Exclusive: Corruption is Stealing the Future of Nigerian Youths, They Must Fight It- Henshaw

By Gift Samuel, The Sight News

Abuja-It is no longer news that Nigerian Youths are performing below par in comparison with their counterparts in other parts of the world and this can be traced back to the long years of corrupt leadership that has eaten deep into the system.

This is the reason, the Executive Director, Centre for Social Studies and Development (CSSD), Ken Henshaw in this interview with  The Sight News, stressed that Nigerian youths should come out to fight corruption, a menace which is stealing their future.

See Excerpts from the interview below:

Why Should the Youths Fight Corruption in Nigeria?

When we have reason we find a way definitely. I think that the youth should fight corruption because they are the products of corruption. Where they are right now is not where they are meant to be. Take an average youth 18 years old in Nigeria and take another youth in another country of the same age, the difference is clear educationally, in independence, in income, healthcare, prospects and opportunities, everything, it is absolutely clear that the youth simply do not have the kind of opportunities that youth else where have.

Who does the major impact of corruption in Nigeria fall on?

The major impact of corruption in Nigeria falls directly on the youth because it is their future stolen and the future of those not born yet. It is their money, income, livelihood being stolen and so, if somebody were to come into your house, take all the buttons off the shirt you are wearing to an interview for a job the next morning, what would you do? You will grab the person and ask for it back, talk less of your money, future, prospect, opportunities, life and your growth and so this is the major reason I think that the youth should fight corruption.

How Can the Youth Possibly Fight Corruption?

It is simply by getting rid of that idea that there is a certain class of people whose job it is to preside over our affairs, it is by getting rid of the idea that the money which is being stolen is government money, there is no such thing as government, we need to destroy that idea. It is people, it is public, it is a social contract. We need to understand that there is a contract that binds those who preside over our affairs to deliver certain services, goods and certain behaviours that will lift the society forward and that does not include stealing from the people.

They also need to understand that every penny stolen is a breach of a contract and if you had a contract with a workman to fix the sink in your house and the work man fails, sack the work man. They need to know that it is their money being stolen. That’s the first realisation that there is no such thing as government money, it is public money, public resources that’s the first thing they need to know.

The next thing they need to know is to understand that they have got the strength, the power to fight this. They need to ask themselves, if it is not us, who will fight this mess and if it is not now, when will we fight this mess?. That’s what we need to do, ask these critical questions. We need to realise as young people that the concept of business as usual needs to come to an end.

We live in a country that year in year out, statistically it is rated as one as of the most corrupt in earth, our educational system, healthcare, road networks are one of the worst. In fact we have a population of over 70 per cent living below that he poverty line, that’s below $1.5 in a day. It is that bad and this is a country that had got all the wealth it needs. What other excuses do you need to fight this mess when you know that our country remain with all these terrible indicators simply because a group of people, not more than 2, 000 have allocated to themselves the right to destroy our country, steal our resources to build houses in Europe and the Americas while we all suffer.

For every one billionaire, there are one million poor Nigerians, what else do you need to fight it. This is the opportunity.

What Does it take to be an Activist?

Being an activist is not a difficult thing, you can be an activist and be a normal person and this is the idea which those presiding over our affairs have sold, that activists are somewhat skewed upstairs.

In this time of unemployment, don’t you think it will be difficult to fight corruption?

When you fight corruption and eliminate what sucks our income and opportunities, employment will come. The Make A Difference Against Corruption Today(MadACT) movement by the Youth Alive Foundation of which ‘We the People’ are part of, should be considered by the youth as the last opportunity to fight an impediment that stopped them from being themselves and realizing their full potential.

“Let’s eliminate corruption and all other things will be added unto us” Ken Henshaw said.

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