As the world marks international youths day, the youths in Nigeria by all indications are at a crossroads over the precarious situation the country has been dragged into. While the current world economy continued to be shaped by youths across the world, their Nigerian counterpart are trapped in dilemma of choice between good and bad, virtues and vices.
Indeed this dilemma may not be unconnected with surge in crimes and criminality and the way issues around unemployment, corruption, insecurity, nepotism, tribalism have all been treated and attended to by government across the three tiers. As a a matter of fact, most Nigerian youths are not just bewildered they are also confused and in quandary as to whether the virtues of patience, perseverance and endurance really pay as against those of deviants, and rebels and militants and insurgents already an established order in the country.
The late president Umar Musa Yar'adua was attributed to have granted amnesty to the Niger Delta militants in 2009 to put an end to prevalent pipeline vandalism that always put Nigerian economy on the brink of recession. That move was lauded as a right step in the right direction by stakeholders in the region and other Nigerians who are genuinely interested in lasting peace in the oil rich region.
As with other initiative and policy of government, President Yar'adua's lofty idea was not spared of vitriolic criticism which was premised on the fact that absorbing criminals who are hell bent at destroying the Nation's economy might not just be counterproductive but may give rise to panoply of youths who will take solace in crimes and criminality to the apogee thereby expecting government to grant them state pardon.
Such policy framework must have informed the current administration of president Muhammadu Buhari which recently granted repentant Boko Haram members amnesty and placed them on a payroll of about twenty thousand naira stipend per months while the victims and survivors and men of Nigerians army are left to suffer and mostly die in the hands of those devil incarnate.
Critics tagged such policy has both foolhardy, counterintuitive and demoralizing and discouraging to the emotional state of victims and survivors and men of Nigerian military who are at the forefront of the war against insurgents in the North east.
The decision of government to pardon the bloodthirsty terrorists despite swathes evidences pointing to their inhuman and dastard acts seems to fall on deaf ears which has further gave more youths the liver to engage in crime against inhumanity either in the guise of internet fraudster or rituals or kidnapping or Banditry. Such decision is one major reason youths now see crime as survival tactics and a protest to the system that has both treated them unfairly, unjustly and unequally.
But as the saying, behind every tunnel is a light. Nigerian youths must at this time know that, the reward of good is always good and that the virtues of patience and endurance and perseverance always pay as exemplified by the emotional outpouring that greeted the demise of the country first combat pilot -- and that vices might bring a temporary pleasure in terms of material gain, the inglorious end of such adventure will always justify the means.