Nigerian Youths have been urged not to worry themselves about becoming president of the country now.
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, gave the advise on Saturday while answering questions at the 9th Sigma Club Public Lecture held on Saturday at the International Conference Centre of the University of Ibadan.
Delivering his lecture titled “Developing the nation through youth empowerment,” the professor of law urged the youths of the country to start from the grassroots, move on to the local government level, then to the state level.
Osinbajo, when asked the rationale behind the exorbitant price of the nomination form of the All Progressive Congress (APC), said the chances of Nigerian youths producing a president now was feasible because the time is yet to come.
By Professor Yemi Osinbajo SAN
When I was 10 years old, there was a girl in my class who I was quite certain at the time that I could give my life. So I wrote her a lovely poem over a weekend; I wrote the poem on Friday and finished it on Saturday. And it was, if I may say so myself, a work of sheer genius. It ended with the dramatic words; “your warm embrace may be the last desire of my heart before I die!”
I tucked it in my school bag and looked forward with a heart filled with love for Monday, to present to the object of my affections.
My mum, while cleaning out the bag, found the letter, and all hell broke loose. Needless to say, she beat the poetic genius out of me that terrible afternoon.
But that’s not the end of the story. True love as you know, will survive even the worst brutality. So, I bore my injuries as a worthy suffering for my beloved. On Monday morning, I found the best opportunity to give her a freshly written version of the poem. I turned away as she took the letter, I didn’t want to behold the sheer pleasure as she read it, but as I turned around, I noticed that she had actually handed the poem over to the teacher and she was pointing at me!
While my physical bruises have healed from that experience, from as you can imagine, what happened with the teacher, my capacity for writing romantic poetry had been greatly diminished.
Fantastical Futures is the audaciously inspirational theme of this iteration of the Ake Arts & Book Festival. Why do we in today’s world, dare to hope for a future so fantastic that it is described as fantastical? The reason it is, if I may offer one, is that there is for those who have cast this great vision; Lola, her friends and collaborators, they’ve have not allowed their vision to be beclouded by the cataracts of discouragement that so easily beset us. Two of those cataracts to our vision are worthy of mention.
The first is a disdain for introspection, which has just come over time, that capacity for deep thought, and making that the basis of planning and action. It is a disdain for introspection that causes our elite to spend or embezzle all the cash and opportunities of the present and make it the burden of a leaner future to pay for our corruption and carelessness.
A failure to interrogate the past, coupled with a reluctance to explain the benefit of deferring gratification. Is the creative sometimes, unable to stick to a cause because it may no longer be popular?
Niyi Osundare, the poet I’m sure we’re all familiar with, captures this elite inability to defer gratification in the provocative poem titled “Eating Tomorrow’s Yam”.
And I quote a portion of it, he said: “There is only one left in the village barn, the prodigal calls for a knife ‘what shall we eat tomorrow’, the people ask, ‘if we finish all the yam today just how shall we feel when the dunghill has relieved stomachs of their improvident burden? And says the prodigal: ‘tomorrow will take care of itself, how can we know the next day if we die of hunger today?”
The recursive one step forward two steps backwards of our histories, especially in Africa, has caused Prof. Tanure Ojaide, and I’m sure you’re all familiar with him as well, in his angry style, to ask “What poets do our leaders read?”
Again, Tanure Ojaide in his poem, “No longer our country”, remonstrates, and I quote him; “We have lost it, a country we were born into, we can now sing dirges of the commonwealth only of yesterday. We have a country that is no longer our own.”
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