OSCA WOVEN WORDS COMPETITION – KAYODE AKINWUMI
“Imagination gives birth to things unknown but the writer’s pen turns them into shapes and gives to them living breaths.”
The 2018 OSCA WOVEN WORDS COMPETITION was organized by My Woven Words and it was only for undergraduates of tertiary institutions in Osun State as approved by the ministry of education, Osun state. There were Terms and Conditions for contestants.
OSCA Woven Words Competition remains the “first-of-its-kind” and “one-of-its-kind” in Osun state, Nigeria. To avoid Conflicts of Interest, we reached out to a number of unbiased scholars in a university outside Osun State to assess the submitted manuscripts and select the best contestants. All the contestant got a certificate of participation and some of the submitted manuscripts were selected for online publication.
TOPIC: The Tenacity of Nigerian Youths in National Development and Leadership Roles.
In discussing a subject such as the one at hand, it is necessary to put some keywords into perspective. In this case, of utmost importance is an image of those we have in mind when we say “youths” and also an idea of what is meant by tenacity in national development and leadership. “Youths” have been used over time to describe or refer to people of a certain age range in a given society. This age range has differed as much as the purpose and nature of the reference. For the purpose of this essay however, we shall adopt a range starting from teenage to 49 years. The Merriam-Webster mobile dictionary app defines tenacity as “the quality or state of being tenacious.” Tenacious itself being described with words such as “not easily stopped or pulled apart.” In a nutshell, our aim is to examine the consistence of the participation of Nigerians between the ages of 13 to 49 in the development and leadership of the country.
Looking from an historical point of view, it is safe to say that Nigerian youths are no pushovers when it comes to leadership. They were at the forefront of the struggle for independence just before and immediately after World War II. A popular vanguard for this struggle was the Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM) with names like Samuel Akinsanya, Ernest Ikoli, Nnamdi Azikwe, Obafemi Awolowo, and so on. All of them in the prime of their youth. With independence achieved and the first republic broken apart, military dictatorship ushered in another set of young men, mostly in their thirties that saw this country through a trying period of civil war. More recently, we have had names like like Donald Duke, Raji Fasola and YahyaBello, who all became governors in their thirties or forties. Even at the Legislative arm, we have had Dimeji Bankole as Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives at 37. These are enough proof of how tenacious Nigerian youths are in National leadership.
Nigeria is a “developing” country, a euphemistic way of saying Nigeria is actually underdeveloped. A number of reasons can be given for this. Chief among them being the state of the country’s youth population. It is generally acknowledged that the greater part of the country’s productive population is the youth population. But this part of the country’s population is faced with several challenges hindering the overall development of the country. One of such challenges is the poor state of education resulting from lack of proper funding by the government. It is not a surprise then that most university graduates in the country are deemed unemployable and this makes it difficult for them to compete with their counterparts from other parts of the world. Gross unemployment has also pushed many youths into one form of criminality or the other. To worsen matters, those relatively bright and privileged enough to change the tide of things have either found or are finding their ways out of the country. It remains to be seen if the youth involvement in leadership will eventually translate to improved contribution towards the development of the country.
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