Victoria Fehintola Omotesho is a law graduate of the University of Hull, United Kingdom. She obtained her Masters of Law at the Coventry University. She tells JOSEPH JIBUEZE why the government should pay more attention to the youth.
YOUTH agitation is beyond #EndSARS. It is agitation for a good life or to put it succinctly: the right to live. Nothing is going on well. Some of us are lucky but those who are not so lucky are also humans. It is expected that a socio-economic structure should be in place to guarantee not only the right to live but the right to a good life. I heard that in the 70’s and 80ss, there were functional public transportation, water, rails, etc. Telling me that those things happened is like giving me literature. The situation in Nigeria has deteriorated so much.
Youths at crossroads
Youths in Nigeria are presently at a crossroads. A lot of us have aspirations but as things stand, the hopes and prospects are dimming. Why do I say that? A lot of our young adults leaving higher schools do not have hope of getting a job, business support or even means of livelihood; that‘s why I use the word crossroads. The nation itself is confused, demoralised and directionless. It is indeed a very sorry state. The country needs God’s intervention.
I see a better future
My personal opinion is that unless the foundation is adjusted, I do not think anything will change for good. Nigeria must localise development. Those who do agriculture should package for industries or consumption in their locality. Land Use Act must be amended. Rural areas need energy and power. Access to land with ease will make many impossible things possible. Youths will spend more time in local areas. With this type of integration, Nigeria will shift and youths will no longer feel hopeless.
Wanted: constitution amendment
First, the essential solution is in fundamental shift and adjustment of our political existence. Political structure determines economic advancement or depletion. So, the 1999 Constitution must be changed, amended, possibly discarded for a new political order. This will birth a new social and promising order. Section 2 is a chapter of disaster and economic slavery. How can people not have rights to social services and economic emancipation? How do we measure performance? How do we hold people responsible for bad governance? So much to talk about. I consider the 1999 Constitution as an instrument of oppression and social injustice. It must be amended.
Youth development in the UK
Almost everything in the United Kingdom is organised. When a bus is to arrive at 1 pm, it does. That creates a reasonable expectation. The quality of living is high. Medical facilities are guaranteed to work. Social housing and benefits for the elderly are sure. No one is struggling to amass wealth because that is not necessary. Youth developmental programmes are everywhere, in every sector, which means no unnecessary agitation and stress. Those to graduate the years to come are planned in the development programmes. Expansion is elastic and certain. I think the fundamental problem in Nigeria is not individuals but a system that is faulty and paralytic. The systems and legal framework are defective.
Her other regrets
Those who are ahead of us, let them answer if what they are seeing is pleasing. Are our leaders, fathers and mothers proud of Nigeria? What is the source of their joy and pride where the quality of living is low? There is absolutely nothing to be proud of yet. I grew up to see university teachers fighting for one thing or the other on daily basis. Our universities no longer invent things. I heard Prof Ayodele Awojobi of blessed memory manufactured an armoured tank that has no back or front. What are we seeing today in universities? Are there new inventions? If everything is finished products from abroad, then Nigeria is finished. There is still hope for a better Nigeria. There is an awakening in our system. People are tired of poverty. Money has failed. Systems have failed.
Hope for a new Nigeria
I believe in a new Nigeria. It will happen sooner than expected. What makes nonsense of the sweat of our heroes past is that the people coming after the likes of Obafemi Awolowo, Tafawa Balewa and Nnamdi Azikwe lack foresight. Why everything looks muddled up is that governance is taken as a joke, as a trial and error game. Governance is scientific, that is why a course of study is called Political Science. To get the derived result, leadership must approach politics scientifically. Nigeria has not embraced the scientific approach to leadership and politics, so no growth. The youths are not seeing anything worthwhile. As far as an average youth is concerned, Nigeria has failed the children and citizens with reckless impunity. Something urgent has to be done and visibly done too.
On her NGO
The aims and objectives of JR Global are: to give legal aid and assistance to members of our society; to give financial aid and intervention in acts of God worldwide; to give educational aid and scholarships; to hold socioeconomic advancement programmes and seminars worldwide that will enhance and better lives; to give advisory services to government and institutions worldwide, and to collaborate with existing NGOs having same goals and objectives and government parastatals in protecting the rights of citizens. To be a chief executive officer in a global non-profit is a privilege. I am very proud of my job. I am living to make people happy. It is really challenging and exciting. It’s a wonderful experience. I aspire to build justiciable rights for the less fortunate.