Broken, Betrayed And Brutalized

By Terinwa Adesipo
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In the annals of human existence, it has become revealed that observation is an irreplaceable ingredient in the journey of discovery and invention. But observations do not manifest in restriction or detention, it is one done through consistent concentration and unfettered examination. As such, observations may be done in one’s locality, fremd territory, or even the outer planet. For Scientists, observation has existed as an indispensable tool, perhaps even the prime implement in the process of researching, experimentation, hypothetico-deduction, invention and even one that has been employed in understanding the human world since Primordiality. Hence, it is now a celebrated member in the hall of fame of Scientific methods.

Peradventure, this is the fallible rationalization that can be used to explain why many of the major discoveries and inventions in Human history are majorly a product of scientific parturition. From Edison’s invention of the Light bulb to Einstein’s discovery of the invaluable equation of E=mc2. and even medical discoveries such as the cure to a deadly epidemic. To this and many more, humanity sure is perpetually indebted to the world of Science.

But a caveat must be established here, which is that inventions are not solely relative or attributing to the world of science, neither are they exclusively or restrictedly the product of laboratory experiments, rather, they are primarily and basically the descendants of intellectual rumination, cogitation and contemplation, one whose fertilization mostly happen through observation. Even Newton, could not deny such realism when he uttered that “if i have ever made any valuable discovery, it has been owning more to patient attention than to any other thing”. Although, the intimate nexus between observation and invention cannot be slightly denied, not all observations are channeled towards achieving that result. As such, observations can be employed for other fundamental purposes as well.

But since I’m not a Scientist, the question might then arise as to what is my abrupt fondness with scientific discoveries, inventions, Science and even Newton’s dictum? Concretely, i must confess, one must always dedicate time -as periodic as possible- to observe one’s society, hence, it is to this reason that i now express great admiration for my benefactor. But what really has observation done to deserve such praise? Plainly, during a recent trip to certain parts of the country few weeks ago, it brought to my knowledge manifold saddening revelations; one that exposed the frequently overlooked dismal realities which portends unquantifiable doom for the human society. Although, i haven’t procreated a scientific discovery or birth an invention like Einstein, Columbus or Edison, i am grateful for that which i now know.

Flowing from this, it is inexpressibly sad to know, that these gloomy realities which came to my knowledge unthinkably manifest themselves independently and authoritatively in our societies. But this is not because they are invisible or spectral; rather this is because the society has consciously taken a blind eye to them and even some times champion or contributed to their manifestation. As a result of this unconscious as well as conscious negletion of those very things that matters, it should be noted that we are all to be blamed for being an active partaker and contributor to the contemporary decadence of our once flourishing and progressive society, to one, where we now have an existent dystopia. Today unlike before, i am now considerably informed of the highly catastrophic presence of Juvenile and Youthful thuggery, ruffianism and criminality in our nation. In establishing the degree of dominance of this malady in our society, i will firstly employ three different experiences garnered from my trip to narrate the point i seek to make.

First off, i came in contact with some set of young Boys all robed in tattered wears. At just predawn, these young Boys in their teenage years were already out in the street, barricaded the Road, holding sticks of different sizes and requesting illegal tollgate fees from commercial and non-commercial vehicles. At the sight of their presence, motorists who were conversant with the order of things immediately greased #200 notes into the palms of these young Boys whilst those who were alien to such immediately followed suit. At a point, one of these Boys was even hurling imprecations at a driver for perhaps what looks like a hesitancy in payment, and even threatened to destroy his Vehicle should he continue to wallow in such irresolution.

Sadly, whilst one would have presumed that their community ought to rebuke and reproach the manifestation of such depravity by these teenage Boys, it is unbelievably the opposite. Just as we drove past these ‘tollgate officers’, a neighbouring passenger began to narrate how these young Boys are trained to become hoodlums and Street urchins from a very tender age and how this is the ‘most prestigious’ and ‘best legacy’ bequeathed to them by their society. Even more distastefully, it was also narrated as to how the Community Head and Elders have a share in the proceeds of this illegal tollgate fees and how this is what they alongside their entire family live on for survival.

Many hours after this sorrowful encounter, it was already getting dark. Everything was going smooth except for the degraded road which kept on throwing the vehicle into the abyss of the heavily present potholes at the slightest opportunity. But for anyone who is accustomed to road transportation in this part of the world, this should not be a journey blemish; rather one must take that as a norm and not an anomaly. As the journey continued and we were getting closer to our destination, lights suddenly beamed at the driver’s direction from afar. Gripped by fear, one of the Passengers began to invoke the heads of his ancestors to rescue and protect him as he began to narrate the tale of how certain Fulani Herdsmen were reported to have maimed some Passengers just few days earlier on one of the Country’s Highway.

But as we got closer, the headlight projected three young men holding shovels and wheel barrow posing as though they were rehabilitating the road, waving down to the driver to speed slower. Due to the period of the day, the driver smelled a rat and immediately geared the Bus into a high speed. Just immediately, these bandits uncover Shot guns from under the wheel barrow, fired few shots sporadically at the Bus’ direction and stopped only when they came to the realization that their mission on us has failed. Unfortunately, these young Boys were highway robbers and not road rehabilitators. But this attempted armed robbery was not really what i considered unfortunate about this incident, but rather how these bandits were individuals in their youthful years.

On getting to my destination, whilst narrating this experience to my Hosts, i was further informed as to how these Boys have been terrorizing Motorists in recent days, whilst hiding under the pretense of road rehabilitation. They also narrated how they have been raiding Houses, looting Stores and even burgling Supermarkets in the community. Deep down in my mind, i could not but help weep for the future of the country which has groomed such instruments of youthful criminality.

The third experience was just as embittering and sorrowful as the earlier ones. Just as i was returning from this journey, we got detained in a traffic gridlock, no thanks to a Tanker accident which had occurred at a bridge ahead. Unsurprisingly, this incident held us in retention for many hours till the dead of the night. As we hurdle passed that gridlock, we soon got to a particular Bus Stop where certain passengers had to alight. But something was troubling about activities going on at this bus stop at this time of the Night; this was because apart from the few buses which were still active, the other set of people on the street at this hour of the Night were young Boys and girls, one which the oldest among them would be either 17 or 18 years Old. Although one would have from a distant look presumed that they were street Hawkers, from a closer look, one could see clearly that the only thing they were hawking were smokes of cannabis which was escaping from their Mouths and Noses. Bitterly, this gathering did not only consist of Boys, but also girls, all dressed in tattered wears whilst smoking themselves to stupor. Sorrowfully, the gall discoveries i made on my Journey ends here.

Although that was the entire discovery my journey could afford me, i got more informed about the scary degree of this decay some days after from a Crony. After narrating my experience from the journey to him, he remained surprisingly unsurprised, to which i asked why. With this, he began narrating his encounter with some young men who had accosted him on his way home some weeks back at Twilight and how they commanded him to surrender all his valuables. Surprised at such detestable guts at such time of the day, he explained how he made an attempt to walk out on them and even threatened to call for their arrest, but just as he was about to, one of them materialized a Shot gun from under his clothes. Since only a mentally unstable person would ever attempt to go mano a mano with men better armed than him, he explained how he swiftly surrendered all that he had on him to them.

Sadly, this is not new either all about issues of Juvenile and Youthful criminality in Nigeria. Or how about the multitudinous and highly notorious cases of many young Boys and girls who are now Lords and Masters of Internet Frauds, this dismal reality became highly pronounced even to a point where a video of a toddler who was professing his aspiration to become a cyber-criminal was circulated and celebrated on the internet just some month ago. Rather than be met with reproach and condemnation, it became the talk of the town with everyone commending and applauding such a young boy for his uncommonly “wise” decision. Unfortunately, it was even employed as a clip in a Music video.

But in all reality, if the truth be told, these young ones are not to be blamed. This is because they are absolutely a product and victim of our societal decay. In sheer reality, these youngsters are the greatest victim of our societal degeneration and corruption. Thence, they have been damaged by unbearable suffering, tortured by oppression, suffered rejection from Parents and loved ones, denied qualitative education and even experienced betrayal from Friends and Families. In all truisms, these youngsters are nothing but a reflection of what our society now represents. Afterall it is said that the apple itself never falls far away from the tree.

But this is not even all, how about the many circumstances of young girls who are being trafficked to other counties for commercial sex and all sort of dirty jobs. Even here at home, it is no longer news as to the brobdinagian number of girls who have been physically, psychologically and even spiritually damaged and destroyed through same. Just few days ago, it was reported as to how an Ogun Teenage Brothel which was also a Baby Factory was uncovered. Narrating her ordeal, one of the victims explained how they are made to sleep with several men a day. Unfortunately, this brothel is just one out of many others where these young girls are damaged and destroyed. Even more sorrowfully, the issue of Children who are being starved tortured and left to rot under the shady concept of Almajiri schooling and gradually bred as instruments of criminality and destruction in Northern Nigeria cannot also be possibly neglected.

Apparently, these youngsters are all a product of a society which now glories in iniquity, celebrates criminality and bolsters its ruination. Not only have they been misguided by those who should ordinarily guide them aright; they have also been damaged and destroyed by those who should protect and shield them from this evil. To make things worse, the society which ought to ensure their protection and progression is busy waiting to collect crumbs of Ten cups of Rice and a dozen bulbs of onion from their political representative who has promised them their ‘share of the National cake’ and has thus abandoned these young ones to the brutal hands of hooliganism and delinquency. Despite this embittering reality, we still continue to deceptively pride our self as a progressive country even when our younger generations are becoming broken, hopeless, depressed, threatened and corrupted. Sadly, what we now breed are younger generations who are instruments of doom and servants of destruction.

Rather than even essay to remedy this societal ruination through the provision of qualitative education for these young ones, all we sadly boast of as a nation are educational institutions which are absolutely unfit and improper to be christened such or ones which are a pretty penny for the Children of the average man. To make thing worse, not even these epileptic educational institutions which exist with no qualified teacher and necessary teaching equipment’s are available and accessible to these young ones for ‘learning’. Sadly, those one which are even accessible are where these young Boys and girls are bred to be professional instruments of destruction and death after being recruited into different evil societies and unholy fraternities.

Sadly, rather than shield and guarantee the future of these young ones, we prefer to sacrifice such for our own greediness and inhume self-enrichment through corrupt practices. Rather than provide the young and employable population with employment, we prefer to starve them of good jobs so that they can work as Political thugs occasioning ghastly violence during elections. Rather than provide them with qualitative education, we prefer to give them one meal ticket in a school with no qualified teachers and teaching facilities and equipment so that they can continue to wallow and grow in their ignorance and retrogression. Rather than provide the hoi polloi with good living condition, we prefer to starch public funds away in foreign bank accounts so that we can suppress and oppress them with what ordinarily belongs to them and force them to vote for us merely by providing them with stomach infrastructure during Election. Pray tell, where is hope for the nation?

Purely, the history of world development since primordiality has unequivocally revealed that Corns do not germinate from Rice seedling neither can progress be expected form a seed of retrogression and destruction. Like the Greeks would say, whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad. Or what can be the future of a country which abandon and defiles its young populace? At present, it should be noted that no issue is more imperative to address or critical to the country’s future than the restitution of these youngsters who have become the greatest victim of our depraved society and unholy political climate. At bottom, all this still boils down to one thing, which is the fundamental restructuring of our society and the country at large. Or how can a damaged and rotten womb procreate wonderful offsprings? Quintessentially, it is high time our societies went back to the drawing board, for apparently we have failed in our duties, but not to shed Crocodile tears like we have always done but rather to strategize how to remedy and combat these many ills which now threatens the future of our nation. One last thing, we must never forget that the Child who is not trained will ultimately rob the Parent of everything they have struggled for many years to labour for. There are no two ways about it. May the labours of our heroes Past not be in vain.

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