Youths Tasked R.I Yoruba Elders On Africa Arrested Development
Farouk Martins Aresa
Yoruba Elders of Rhode Island International held its Annual Lecture on Saturday October 14, 2017 at the State House. More important, planners brought the youths and the elders together where the youths challenged elders on what roles they can play by contributing to the progress of Africa. This is not the first time the youths asked: not for what they can get from Nigeria but what they can contribute to free African countries from arrested development.
Children of Africa in Diaspora understand that until we have a successful black nation despite years of slavery or oppression, no African or his descendants will be respected in this world. The days to cry about Muslim or Christian slavery are gone, these are the days we must get off the complaining boards, eliminate our planted African oppressors out of the way, and take hold of our destiny. If we cannot help ourselves, nobody, not even angel from heaven would help us.
If Africans can excel abroad, break the shackles of slavery, survive against all odds and make a difference in Diaspora, we must be able to accomplish more in our African countries. We have examples of accomplishments in so many fields abroad. It is an indication of what we can do at home. We must stop crying about government not creating enabling environment. In Nigeria, you provide your own electricity, water, security, road to and from your houses.
Nigerian businessmen go to other African countries asking for virgin land. They provide the road in and out of the forest, create electricity to power their plants, hire workers and still; they sell cement cheaper than they do in Nigeria! But when they create the same business at home, they claim they cannot sell their cars cheaper than imported ones. Businesses that should be making foreign money for African countries are draining us. We can be good at home as we are outside.
Right now Republic of Congo leads cobalt production used for electric cars, Niger is fourth in the production of Uranium for nuclear energy. Our university engineering departments are not even on the radar in either publication or production. Africa has the most arable land in the world, yet the fear is famine is going to spread as our population explode. This we can prevent by education and small business that empower women. They will control their number of kids.
Ana Novais, Executive Director, Rhode Island Department of Health was the featured Speaker. She informed us about the significant progress Rhode Island made in the delivery of health services; including areas that need more action. It was very inspiring that an African from Cape Verde made a difference in Diaspora as a role model for our youths to look up to. She is an example of contributions in Diaspora that we desired, more significantly in African countries.
The youths as usual, made the Question and Answer exchange vigorous on solutions as Yoruba Elders of Rhode Island intentional planned. It was not limited to just discussions and theories. Even some elders provoked answers for revolution! While we had presentation made by Dr. Darren Kew of University of Massachusetts on Nigerian elections, transfer of power, Indigenous People of Biafra and of course Boko Haram, the youths wanted solutions to all these problems.
We must understand the zeal of African youths that want to be proud of the African countries their parents come from; and if they have to, go there and make their contributions. Before them, African youths at home would not stand for the type of corruption politicians blatantly display in a country like Nigeria. Those were the days students were hot, patriotic, would rather die at home where they stood a better chance of success than risk their lives across the desert.
Parents have to be careful on the expectation or burden they place on their children abroad. Some of them have bragged that their children are coming back home to take the bull by the horn and wrestle down the looters since our children at home are afraid of head-on confronts. Well, Saraki and two generations of Fani-Kayode were also trained abroad. So was Ojukwu and many others. Most of our economic specialists are Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard or MIT trained!
Unfortunately, some of the students that were activists at home and abroad, with all their skills and training have decided to go into politics to participate in the same looting and corruption they detested in their youth. Their local and Federal Government sponsored many of them at home and abroad. Instead of giving back as today’s youths abroad are yearning for, they have become a bunch of disappointments and albatross to their Country.
The question for these highly motivated youths abroad is how we are sure that once they get back home, they will not become dispirited and anesthetized in their hustle and bustle to make a living like their counterpart at home. All attempts to motivate Nigerian youths to confront their oppressors have failed and most have resigned to suffering and smiling. It is unfortunate to see Nigerian graduates as jobless and stranded souls working as thugs and prostitutes.
Many became recruits for Boko Haram, OPC. MASSOM, Arewa Youths, IPOB, MEND and more are springing up daily as separatist activists looking for their pay off; rather than collectively challenging and fighting their oppressors that dangle crumbs of looted funds in their faces. These looters still walk around and young graduates (not in Kwara though) that should confront them, have become adulators singing their praises in order to make a living. When are they going to starve these beasts or they are waiting for their fathers and mothers to lead?
It boils down to character and behavior that has gone asunder. The praise singers and adulators come from our families. Indeed, what is wrong with most African countries today started from each family. We noticed them going wayward or drifting toward unholy alliance with crooks and dreaded style of living. Many have grown to be kingpins and before we know it, decided to become politicians. The people that voted for them in many cases are those that know their mission once they were elected.
The social welfare of the aged, the women and children have been abdicated by our politicians. It is only those that are fortunate to have relatives abroad that are getting sustenance in form of foreign remittance from children. These are the parents whose children want to come back home and overthrow the Vagabonds in Power. The countdown is on because the number of Africans sending money home will dwindle after this generation.
Africans were not created in poverty, we were children brought up in gold, diamond and ivory that past generation flooded the market with on their trips abroad and those at home exchanged for mirrors. But if we suddenly find ourselves in poverty, it does not mean poverty is created in us. Our task is easier than it has ever been because the enemies are within us. What we do with them is up to us when we form a quorum of silent majority ready to take action!
We must recognize those youths working from dusk to down, creating new business out of nothing: homemade tractors for local farmers, solar powered products, Nollywood and others. Also, many that have worked diligently to establish projects or programs; only to be abandoned by the following administration so that they can make money from awarding new contracts.