THE TRAVAILS OF NIGERIAN YOUTHS
Nigerian youths are engendered species. They have no comfort at home, and are not wanted abroad. In many countries of the world, many Nigerian youths are being chased from pillar to post. They are maligned, stigmatized, sometimes used as foot mats and made to suffer all sorts of human indignities and humiliation.
In the United States of America, seventy-seven Nigerian youths were said to have been indicted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for fraud or computer related offences. In Saudi Arabia, twenty of them are currently on death row (or have they now been executed?), for drug offences.
In Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, China and several other countries of Asia, hundreds, if not thousands of Nigerian youths are languishing in their various prisons, or had been executed, for allegedly carrying drugs.
In South Africa, Nigerian youths are daily being clubbed to death and their shops looted. In Libya, they are made to carry shit, to bath dead people, and to do different kinds of menial works.
In Italy and several other European countries, many Nigerian girls are selling their bodies in form of prostitution.
In some nearby African countries like Ghana, Liberia, Congo, etc., Nigerian youths are being driven away for constituting what their hosts consider to be their unnecessary menace. In several other countries of the world, Nigerian youths are being treated like flies, and being chased away.
In spite of all these pathetic and ugly stories which are always on the air, many Nigerian youths still clamour and hanker to leave the shores of the country. In the Sahara Desert, and across the Mediterranean Sea, many of them have died or drowned in their fruitless attempts to cross over to Europe in pursuit of their dream el Dorado or for better life.
You then begin to wonder and to ask, what is responsible for all these? Why are Nigerian youths, the hope and future of the country, being criminalized, being dehumanized and being brutalized? Why are many countries of the world chastising Nigerians, avoiding them like plagues, declaring them persona non grata, not wanted?
Why, in the first place, are many Nigerian youths not even staying at home, in their own country? Why are they clamouring to leave Nigeria? And why is the Nigerian government not doing much to protect the lives of its citizens who are being killed and dehumanized abroad?
You look around, you see that Nigeria has enormous potentials, natural and human resources. But you feel ashamed and disappointed that successive administrations have not done much to harness, manage and utilize these enormous resources for the benefit of Nigerians.
Again, you see that year in year out, thousands of Nigerian youths have continued to graduate or come out from schools. They look for jobs or for something to do, but they see nothing. They begin to roam the streets, but find no jobs, nothing to keep them busy, or to keep body and soul together. In frustration, they begin to check out in doves and in thousands to other countries of the world, to seek for something meaningful to do to eke out a living.
But because of their large number, because Nigerians seem to be everywhere in those countries doing all sorts of things, their hosts begin to be jealous, to feel disturbed, to feel uncomfortable or to feel threatened. They fear that very soon these Nigerian would take over their countries, their economy, or dominate their system.
In that wise, they will begin to rouse xenophobic sentiments against the Nigerians living in their countries, to criminalize the people, to hound them, chase them from pillar to post, put them in jail, or have them executed.
Unfortunately, the Nigerian government will not do anything to stop these killings and the dehumanization of its citizens. They will feign ignorant or look the other way while Nigerians in foreign lands were being criminalized, harassed and intimidated. Sometimes they will even join these other people to criminalize their citizens, forgetting that through their actions or inactions, they were largely responsible for the fate that befalls these Nigerians in foreign lands.
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