For decades past, youth-crisis has been perceived as absolutely irascible, destructive and inimical to the unity, peace and progress of our country Nigeria. But this is not true. Over the years, Nigerian youths have been seen as authors of revolutions in any perceived slightest mal-governance or maladministration in government. This too, is not true. In virtually all youth’s crises, the politicians and elder statesmen are seen as the only caliber of Nigerians capable of solving youth’s crisis. This also is not true.
What is true is that youth-crisis is always their decisive moment against the continuity of an act of governance and government agencies that adversely affects the today and the future of our national tomorrow, which calls for reversion, and thus a turning point. What is true is that based on their exogenous origins, youth-crises in Nigeria strive for abrupt change in what badly affects the society, which the youth are victims and in the centre of the effects. It is often seen by the youth as an occasion to decide if an affair or a course of action must go on, be ended or modified. What is true is that the youths are both critical factors of crisis and inevitable solutions to the crisis.
Consequently, present day Nigerian youth-crisis finds best solutions by those who have been youth’s affairs activists, who know their problems, how to solve them and comport credibility and leadership before them.
As a National Patron of various Niger Delta Youths’ Organizations, who since decades past have been and intervened in lasting individual and collective solutions to youth-crises, I make bold to state that in Nigeria, the youth are a factor in violent crisis and agents of nonviolent transformations. Thus, Nigerian youth-crisis is both chaotic (disordered) and cathartic (thus healing and the purging out of prolonged repressed discontentment on the societal leadership and its policies).
As such, our youths find in youth-crisis an opportunity to surface repressed discontentment, identifying them on placards and parade songs of disapproval, and urging for refinement, remedies and restructuring. But, it is at this point that they had always derailed from the primordial good intentions and course of their revolutions to wanton destructions, which in recent times were caused by either exaggerated youthful vulgarity and exuberance or the dehumanizing approach of the Nigerian crisis management agents, who always forget the cathartic agency and human being in the revolting youths, and see only chaos and brutishness, and treating them thus.
Unlike in the Arab countries, America and Europe where protests are normal societal sitz in leben, Nigerian youths hardly embark on crisis or protests. As experts in crisis management have noted, youth-crisis is always exogenous. It is always from an outside organism and thus intransitive on the youths. It is because of this exogenous and intransitive nature of Nigerian youth-crisis that makes it cathartic from their side and for the Nigerian society.
The exogenous origin of Nigerian youth-crisis reveals its provenance from either the three arms of government (in the federal, State and council levels) or government agencies (working as parastatals, contracted companies, etc). In this regard, from any of these sources, the crises emanate as a result of the attenuation of social, political and economic prospects confronting the youths.
In most occasions nowadays, youth-crises emerge as a result of the felt impression or conviction of being excluded from decision-making or not being considered in a policy, which execution chagrins, and impinges pains and discontentment on their present and future wellbeing. The youths then tend to see mainstream political or policy channel as irrelevant, and thus revolts contra eo.
The inability of the leaders of the government or the exogenous causers of youth-crisis to make critical reviews and analysis of the effects of their presence, activities and policies in the society, as well as the people’s reactions to them, causes periodic youth-crisis’ resurgence in Nigeria.
Other times, the approach employed by the Nigerian government or leaders (of the exogenous-cause of a youth-crisis) in settling such crisis, causes rebirth youth-crisis of same or similar nature after awhile. Such approach should be comprehensive and thus must revisit the socio-political, economic and environmental challenges that stirred the crisis.
More so, the use of reactive and interventionist approach in contemporary youth-crisis stores bitter vengeance in the youths who always repress it and wait for a future opportunity to either decant or pour out their anger. This reactive measure is always dehumanizing and brutish, compelling reprisal or repression in the youths, either of which furthers future crisis eruption.
At other times, talks or reconciliatory apertures are opened with some leaders of various youth’s bodies who never get the solution’s feedback to the general body, updating them on current developments and outcomes of the settled crises. This often causes resurgence of same or similar crisis, because of their ignorance of previous solutions the societal leadership made on same genre of social challenges.
Every crisis is loaded with risks, dangers, possibilities and opportunities. The first danger in youth-crisis is the conception of the rioting youths as chaotic, useless, and jobless and over/un ambitious. This perception makes crisis-managers and security agents see and treat them as brutes and thus inhumanly, which ripple effects culminate in the youth’s wild reprisals and category self-defense, at which point properties and lives of innocent citizens, as well as those of the rioting youths and the crisis managers are lost.
Another risk of youth-crisis is its fast-spread and simulations, especially in instances of universal exogenous cause(s) or such simulacrum. It instigates camaraderie, teamwork reactions, responses, solidarities and reprisals in the youths of other localities, either to join in same cause in solidarity or to simulate same pattern for a related one within their vicinity.
The most conversant danger of youth-crisis is the loss of lives of the revolting youths whom being irked by the cause of the revolt, get filled with ire and irascibility, seeing their course worthier and more valuable than their lives, and even when they are brutishly attacked by State-arm-bearers and crisis managers, they see continuous influx of self-volunteering youths, their avowed perseverance and resistance as manly, a course for martyrdom and thus dare further their ‘assailers.’
What one calls his dog is what it answers. Youths during crisis should be concomitantly seen as ventral factor of violent conflict and an agent of nonviolent transformations. As factor of crisis, youths should first be seen as humans, then as revolutionists, and their acts than them as chaotic.
As agent of nonviolent change, youths during crisis should also be seen as agents of social change who have assessed and sensed inauspicious developments in the social, political, economic and environmental aspects of their society. This is because most updates or reversions and changes in government policies that are felt as inauspicious in the society occurred after youths-led crises.
“Unlike in the Arab countries, America and Europe where protests are normal societal sitz in leben, Nigerian youths hardly embark on crisis or protests. As experts in crisis management have noted, youth-crisis is always exogenous. It is always from an outside organism and thus intransitive on the youths. It is because of this exogenous and intransitive nature of Nigerian youth-crisis that makes it cathartic from their side and for the Nigerian society”