By Abdulmumin Giwa
This generation of youth in Nigeria, especially in the north, is the most unfortunate of all generations indeed in the history of the country. They are so neglected and left to wallow in all forms of delinquencies especially community crimes. It is so unfortunate that more than fifty percent of the youth could be said to be out of school and be engaged in one form of delinquency or the other.
It is indeed very easy to locate youth who could not read or write nor could they even comprehend how hopeless their future is as a result of neglect, exploitation, socio-political deception by leaders and lack of life’s basic amenities. They are more of a wasted human resources who when properly managed could produce millions of professionals in the fields of medicine, science, technology, arts and humanity. But nay, they are left to waste away by the self-acclaimed leaders and elites whose only basic feature is looting of public funds.
Local communities have become very delinquent that even women engage in stealing. It is no more a surprise when women are caught stealing phones, textiles, jewelries and others during marriages and naming ceremonies in homes. But it will be surprising to hear that I was once invited by Kaduna Police Public Relations Department as a crime and judiciary journalist to see married young Hausa women, two of who were breastfeeding babies that were caught breaking into a house, stealing two plasma TVs, about 30 textiles materials and other items. I had the shock of my life that day. What is worse is how such crimes have become rampant. This is not talking about women that are into drug abuse, including married women and young girls who mostly deal in heavy cough syrups.
In the case of delinquent young children whose activities are more of amateur in nature, they engage in stealing household utensils mostly metallic objects like pots, plates, spoons, buckets and others which they sell to metal collectors who buy at a price per kilo. If one dares leaves his house unattended he would return to frustratingly find those house utensils missing. These are young small thieves growing to become bigger thieves or even robbers.
Coming to talk of the teenagers and other youth is even worse. They are into stealing of motor cycles and phones and also raping of women. These delinquencies are so rampant in the communities. In a lot of the cases they do such things at ‘knife point’. They would injure a person and take away his phone or his motor cycle. In milder cases they snatch away phones and run away on motor cycles.
I was a victim of this phone snatching recently. Two young boys riding on a motor cycle came by the side I was sitting in a tricycle just after I had finished answering an important call. The one on the rear just snatched the phone from me while the other sped off with them on the motor cycle. We chased them shouting “Barawo, Barawo” (Thief, Thief) and other motor cyclists joined in the chase. Before we could get to them they had reached a dead end where there was no bridge and they abandoned the motor cycle at the river bank. More people joined in the chase and went after them and were able to catch the one riding the motor cycle. He managed to get his life saved by the vigilante who stopped the people from killing him. The actual phone snatcher had escaped but we got the motor cycle and the rider and were handed over to the police.
The police conducted their investigation and the other culprit was also arrested but the phone was said to have been given to someone else who the DPO identified as a young man he had sent to the headquarters for armed robbery after snatching a phone from a man making call in his car threatening him with a knife.
Immediately, the DPO invited the boy’s father who bailed his son earlier from the headquarters to sign an undertaking to produce his son which he did and even promised that he would make sure the phone was brought back. The phone was indeed brought back to the police who invited me and handed it over to me.
I lost everything on the phone which was placed on factory settings by the thieves, I lost two of my lines and a very rich 8-giged memory, but I regained my phone anyway.
These boys that engage in these delinquent activities in the communities are always supported and empowered by politicians, elites and leaders who use them as political thugs and others. The government uses them to promote its propaganda and political activities. They use them during their campaigns and even arm them and drug them to achieve their personal whims. They are mostly the children of the poverty stricken Nigerians most of who hardly feed two times daily especially since the inception of this horrible regime.
They are the same youths the government used in Zaria during the massacre to kill members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN). They were the same youths that scavenged corpses of IMN members and stole phones, pocket monies, rings and other belongings of the IMN members under Army protection.
They are the same youths that would chant ‘Sai Baba’ and harass anybody that speaks ill of their hero. They are the same youths that the state government used in attacking IMN members and loot their property and were given police protection in the dirty acts. I remember when they attacked my wife’s chemist and destroyed everything in it and drank all the cough syrup and stole away the electrical wirings of the entire house during the planned Ashura attack on IMN by the APC government. The youths were escorted by heavily armed police as they looted property belonging to IMN members in a lot of the states in the north of Nigeria.
They are the same youths sponsored by government to stage anti-IMN demonstrations and rallies in most cases of which they end up in fierce fights resulting from sharing of the money.
They are the same youths the government sponsored to harass IMN members when President Buhari returned from his 51-days medical trip in London. They went about street by street chanting all sorts of hate speeches that could ignite bloodshed while the government and its security operatives pretended not to be seeing anything. They went about saying that it was the IMN members that cursed President Buhari and he fell ill and that now God had disgraced the IMN as Buhari had returned back to Nigeria healthy.
They are the same youths that have in the past attacked and killed Christians and PDP members in 2011 during post-elections crises when President Buhari lost to President Jonathan. I remember watching them broke open, looted and ate everything in one eatery along Nnamdi Azikiwe Way in Kaduna claiming they were doing Jihad then for Buhari who lost to Jonathan in the presidential elections.
What would one expect of a country in which the best the government does to its potentially rich future generation, is to exploit it for personal and sectarian whims? These youths are completely neglected by the government without any access to any form of education or good civility. Any time the leaders remember the youth is when they want to use them for their propaganda and politics. Otherwise they have nothing to do for them.
These are some of the social, political and economic misdoings perpetrated by those in authority that the revered leader of the IMN Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky had always spoken against. It is because he had always called for fairness, justice and good civility that those in authority have hated him. He remained steadfast calling for emancipation of the communities from exploitation by the leaders. He is seeking true freedom and independence to all irrespective of tribe, sect, section or religion and is raising awareness towards real nationalism and patriotism for developmental progress of the country.
But the wicked politicians and Nigerian leaders who feed on the citizenry see him as their arch-enemy who will bring an end to their religion of corruption and exploitation. Very wicked people, see how they have turned the leaders of tomorrow into, thieves, phone snatchers, robbers, illiterates, rapists and innocent people like us in the communities into victims. Shame on these wicked leaders, shame on them!
By Abdulmumin Giwa