorious attain prominence. In addition, because of greed, if at all, little is available for the Youths. These are the consequences of their not stepping to help. Our prophets should come out now.
Research has shown that two principal ingredients are desirable for development to thrive. These ingredients are intellectualism and the Youths. Of the two, where intellectualism is lacking, it could be borrowed, stolen, bought or acquired and whereas, the same could not be said of the Youths, who are considered as very critical and regarded as the engine room for development. There are many reasons for this assertion, but, the most significant of them, is the indigenous humanity in it, which propels inspiration, sense of accomplishment and belonging through participation, evocation of emotion and pride, depository of knowledge (where, the sought after intellectualism is imbedded), and lastly, because tomorrow belongs to them.
As it is, as in other climes, Aworiland is not in short supply of these noble few but the question is where are they and who are they? They should come out now.
Arising from the fact that I am still postulating on the subject matter, if not, I would not have asked the following questions. Please take a minute and ponder on who and where our prophets are. If not our Obas, who else is? If not our political leaders, who else is? If not our community leaders, who else is? If not our High Chiefs, who else is? If not our Market leaders, who else is? If not our fathers and mothers, or our brothers and sisters, who else is? If not our professionals, who else is? If not our spiritual leaders, who else is? And, more staggeringly, If not you, who else?
The truth is that our prophets/leaders are locked up, not only, in all these categories mentioned above. Therefore, we should alter our moods and moderate our tempers in order to allow our prophets to step out to open space for young Aworis. We need leaders who are great. And, if we have problems knowing who qualifies to be, let us listen to John Maxwell's estimation, “leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others”. Have you empowered any Awori man, nay, woman? Or have you surreptitiously worked against such? Whatever your answer, let us start by empowering our Youths from today. Start to do something little today and the multiplier effects would resonate.
We are all involved in the leadership crises and therefore, are expected to take part in the resolution and restoration roles, through sincere and credible leadership participation, envisioned to salvage coming generations.
If you doubt our terrifying situation, as a people then, please, take a peep into the future and what you would see, is nothing worth celebrating! How and what do I mean? Aworiland is in danger! Look around you and you would be shocked because majority of our Youths are out of school. Again, take a censure of the students around us and you would be stunned at the low percentage of our natives, and when you come across one, even, your expectation would be questioned. Haplessly, those who are very serious and graduated are helpless because they are not getting jobs and no proper helping hand is extended. For those in this category, it has been no jobs and no opportunities!!!
Frighteningly still, those outside schools are not learning any trade or skill. Ask for a mason and the person that you are likely to see is a non-native – at best one in twenty. Now, may I ask, where are our today's leaders to fix our tomorrow's leaders!
If we could not answer the question regarding the whereabouts of our today's leaders, may I shock you with the answers to this new question, that is, where do we have our leaders of tomorrow? I mean our Youths.
For your information, majority of them are those collecting Okada ticketing/money, smugglers, Okada riders, money collectors from our land tenants and who are disturbing them. Unfortunately, some non-native Youths have been recruited into these groups and our children have been inadvertently brought in either to protect their own or for greed. The most discouraging aspect of the whole issue is that these last groups are not encouraged at all. This is because, even, those who graduated cannot get jobs and where jobs are available, we have been “quoted” out. And, unfortunately, no noticeable support on empowerment. Therefore, there is nothing to inspire going to school. Majority of our Youths cannot go to school and cannot learn any trade!!! Where and who are leaders.
Wait a minute! I am further perplexed!! What does it take to sell spare parts; building materials or open a medicine store? Those in these informal sectors are buying out Aworiland!!! Our Youths need help. Something urgent is calling for our attention because our Youths must be rescued otherwise we are doomed. Off record examples LASMA, LAGBUS, etc.
May I ask, what happens to the money realized from land sales in Aworiland!!! Our leaders should come and build small scale industries (SME) and not residential houses but then, are we ready not to frustrate whoever chooses to do so?
Why and how did we get to this stage? We are all involved. Otherwise, “Where was Nero when Rome was burning?” Truly, ladies and gentlemen, as Aworis, our public transaction has been very poor. We need to reengage ourselves, interface with our Youths and be more helpful, soberly.
Just a quick reflection on Karl Popper's quotation above would provoke our thought. Where then, are our Prophets; our first elevens? Better still, what type of prophets are we to our people? The answer to these questions is in unity of purpose to break unhealthy barriers.
Let us unite irrespective of our political and other differences from Lekki to Ado Odo (Badagry). Let us pursue a common cause divergently with unity of purpose by developing a political strategy that would favour us, at all times. Not a “I know it all” or “me only” approach which always lead to treacherous assertions. We need inclusiveness in all that we do. We should not relegate pan-Awori interests because we are obligated to coming generations.
Politics should not divide us because “no matter the circumstances, wherever, Awori is one”. We are one people; therefore, no matter our individual differences, we must ensure that our actions are in congruent, in the leaders of tomorrow's interests.
Our land is of abundance of prosperity and unparalleled hospitality as echoed in Awori Pledge. But where are our leaders, to help reshape a land ravaged and abandoned? I mean our prophets should step out now!!!
Ladies and gentlemen, we should assist our children today, through appropriate navigation to prosperity, in order to have a better tomorrow. It is our responsibility and obligation because the neglect of our Youths is a panacea for our continued disintegration and finally, extinction.
Written by Oye Taiwo (Awori Natives Coalition PRESIDENT).