Olukemi Olufunto Badenoch: The Irony of Nigerian Youths And Sowore’s Revolution

“Olunfunto joined conservative party at the age of 25 and became a junior minister at the age of 39. Most Nigerian youths would still be in the four walls of ‘mental prisons’ we call schools at age 25 and fighting for ward youth leaders or aides of pot-bellied politicians; carrying bags, holding Agbadas and wearing shoes for politicians at age 39”.

Recently, the Nigeria social media went crazy for something different and unusual. Beyond the evil gossip of Wizkid and his baby mamas, superiority contest among stars, Naira Marley “soapy dance”, ministerial nominees list and worth of designer wears celebrities put on, social media platforms took a minute-giant swipe away from the mediocrities Nigerian Youths are known for as they pour their hearts to felicitate with Olukemi Olufunto Badenoch as a UK junior minister for children and families.

Olukemi Olufunto Badenoch is a Nigerian who left the shores of the country in 1996. She attended the universities of Sussex, Birkbeck and London and joined conservative party in 2005 at the age of 25. Badenoch was first elected as Member of Parliament Saffron Walden on 8, June 2017. She is also the first woman to represent that constituency. She is the member of Parliament representing Saffron Walden constituency in the UK and currently a junior minister for children and families.

Olukemi is one of the many Nigerians who are currently breaking boundaries and redefining political spaces in countries they are well appreciated. As developed as UK is, the country still accomodates thousands of professionals who seek asylums and greener pastures and find ways to incorporate these people into the business of development.

Unfortunately, Olukemi, a Nigerian who is currently a pointer of youths inclusion in public offices at the United Kingdom comes from a nation its minister of labour and productivity publicly declared that medical personnels should feel free to leave a nation hundreds of people die as a result of lack of medical attention and shortage of medical personnels to attend to the sick ones because they are too plenty. As Nigeria loses her sons and daughters who are professionals and human resource managers to neighbouring countries where they are well appreciated, I have nothing but condolences for the sinking ship.

Nigeria is quite unlucky. She lost her true fathers and mothers in early 1960s and she has suffered greatly in the hands of rapists and people who have no respect for values. She was not only raped by her new fathers but subjected to evil exploitation of her resources either natural, mineral or human. The larger percentage of her offsprings are clueless and apologists of mental slavery and exploitation if survival is guaranteed.

Some days ago, I engaged some young people who live in Osun state because they have issues with some sentences I intentionally used in the previous edition of Time Bomb titled *OYETOLA: Beyond The Cacophony Of Wistful Jubilation*. Sentences like; yahoo-yahoo is the biggest company in Osun state, availability of thugs in every junction of the capital, total neglection of state institutions, lackadaisical attitude of the government in addressing unemployment and many other vital issues in the state. They felt bad because I asked their demi-gods to do better for Osun people. They did not feel bad for pensioners, workers and people of the downtrodden who only know about the existence of government during election year.

I checked through the details of these young people and there is a particular profile I would like to share. He’s just one of the clueless youths we have in the state who benefit less from these people, have relatives who are workers, parents who are pensioners, siblings that are not gainfully employed but come online to people who enslaved his parents because they recieve token from government. In as much as, he has his share of our common “jollof-rice”, just crumbs, he is fine with the sufferings of his mother, sister and friends. Average Nigerian youths are victims of this sad narrative. The principle of selfishness. What a sad narrative!

Olunfunto joined conservative party at the age of 25 and became a junior minister at the age of 39. Most Nigerian youths would still be in the four walls of ‘mental prisons’ we call schools at age 25 and fighting for ward youth leaders or aides of pot-bellied politicians; carrying bags, holding Agbadas and wearing shoes for politicians at age 39. If she was lucky to escape the likes of “Prof. Akindeles, OAU randy professor jailed over sex mark saga”, redefining moments with ASUU strike, she would not escape the “negative eyes” of political party leaders. Precious, a brilliant and hardworking corps member who worked at Channels TV before he was killed by Nigeria (a casualty of war) was one of the young people who tapped into available opportunities. You can not claim to be a Nigerian and escape the realities of being a Nigerian.

Nigeria sectors are designed for her true owners; the elite and political class. I have repeatedly stated that the current generation of leaders have used up Nigeria and she has reached her expiry date. They are doing nothing to resuscitate the sinking nation rather than taking respective positions to dupe her further yet her fresh offsprings (youths) are doing nothing to redeem it. The extent of decay is obvious but the attitude of Nigeria youths to challenge and growth is worse. That some youths wake up everyday to defend the atrocities of people in power or corrupt practices of politicians is heart breaking.

Youths are the future of every nation. They are social actors of transformation and growth. They are builders of common wealth and generators of new ideas because they possess the required mental and physical strength needed. Nigeria can only be rescued from the hands of her rapists after her youths have been delivered from vagrant thought of money and power.

Inspite of the sad tales of our beloved country, we still have young people who consciously have tapped into available opportunities in the nation. I have no doubts that Olukemi Olufunto would have tapped as well if she did not leave the shores of the country but might not be in the same position she is now or might have been a casualty of Nigeria maladies. Development is a thing of the mind, a decision of the heart in line with preparations of the body.

SOWORE AND HIS REVOLUTION

“I’m not talking of protest. I’m embarking on revolution. 85% of Nigerians are in support. Don’t tell me about legal implications or what a Judge will say. I don’t care. We must bundle Buhari out of that place….Omoyele Sowore, July 25, 2019.

With his years of experience in activism, Sowore is not a baby comrade and he understands the laws of the land better by the virtue of his profession as the publisher of a leading investigative platform. He understands the legal interpretation of revolution and its consequences. Declaring revolution in the tenure of a general of the Nigerian Army and one time die-hard apologist of revolution who has called for it thrice would surely come with consequences. The army of young minds who could not make political revolution work would surely have issues with revolution that deals with sacrifices.

Recently, he lost a presidential election after failed attempt to convince teeming Nigerians that it is time to elect serious people as public officials. I was one of the few Nigerians who felt shocked when results of polling units were announced because I could not stop pondering what really happened to votes of students Sowore visited in campuses during electioneering and millions of viewers and social commentators too.

President Muhammadu Buhari contested in an open election and won the majority votes as declared by the election umpire. Either rigged or perfect, people who want him as president are plenty than people who does not want. That someone or group of people would staged revolution to remove an elected president in a democratic setting and there would not be consequences and casualties remains a bizarre.

The taste of political revolution he had was bitter and unfavourable. Although there are speculations in some quarters that the recent ministerial nominees list, huge loss at the presidential election, Nnamdi Kalu’s meeting and other certain political factors could have prompted his decision to let go of his political revolution and face the real revolution. As a Nigerian, I am not happy with the sorry state of things and untold story of hardship of every average Nigerian and that is why I have decided to send my prayers and messages of hope to Sowore as he faces the consequences of revolution he’s already aware of. May Nigeria youths be responsible and diligent.

Apagunpote Olayimika Chocomilo is a columnist at withinnigeria and freelance opinion writer.

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