Lateef Raji, a public policy analyst, in an article titled “Dwindling Oil Revenue: What Next for Nigeria?” positedthat today, despite the pitiful state of unemployment in Nigeria, ironically, the nation is still rated as the third destination of investors and one of the fastest growing economy in the world. Raji noted that Nigeria is a golden land of numerous opportunities for those who are resourceful, ingenious, creative, innovative, inventive, ground-breaking, enterprising, hardworking, focused, visionary and most significantly, disciplined.
Therefore, as a concerned Nigerian, I want to question the role(s) of Yoruba youths in the current fight against unemployment, starvation and poverty in Nigeria. This question was necessitated by my discovery through indirect observations that Yoruba youths are the most laziest, perfidious and egoistic in Nigeria as at today.
I discovered that the pride of an average Yoruba youth has over-shadowed his intellectual judiciousness, level-headedness and sagacity. Today, among ten Nigerians submitting their resume in multi-national corporations, eight would be yorubas. My generations in the western Nigeria are too lazy to tap from the abundant opportunities that for instance liter the streets of Lagos for primitive accumulation of wealth.
Today, the string and button of Lagos, the Nigeria’s indisputable number one centre of success, excellence and opportunities has been tactically taken over from the Yorubas. The Igbos, and by extension, the Niger/Deltans and the Northerners have indirectly taken over the control of Lagos economy.
The Apapa wharf in Lagos has virtually been taken over by the Easterners. The data that I got from the Nigerian Custom Services divulges that 63% of those licensed to transact businesses in Apapa Wharf are Igbos.
More also, data collected from licensing office reveals that owners of 56% of commercial motorcycles in Lagos are Northerners and Easterners. The lucrative transport business has been hijacked from the Yorubas.
Today, the major work of average Yoruba youths on the streets of Lagos is to collect royalty, due and charges from the Hausas and Igbos using their motorcycles to make cool cash from their land. 95% of transport and travel and tour firms operating in Lagos are owned by the enterprising and hardworking Easterners.
The Yorubas stay at various intersections harassing hardworking people transacting their legal businesses in the name of collecting charges and dues for local government. I also discovered that majority of the few Yorubas riding commercial motorcycles in Lagos are locally trained automobile Engineers that have abandoned their workshops.
Furthermore, the popular Ladipo and Owode Motor Spare Parts markets in Lagos are now solidly in the hands of Igbos. As usual, Yoruba Youths are in the market collecting dues for their local government chairmen and the Iyaloja General of Lagos. Yaba, Oyigbo, Sabo, Oshodi, Agege, Alaba, Idumota etc markets have been taken over by the easterners and northerners who are predominantly youths.
Let me also assert unequivocally that Igbo youths are now becoming more prosperous in the entertainment industry than the Yoruba youths. Today, yorubas hardly tune their DSTV to the Yoruba movie channel of the satellite television, rather, they watch the other movie channel that show English movies starred by Actors and Actresses of Igbo extraction. Why? Because most Yoruba movies are short of creativity.
I can also articulate that 85% of the CEOs and Executive Directors of Commercial Banks operating in Nigeria today are Igbos and Hausas under the age of 50. They are very super and talented in boardroom politics unlike their Yoruba counterparts and they assist each other with an amazing ease.
Educationally, the yorubas are no longer in the first three. According to the National Universities Commission (NUC), Anambra, Imo and Enugu have the highest number of professors and Doctorate Degree Holders in Nigeria. Ekiti and Ondo States that used to top the list have been demoted to number four and six respectively.
The 2014 Reports of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council (NECO) revealed that the Yorubas have been upturned by the Easterners in terms of academic performance. Ekiti, a state known as fountain of knowledge was number 34 in 2013.
The yorubas are also missing in the sports sector. The Golden Eaglet, Flying Eagles, Super Eagles, Flamingoes, Falconets, Super Falcons, D’Tigers and other Nigeria National Teams are dominated by the Igbos and Hausas. The team that won the African Cup of Nations for Nigeria in 2013 was tagged Biafran National Team by some Columnists and Social Commentators including myself.
Politically, the Igbos and Hausas are more united than the Yorubas. The result of the 2015 presidential election is a point of reference. The Hausas voted massively for General Buhari of the APC while the Igbos extraordinarily voted for Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP.
Sadly, the Yorubas had no bearing during the election. While Jonathan’s kinsmen are currently blaming the Yorubas for their son’s expected defeat, the victorious Buhari’s kinsmen are today reportedly saying that the Yorubas contributed little or nothing to the success of their kinsman.
In conclusion, I want to charge my generation in the western part of Nigeria to wake up and begin to act. The nation of Nigeria that I am seeing today is hemorrhaging. Therefore, I suggest we put ourselves in strategic positions. The bitter truth is that our leaders only think for themselves and their children.
If I may ask, can a young man at 35 with nothing attractive in his resume manage a lucrative conglomerate? Besides, must we be employed by conglomerates? Can’t we resourcefully, artistically and imaginatively employ ourselves? The fact is government cannot provide jobs for all. Folorunsho Alakija started as a Fashion Designer, but today, she’s the richest black woman on the surface of earth.
My fellow Yoruba youths, why are we too proud and lazy to ruggedly and smartly act like our brothers and sisters in the east and the north? Why do we always bringing ourselves down? Why are Yoruba youths missing in action?
Adeleye writes from Magodo, Lagos
Tel: 07039168005 (SMS only).