After the celebration of International Youth Day 2020 in August, the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sport, Hon Sunday Dare broke the news in September of getting the approval of Mr President, Muhammadu Buhari to have November 1st every year as National Youth Day.
The news was received with bitter-sweet demeanour as many wondered the need after just celebrating the International Youth Day, why another Youth Day, and a few applauded the pronouncement.
Briefly after, Honourable Sunday Dare, announced the approval to have the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund to the tune of 75Billion Naira to cater for funding of innovative youthful ideas brought forward by youth and same to be managed by the Ministry of Youth and Sport.
It is not only good to know that the Federal Government has commenced processing of the first lap of 12.5Billion Naira which is expected to be released before end of 2020.
Fast forward, the last one month has truly brought to the fore the challenges of Nigerian youths beyond each splashing of funds at every given opportunity.
Several billions are always being allocated to the Ministry of Youths at the federal and across the 36 states of the Federation, but how many youth get a feel of the government?
Do not be shocked that hundreds of thousands of students in higher institutions nationwide are left to their fate to struggle through school.
The quality of such education is still left in wonder as many are better of before entering higher institutions than when they left.
The length of time they spend becomes a regret when compared with their mates in private institutions in the same country. _One said he would have gone to learn a trade than go to the university._
For example, students of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, Ondo State hoped to have a government that would listen and cater for their needs, but alas, the reverse is the case. Leading to hundreds of students being forced out of school and several forcefully led to social vices to survive the high cost of studies as against what their initial sponsors or parents can afford.
The Association of Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) are still on strike for months now and the government care less.
Our infrastructures are still begging for face lifts and students still sitting on the ground for studies.
Agricultural graduates without visiting the farm or knowing how to plant even maize in 2020.
The National Youth Day gift would have been to settle scores by whatever means and get our schools to open back to avoid further damages being done to the lives of our youth and the future of our dear nation, Nigeria.
The #ENDSARS campaign had been on for over three years but has always been to deaf ears, until it got to a crescendo last month, October.
By whatever means, a government that values her youth would not send military men to halt the protest.
Live or fake bullets, pointing a gun to peaceful Protesters shows the value the government places on the citizens and by all means is a no-no!
The government of Mr Muhammadu Buhari has scored another own goal by allowing that and causing a Bloody Tuesday on a beautiful evening when peace was already being restored in the state.
To have an Honourable Minister for Youth even said not loud enough, is another eyesore to widen the gap between the government and the people.
The law of cause and effect says nothing happens without a cause. Let it be stated here that the hoodlums who vandalized government properties across various spots in the nation was a spontaneous reaction after seeing that the government who feeds on common wealth, care less for her people in any ways.
Let it be known that as we celebrate our maiden youth day in Nigeria, Nigerian youths are awake and alive going forward.
As Youths for New Nigeria, a new nation is our demand.
* A nation that values the life of every citizen of whatever tribe or religion.
* A nation that knows her people for whom they are and not blackmail them for whom they are not.
* A nation that places priority on our lives and safety and not on select selfish politicians and their cronies.
* A nation that makes education not only available and affordable, but also accessible and qualitative to compete at global stages.
* We want a nation where the best of us lead us and not the worst of us is made to rule us.
Nigerian youths are awake and alive and that is what it would be going forward.
God bless all Nigerian Youths,
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Youths for New Nigeria
YNN is a national youth movement with presence and members across the country.