Over the past few months, residents in Nigeria’s Federal capital have been living in fear of the unknown with the off and on protests of the Shia Muslims. This is an Islamic group who come out in their numbers to fight for the cause of one man’s freedom; Ibrahim El Zakzaky.
The journey of this man’s battle with the military forces dates as far back as the 80s and to this day, the famous El Zakzaky who was a Muslim cleric remains a heroic figure and leader of the Islamic Muslim movement. While he is loved and respected by his followers, on the other hand he has been accused of spearheading an Islamic group tagged with a violent streak and who work in non-conformity with Nigerian legal forces. This battle is a huge worry for the nation especially now where the fight against terrorism is eminent and the strive for peace building is being targeted. The solution can best be a common ground to be reached for the safety of Nigerians and the safety of the leader of the Shia muslims.
Looking at the protests so far took me back to 2014 before I entered the University. I recall how El Zakzaky was staunchly embalmed on the hearts of so many youths back home where he started off in Kaduna, northern Nigeria. They would come out in masses with their Shia flags and posters of their leader. They would raise their voices for freedom of expression to speak for this man. A man who since the inception of the movement had lost six sons! Not to mention the hundreds of lives lost in a bid to fight back military forces. This is a battle of over 25 years and still counting.
Today, we see history repeating itself as we have more energetic youths who feel passionate about their religious belief so much so that they aim to protect their own even if it would cost them their blood.
Truly, this is a commendable drive coming from the youths of today. To want something so badly even to the point of death is the rarest quality especially in our time. Imagine the progress that could be witnessed if this sort of passion is redirected towards nation building.
For instance, Nigeria being a nation of over 190 million people has a growing population of youths who if well nurtured, can be the country’s speed boat to development. When we talk of development, it’s not about having resources available for reforms nor is it about having accountable leaders on the spot who can whisk development to reality with the available resources. Development is meaningful when it concerns sustaining the future of any nation to ensure that the restructuring of today blossoms into a new economic system that can attend to a growing population over time.
So the big question now is how can we sustain? The simple answer lies in making sure our youths are engaged adequately. Just as we see youths coming out in their masses to protest for one man’s freedom, we need to help the youths in channeling their energy to the sustainable development goals.Push them to fight for better government, technological know-how, creating entrepreneurship projects and much more. This will be the key to building a new world system hoped for in the 2023 projection.
As we ponder over this, I leave this message to all youths out there;
When thoughts are driven by success rather than progress,
It becomes the first stage of ambition which leads to limitation.
Often times I hear people say “I am limited because of low
Funds, lack of opportunities, poor motivation...”
Truth, we are our biggest limitation. When you set all eyes
On the price, you will only get a slice of the pie. But when
You set all your energy on the journey to the price,
Then be rest assured you will have a whole table of
Delicacies and you will be spoiled for choice.
So, don’t be your limitations, rather determine your limits.