[Analyses]–Written in solidarity with the #NotTooYoungToRun Movement, this piece tasks the country’s law-makers with legislating in ways that will empower such political minorities as the youths and women.
Fact one: Every nation in the modern world is founded upon the belief in the supremacy of the law. That is a truism which cannot be contested. It is the vehicle which transports a nation to either its destiny or its doom. There is absolutely no gainsaying the fact that no country can progress without a strong law enactment body.
Fact two: Nigeria is like an ailing body system which has been corrupted by a myriad of parasitic elements bent on disintegrating her in totality. She can be compared to a biological host with detachable body parts whose feet went on a journey and forgot the way back home, leaving the body without a way to move at all, let alone forward. Nigeria has lost the fuel which once made her, in her halcyon days, the true giant of the continent of earth’s progenitors, with an enviable gloriousness which terrified other countries. Her wheels of progress have been rooted in the mud of corruption and near-impressively disastrous leadership.
Fact three: Since 1922 with the Clifford Constitution, Nigeria has been in an on-going experimentation with constitutional amendments and total revamps, attempting to find the perfect model for the complexities which make up the country.
Deduction: Considering the well-known facts which have been discussed, it is apparent that a strong constitutional foundation is needed for Nigeria to thrive and it is something she has been trying to achieve for so long. However, the varying shades of negatives which have engendered the Nigerian socio-political reality – nepotism, tribalism, political vendetta, dormant law-makers and a host of others – have contributed to the dearth of any meaningful change in the country’s tired old story of colossal failure in reinventing herself as a force to reckon with.
Actionable Propositions: If we are to be serious about actually making leeway in the battle to save Nigeria from the beastly hands of self-destruction, we need to reconsider our approach to law-making. We need to realise that we live in a modernized world where our focus on development has to be gravitated towards two key demographics: the youths and the womenfolk.
Was it not Malcom X, that legendary activist who once said, “The future belongs to those who prepare for it today”? If we want to be architects of a glistening tomorrow for the destiny of the country, we need to expend a lot our resources on the weaponry which will help attain this goal – the youths. The searchlight needs to be directed towards the youths. As law-makers, the legislators have the power to necessitate and effect a change in orientation towards the youths. We too often neglect the potentials of Nigerian youths. They are, as a demographic, a key part of the citizenry. They need to be equipped with instruments of intellectual fortification. And this can only be do ne through education. X was also the wise man who said, “Education is the passport to the future.” Education has to be made a priority, not just in theory but backed by measures which make it capable of being practically enforced. We have to make the education of our children a completely effective law. All Nigerian parents and guardians must be tasked with sending their children to school. Anyone found with children who do not have proof of enrolment in an agency of learning must be made to face disciplinary action from the state. We cannot even begin to dream of development if we do not give provisions for the utmost necessitation of education.
Education helps to tackle degenerative mentalities and reduces crime. There is an interesting correlation between criminality and lack of basic education all over the world. In a work written by Lance Lochner and Randi Hjalmarsson titled, “Impact of Education on Crime: An International Evidence,” it was revealed that, in 2001, over 75 percent of convicted criminals in Italy had not yet had a complete basic education. We could have a New Education Act which literally criminalises keeping children out of school. Additionally, we must lower the minimum age of contesting for public offices so as to have more inclusive government characterized by the youths participating in the decision-making process.
Furthermore, our legislative process needs to focus on women. Apart from covering them under the New Education Act (NEA) suggested above, girls and women need to be given special attention due to their roles in the reproductive process. While a huge population may have been desirable once, we need to be extremely cautious in an era where the available resources are increasingly becoming irrelevant in comparison to the human population. Estimates have put Nigeria’s population by 2050 to be 397 million heads.
With the educational revolution being put in motion with the NEA, there needs to be a follow-up with a law which puts Nigerian women under a scrutiny when it comes to childbirth. Upon legalising a marriage through the registry, it should be made compulsory for women and couples in general to attend orientations or see certain government consultants for no fee whatsoever. This will caution them against procreating beyond their financial limit. Also, there should be a state-sponsored provision which caters for single mothers and women whose salaries cannot statistically provide for their children. They should have access to funds which will sustain them for a few years. Theoretically, we can call it Mothers Empowerment Provision.
Conclusion: Nigeria’s problems can all be to the following basic factors: illiteracy, overpopulation, apathy and corruption. All of these can be tackled with a strong educational scheme which is open to all school-age children and youths and the uplift of mothers through affordable healthcare and financial encouragements. If we want to salvage Nigeria’s situation, we must constitutionally empower the youths and women.Please Follow Us @ThePageNg