We can all agree that, for years, we have watched our so-called leaders lead our country towards its very doom. We have watched patiently by the sidelines, without interference, as they loot our national treasury and sink the country into an abyss of poverty and hardship.

All these years, youths have been among the onlookers, hoping and praying that one day, someone will lead our country and the people of our country to salvation. For years, our hopes have been dashed and shattered over and over again.

What do we do? What do Nigerian youths do? Is this what we want for our people? Is this what we want for our country?

We can criticize the government every hour of the day. But, will criticism alone solve our problems? Will our criticism change anything? Do our leaders even know that we exist? Do they care if we live or die?

I have always said that, if all we can do is to criticize, then, we shouldn’t because, no solution has ever been gotten out of criticism alone.

If all we can do is to complain and criticize our leaders that they aren’t doing it right or that they have neglected their responsibilities, then, we don’t have to complain and criticize them in the first place.

If we think that this is the right thing to be done, what are we waiting for? We should get up and get it done ourselves.

I have debated myself for years and I have come to the final conclusion that our people are not only suffering as a result of our corrupt leaders.

Our people continue to suffer and are dwelling in suffering and untold hardship because those with the fear of God, those who are capable and competent have refused to rise up and accept the responsibility of leadership.

People are suffering because of the inactivity of capable, competent and patriotic citizens who have all the qualities needed to lead a nation in the progressive direction.

That is one of the reasons why we are in our current situation. And it keeps getting worse by the day. It is time we wake up, get up and take up the challenge.

It is time for youths to do more than criticizing and complaining and actively participate in the process of ensuring the establishment of a profound leadership that is built upon the fear of God and upon the pillars of justice and truth.

Our continuous criticism will never end the poverty of our people nor will it stop our leaders from gratifying their own personal interests.

It won’t stop them from embezzling billions of naira, using the money to buy mansions and estates in foreign countries while we Nigerians, have no safe drinking water in our communities or medicine in our primary health care centers.

If we are serious about change and progress, we must work to make it happen. If those who are capable and competent refuse to show up, the least capable and the least competent will present themselves and lead our communities and country.

This is a typical example of the blind leading the seeing, the tail leading the head, the corrupt ignorant incompetent illiterates leading learned competent and capable people. How do we expect to see progress in our country?

The unwillingness of youths to actively and positively participate in politics is a terrible setback to our development as a country.

If we think that we don’t have a chance and we simply fold our arms and watch the destruction of our nation by the very people who promised to build our nation, we have failed even before we tried.

We have failed in all aspects and we will never live to see the change that we so much wish for. We will never see the progress that we are yearning to see.

We will live and spend every single day of our lives complaining, criticizing and leaving behind us, nothing but a failed state for our children.

History will remember us as a generation of people who lived and watched silently at the very destruction of their nation without lifting a finger.

Social and political activism is not a choice; it is a must. The only option I see which will serve as a tool to make the impact that we want in the country is the positive participation of youths in politics.

The only way that we can move our country forward is through the active participation of competent people, people with the fear of God, people with values and principles, people who will uphold the values of truth, honesty and justice, people who will serve as the guardians of our citizens, people who will never be comfortable until the common man is living in comfort, people who will place the interests of the people first not people who are there for their own vested interests.

Otherwise, we will live a disappointed and frustrated life. We will live every single day of our lives in anger. We will continue to complain and criticize as long as we live. And, we will die as disheartened people because we have failed to do the right thing at the right time.

Nigeria is our country. These are our people; our children, our women, our youths, our orphans, our old and poor, our physically challenged, our sick, citizens of our country.

These are the citizens of Nigeria and they deserve a leader that will make life easy for them.

It is the obligation of our youths to save the oppressed from the oppressors. People are living in untold sufferings because of the leaders we have. For how long can we continue like this? How much more suffering do we need to experience before we say, "Enough is enough?"

Every patriotic citizen of Nigeria, every youth should consider this as a national call to duty.

If we love our country and our people, we must do the needful to protect our country and our people.

It is our collective responsibility to build a nation where all and sundry can live in peace, harmony and prosperity, a country we all can thrive and not barely struggling to survive, one meal at a time or trying to escape with our dear lives.

It is our collective responsibility to build a nation we will be proud to leave in the hands of our children and the next generation to come so that they can build upon the legacies of their fathers just like we are trying to uphold the labor of our heroes past so that it shall never be in vain.

Therefore, youths must participate in politics and their participation should be done in the right way, not to be used as tools for political campaigns or thuggery only to be discarded after their mission is achieved.

I want this message to serve as a wake-up call to every youth in Nigeria to join the quest for a better Nigeria, a country were the citizens of the country will benefit from all the abundant resources that we have, not a country where the poor lives in abject poverty and penury while our so-called leaders live luxurious lives in the name of governing the affairs of the nation.

We must sermon the courage to stand up for what we believe and fight for the good of our people. They (the leaders) are never going to stop until they are met with resistance. If we sit back and watch, we will continue to reap the consequences of our inactions.

The youths of Nigeria who make up a bulk of the Nigerian population are the only hope for Nigerians.

If our leaders have disappointed us, are we also going to disappoint our people by doing nothing? This is a question that every Nigerian youth should think about carefully and try to answer honestly.

We are not giving up on Nigeria. Not today or tomorrow or ever.

Nigeria is our country and we will fight for its true independence and the liberation of our people from the clutches of corrupt people who have dominated and exercised arbitrary power and free will over our people without care, compassion or consideration of our plights.

I believe in Nigeria. I also strongly believe that millions of youths believe in Nigeria and that one day, Nigeria will be a great and prosperous country.

If we want to make this possible, we must be part of the process and that is by actively participating in politics.

Ubong Gregory

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