Are Nigerian Youths Permanently Dispersed Or Are They Just Standing By?

By Anthony Chuka Konwea, PhD, PE

I was greatly taken aback with laughter recently when I received a call from an old childhood friend.

Let’s call him by his moniker Ajashu. In those old days, my friend was a very naughty boy.

With a business tycoon, always on the move as father, and a successful trader permanently counting money in her supermarket as mother, Ajashu was raised by his maternal grandmother.

Thoroughly spoilt and lacking for nothing, Ajashu nevertheless gave his doting grandmother a torrid time.

He would go into their kitchen, dip his hand into a steaming pot of soup freshly prepared by her and take the choicest meat, not only for himself but also for any visiting friends.

Discovering the malfeasance, the old lady would release a torrent of curses, knowing fully well that her grandson was the culprit.

“Onye weli-anu, na ite-ofem, ajashu bu nke. Whoever stole meat from my pot of soup, bad luck will be their portion.”

“Okwa nnai na nnei nata na uno wa ma fuzi anu we-li. It’s alright, whenever your father or mother return home, they won’t find any meat to eat.” That was how Ajashu which translates as bad luck from Asaba Igbo dialect got his moniker from teasing friends.

Many decades later, my friend Ajashu has since emerged as a middle cadre stalwart in one of Nigeria’s major political parties.

I was therefore surprised when Ajashu told me, “You people are being too critical of us the youths. I assure you the next time we hit the streets, all of you armchair critics will be forced to eat your words.”

I burst out laughing, Here was Ajashu whose eldest daughter recently put to bed, calling himself a youth.

“Look at this grandfather, calling himself a youth” I teased.

The jocular irony was not lost on my friend.
“My brother, I consider myself a youth in relation to the old brigade, President Buhari and company in their eighties, who refuse to step down and transfer power to us,” Ajashu replied laughing.

I could not contain my mirth.
“It is like Prince Harry agitating for reforms in the British Monarchy and Prince Charles saying it is time for youths like himself to assume the throne,” I teased.

“Yes-oh” Ajashu replied. “The junior youths who took to the streets have been dispersed, while we the senior youths who remained loyal are standing by to take our chance.”

Upon further reflection I could not agree more. So indeed, it seems is the current situation in Nigeria, where wonders would never end.

Apparently if you are less than sixty years old, you are still a youth, a senior youth in Nigeria, especially with regards to power shift.

Anthony Chuka Konwea, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE, MNSE, FNIStructE, MNICE.

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