Jonathan: Paying lip service to youths



Unarguably, President Goodluck Jonathan is the Nigerian leader most popular with the youth. This is because he is youthful and was more so when he was Vice President. Second, like the American President, Barack Obama, he made good use of the emerging and popular social media during and after his campaign. He is reputed to have a facebook page and perhaps, also twits. This writer has never visited his facebook page for anything.

However, one ventures to say that beyond hoodwinking the majority of our young people with Facebook account and the propaganda that he is youth- friendly, one dares say that in the main, President Jonathan pays only lip service to the youth and have only exploited the latter’s hunger for a role model to further his political ends. Like Obama in the US, who claims to be African- American, while the lives of the latter has not improved one bit under his watch, the Jonathan pro- youth idea is a mere bogey that has served the political ambition of the latter well, while the condition of life of the young people and their guardians continues to worsen.

Take the issue of corruption. Around the country, there is an EFCC billboard that warns against corruption, stating that corruption is parent to poverty! Several reports and studies by international agencies and groups, as well as the US government all have borne testimony to the fact that under the Jonathan administration, Nigeria is one huge pit of corruption that oozes to high heavens. Also, it is well known to most Nigerians that of all

Nigerian leaders, President Jonathan has the most tolerant attitude towards corruption, in utter contempt of the billboard message of the EFCC. President Jonathan has openly stated that he does not believe that corruption is Nigeria’s biggest problem and that he does not believe in wielding the big stick against those who stole and steal from the nation! At times this writer wonders whether the youths of the country are aware of the disposition of their role model on a societal problem which will ensure that many of them will never achieve their full potential. The incident at the national stadium recently when many young graduates and school leavers died sudden while answering job recruitment summons of President Jonathan’s most trusted ministers is a case in point. The minister, despite his crimes is still in office despite calls by all and sundry, including Jonathan’s Ijaw brethren for his removal!

The problem with the Jonathan government is that it is a child of corruption, being a government of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP The result of this benign attitude towards the thieves in the society who make life difficult for others is in spite of his good intentions, the policies of the Jonathan administrations is not improving the situation in the country, let alone benefit the youth as an important segment of society.

One maintains that the Nigerian youth under President Jonathan has been exploited and used for the latter’s ambition. An example is that more than any leader since Nigeria started to practise democracy; President Jonathan has enjoyed the highest mobilisation of youths for political campaigns for a mere mess of pottage. This is because in the absence of the promised jobs, keeping busy as a member of a pro- Jonathan support group, enables many hapless young people to earn a few naira at least while the election period lasts. This is not the way to keep youths productively engaged nor is it a productive way to employ young people expected to become tomorrow’s leaders.

We are yet to see any programme or project designed by this government for the direct benefit of youths and which will alleviate the burden of their families. While under the present administration, billions of dollars are missing in the coffers of the NNPC, or pension funds in billions are stolen while those fingered move around with glee, youths in institutions of higher learning are not enjoying scholarship or bursary to alleviate the burden of education in today’s Nigeria! In fact, under the present administration, suffering youths sit for examinations of the Federal Scholarship Board, and many months after, nothing is heard of it. The point is that nobody cares about the youth and how they fare or are faring under this government despite all the posturing and propaganda. The youth should take note and take their destiny in their hands as 2015 beckons.

Dagogo wrote from Jabi, Abuja

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