Your excellency, I am honoured to write you as the United Nations International Youth Day is being commemorated across the world today, 12th August, 2010.
In the pursuit of the good life, the youth often take the seemingly easier path of crime, prostitution and other social vices. If however they can be orientated into the meaningful, socially acceptable rewarding ventures, the Nigeria youth have been known to excel and flourish. It is with a sense of heavy responsibility and the knowledge of its sacrosanct applicability, I write you and call your attention to some fundamental problems we are facing and seek your urgent intervention in the well being of our youth and Nigerians at large. The fundamental problems and recommendations are as follow:
The future of any country is in education of its youth. If Nigeria wants to develop, it cannot do so by mere wishful thinking. The educational sector must develop and be strengthened. Most Nigerian schools lack the basic facilities necessary for teaching science and technology. It is ironic that other students’ feat in western world recorded last year was at a time millions of Nigeria students were idling away at home following a prolonged strike by teachers and senior staff in public universities. The school system is decrepit, infrastructures are dilapidated and our products are not accepted and respected even within and outside Nigeria.
A medical doctor in Nigeria would rather be a certified Nursing assistant in the western world countries. Our Bank’s Mangers becoming grocery store clerk or security officers our geologist turning gas station attendant after spending 6, 7, 8 years on a first degree programme because our libraries are enshrined with books of 50 and 40 years ago there by making us not to be attuned with sensitivities of latest development.
Mr. President Sir, to safeguard the future of this country, the educational sector must be developed and strengthened. It would be glorious and history will not forget you if you carry out a reform now and make good and qualitative education free at all levels for Nigerians with modern libraries.
Moreover, our academic syllabus should be reviewed so that our students can be abreast with sensitivities of latest development and be able to compete with others across the globe.
Mr. President Sir, without good health, there can be no growth and development for the youth, who are expected to change the society. Without good health, we cannot enjoy good education. Non-availability of modern medical facilities and care has caused our youth a whole lot of set back and death in many cases. One of it is the son of the legal icon, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Barrister Mohammed Fawehinmi, who had a motor accident on 23rd September 2003 and broke his spinal cord and was taken to National Orthopaedic hospital Igbobi, Lagos. The report had it that a whole National Orthopaedic hospital Igbobi in Lagos had no Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to detect the location and extent of the spinal cord injury but an ancient X-Ray machine. When Mohammed condition was growing worse, Gani took him abroad at a heavy financial cost which was more than fortune according to Chief Gani Fawehinmi.
What would be the fate of others whose parents earn minimum wage of Seven thousand Five Hundred Naira that found themselves in the same or similar condition of Barrister Mohammed?
Mr. President, Kindly declare a state of emergency now at the Health sector. We need a reform of that we ensure all Nigerians fundamental right to life by providing quality health and services to the youth and adult alike so that we don not continue to loose our future due to poor medical facilities and care.
Your Excellency, I commend your effort so far in checking the country’s embarrassing electricity problem as we cannot wait to heave a sigh of relief from the current epileptic electricity situation as the success of economy rely largely on stable power supply. You will agree with me that the embarrassing electricity problem has affected us adversely. Some companies are now relocating to other neighboring countries because of huge cost of maintaining power supply thereby increasing rate of unemployment.
Mr. President sir, as the attention of the political class is already shifted to 2011 elections, do not forget that your on going effort in the power sector must not be distracted as the success of economy that relies so much on stable power supply will go a long way shaping our planned activities while we need some level of predictability.
Your Excellency, the state of security in Nigeria is worrisome. The state of kidnappings is so serious that our fundamental rights of freedom of movement can no longer be guaranteed as people can no longer move freely in our country. This year alone, we have lost over a thousand of Nigerians on Jos crisis. An Okada man was knocked down and killed by a vehicle driver in my presence in Ikoyi on Thursday 18th July, 2010. The vehicle driver escaped because we have no street security cameras and other security measures on ground to track such culprit. The above scenario among others have caused us a lot of setback in all areas
We must be more pro-active and strengthen Nigeria security system by applying precautionary measures to avert attacks rather than the usual attitude of deploying troops to maintain peace after damages which might have cost us lives of our people. The latter is very archaic and cannot meet the needs of present security challenges in Nigeria.
Our police and other officers in the security sector must be well equipped, trained and well paid. It takes a well equipped man to face a battle and face it professionally if well trained and be dedicated if well paid. Treatment of fallen heroes most especially in the security sector has affected it to function below standard.
Mr. President Sir, as a guest speaker at many conferences to inspire youth, the feedback so far from our youth shows that they are groaning under pains of dashed hopes and expectations. It is worrisome that no job is guarantee for most educated. Fraudsters are taking advantage of unemployment situation to exploit money from unemployed under auspices that they are agents of multinationals.
Most of our youths at home are angry and frustrated and prepared to emigrate because they find the situation at home too daunting. We have lost many sport icons and others to other countries. You will agree with me sir that some sport icons who are citizens of Nigeria in diasporas when call upon to represent us do not jump at such opportunities because creativity is rarely recognized or supported in Nigeria.
However, the youth must be included in the national planning and development agenda. The country must strive to provide opportunities for the country’s youth for without such investment and commitment, the country’s future is compromised.
Mr. President sir, You have proved that you are a listening president by your rescinded decision to ban Nigeria’s football teams from participating in the game at international level for two years, dropping of the alleged card carrying members of political parties as INEC Commissioners, charting and relating with Nigerians on social network such as Facebook among others. In saving the future of our country, issues that deal directly with the well being of the youth like unemployment, health, education, security and power supply must be addressed urgently by your government.
Long life the federal republic of Nigeria.
Adeola Austin Oyinlade,
(United Nations Young Ambassador for Peace),
National Media Director, Youth Federation for World Peace-Nigeria chapter