Dear Nigerian Youth, No One is Coming to Save You

Help Our Youth the Truth to Know — Nigerian National Anthem
Photo Credit: Doug Linstedt

The Nigerian Anthem is a very beautifully crafted piece. One that will last ages and hopefully inspire generations to come. In many ways it is seen as the nation’s Vision and Mission statement. The lyrics are a combination of words and phrases from the top 5 entries from a national contest. It replaced the former anthem, Nigeria we hail thee, and was fully adopted in 1978.

The second stanza is often referred to as the National Prayer and has these words “Help our youth the truth to know”. I love that line so much because it is a constant reminder for me to find and know Truth. For years we’ve been lied to that we’re the ‘future of Nigeria’. That we’re the ‘leaders of tomorrow’. I’m in my mid-twenties now and the people I grew up reading in our history books are still the ones in power. Why’s that? The Nigerian Youth has been given little or no opportunities in the past and this is a grave issue. Our future is, right before our eyes, is being stolen from us.

How can a country where 70–80 million of it’s entire population is youth be constantly marginalised, neglected, abandoned. They only remember us when its election season. I can’t remember where I heard it but I think the saying holds true, “Give me the youth of a nation and you’ve given me the nation”. Whoever said that isn’t lying! Nigeria is sitting on a ticking-land-mine-bomb, haha, if there’s anything like that. The older generation or rather those with power should do something, soon, or something will blow up soon.

Very few of us have/had the opportunity to go to good schools, finish and get admission into a tertiary institution, then use that degree to get a decent job. I don’t even want to start with our education sector, that’s a post for another day. But with much poverty and unemployment in the land I pray things do not get worse than they are now.

O God of Creation…help our youth the truth to know!

Dear Nigerian Youth, here’s the truth: No one is coming to save you! No one! Let’s stop waiting for some political messiah with his caped agbada to come and save us. We must stop believing the lie that we are the ‘future of tomorrow’. Let your Tomorrow be your Today. We must be Leaders of Today until tomorrow comes.

I believe these are the two things that will save us, the Nigerian Youths; Spiritual Enlightenment and Economic Independence.

I believe that Truth isn’t just an abstract concept but I believe that Truth is a person and that person is Jesus. His claim to be “the way, the truth and the life” should be considered seriously. CS Lewis said Jesus was either a liar, lunatic or Lord. Know Truth, know Jesus, know God, know your Maker. When you know your Maker you’ll know what you’re made for.

Secondly, we must start looking beyond ourselves and strive to be Economically Independent. We’ve waited for too long and nothing’s happening. For those of us waiting, waiting for jobs we must start looking for some side hustle or just chase an ambition, dream or vision. The folks in the entertainment and arts industry seem to get it and are doing quite well. At least some of them nonetheless that’s one industry that has grown really well in the past two decades. We all must find alternative means of not just survival but of good success.

I pray we find and know Truth.

Dear Nigerian Youth, no one is coming to save you. We must save ourselves!