OSCA WOVEN WORDS COMPETITION – OLASUBOMI OLOPADE
“Imagination gives birth to things unknown but the writer’s pen turns them into shapes and gives to them living breaths.”
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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.
Decades after independence, Nigeria remains a beleaguered state with a myriad of challenges in virtually all its sectors. Circumspection of the labyrinths of issues surrounding this deplorable state, reveal that it all bores down to the problem of leadership. It is not out of place to say that, Nigeria has been unfortunate with bad leaders. The political scenery has been dominated by the same, old political moguls, whilst youths, who constitute more than half of the country’s population are constantly relegated to being just thugs. Despite the enactment of the “Not toyoung to run Bill” into law, the political landscape of Nigeria as regards active youth involvement still looks obscure. This is largely evidenced in the forthcoming general elections, where tussles for political seats would still be between the ‘same old political moguls’. The pertinent question then remains, when Nigeria would recognize the tenacity of its greatest tool for optimal utilization and national development?
There is no unanimous definition of youths globally. In Nigeria, youths have been defined as those who fall between the age brackets of 18-34. A quick reflection into the past reveal that most Nigerian leaders, were youths in the aforementioned age bracket. Sadly these leaders, who were then youths have held tight to power and are currently being recycled as our leaders today, shutting the doors for youth emancipation. This does not speak well of a country where the youths represent 70% of her population. The concept “national development’ is a concerted process of involving all citizens in building economic prosperity, political stability and social balance. The implication of the aforestated is that, efforts aimed at national development without the inclusion of every facet of the nation is one in futility. Thus, the inclusion of youths in national development and leadership roles is a must in Nigeria, if indeed we want do develop as a nation.
However, there are reservations about the potentialities of Nigerian youths. The pertinent question remains “Can youths truly revamp Nigeria? Some political analysts are of the strong believe that youths who cheat in examination halls, jump queues particularly at ATM’s, support nepotism and parochialism are no different from the old order. Although these arguments seem plausible, but the chunk of the blame rests largely on the ‘old order’ who have bequeathed to youths these vices that remain clogs in the wheel of our development. All that is needed is a reorientation of the mindset.
The cliché that youths are the leaders of tomorrow should be jettisoned, but rather, be made partners of today. Young people are social actions of change and progress. This is not far-fetched as a handful names of those who fought for the emancipation of the Nigerian and the African continent from the shackles of colonialism were youths. Accordingly, youths who constitute more than half the country’s population must be connected to opportunities that will increase their relevance to Nigeria’s development. The political landscape must be restructured to accommodate active youth participation. The energies, innovativeness, enthusiasm, tenacity and character youths possess must be harnessed and effectively utilized in leadership position. It can be said that this will have a salutary effect.
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