PRESENTED BY: Daniel Kanu, National Chairman, New Deal Organization
SUB THEME: The role of students/youths in ensuring security in Nigeria
HELD AT: Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja
DATE AND TIME: 24th May, 2014: 8pm
All Protocols observed:
I would like to start by asking a critical question that the strikes at the heart of that theme. What is security? In the Webster dictionary security is defined as “the quality or state of being secure: as
1 a: freedom from danger
b: Freedom from fear or anxiety:
c: freedom from prospect of being laid off:
2 a: something given, deposited or pledged to make certain the fulfillment of an obligation:
3 a: an instrument of investment in the form of a document (as a stock certificate or bond) providing evidence of its ownership:
4 a: something that secures or protection.
However, in everyday life most people simply interpret security as an act of protection of one’s property. When we hear term ‘security’ the first thing that comes to our mind is a gateman or security-man at bank or as we were entering this venue we all had to pass through security.
However, in a broader sense there are various forms of security such as:
1. Security of life and property
2. Food security
3. Job security
4. Investment security
5. National security
6. Emotional security
7. Intellectual security- plagiarism, piracy
Please permit me to refer to the age old philosophical explication of security as prescribed by Maslow known as Maslow Theory of hierarchy: where he itemized human needs in order of importance through this pyramid.
Since gaining its independence Nigeria has experienced a turbulent history which as a nation we claim to have overcome. It’s worthy to mention that our founding fathers and the first President of Nigeria were youths.
Having gained freedom from British rule we were considered as well educated and economically strong due to the agriculture and moral discipline. Securities of life and property, food, job were at a very high level.
Unfortunately due to moral decadence, ethnicity and religious bigotry that resulted in greed, lack of commitment, selfishness, neglect of our youths, desire for immoral, wealth at all cost (419), myopic sentiments, and etc over past several decades, insecurity has become the order of the day, and our sad reality.
Decline in education resulted in loss of values, leading to laziness, which as its result produced hunger, desire of immoral wealth (419) and turned into joblessness. The previous then descended into kidnapping, armed robberies and bombings and lately terrorism.
Pundits were predicting that a street revolution would lead to positive changes. Historically Trade unions embarked on strikes, religious and ethnic groups protested; individuals groaned and moaned; international communities sanctioned, and youth groups rallied; press criticized and all to no avail.
However, that revolution has come in a way that our past leaders failed to recognize. Terrorism has now forced us to reevaluate our relationship from north, south, east and west and begin to see each other as our brother’s keeper. Christians and Muslim must be working together in order to tackle security challenges on the streets, villages, offices, homes and jungles around the country.
The role of students in ensuring security in Nigeria begins with education. Education is the greatest and most efficient instrument to improve moral values, discipline, and responsibility. Through education you will be able to create new jobs, build a strong and competitive economy, promote harmony and coexistence, gain respect for other people and their views and etc. Can you imagine how truly great Nigeria would become if 180 million people worked together towards the greater interest of the nation and not for selfish short minded purposes?
John F. Kennedy the former President of United States said “ask not for what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”. Greatness is not attained by what you can do for yourself, or your surrounding at a micro level, but what you can do to help the less privileged and your country as a whole. Nigeria is very wealthy in terms of the natural resources, we are in possession of many solid minerals and oil, but most importantly of all we have our proud and gifted citizens and youths. The people are what we should consider to be the utter most strength of our nation and so we should appreciate and cherish them.
From that perspective I wish to inform you that security starts from your homes. Your upbringing and moral values are what determines the level of security that we have across the country. We presently have a high crime rate due to the deterioration of family moral values, and overall difficult financial situation. Parents or guardians are not aware of their responsibilities and are busy sending out kids on the streets, without previously teaching those rights and wrongs. There are numerous distractions that our youths encounter on a daily basis, but if the parents haven’t taught them well they could easily take a wrong path. It is sad that most youths don’t know that taking another person’s property, regardless of the value (even a pen or pencil) is considered stealing which is a crime. Some also don’t know that chewing gum and spitting it out on the street or dropping liter on the road is wrong and considered an offense.
As a society we focus on the arm robbers whilst forgetting that they started with minor offenses and later advanced to more violent crimes. A youth who is disciplined and has good manners has less chances of committing crimes. In that sense, the best way for students/youths to ensure security in Nigeria is through self discipline.
As the Chairman of New Deal Organization I wish to state that we believe in pragmatic approach to solving our insecurity challenges. Hence we introduced Parents Against Crime Together (PACT) and Youths-Against Crime Together (Y-ACT). Under these two programmes we have introduced a social contract between the parents and their child(ren). PACT contract includes 10 responsibilities of the parents and 10 responsibilities of the child(ren). Each person is urged to memorize and practice their responsibilities and it’s only through such commitments that we can transform our society and ensure security. Y-ACT programme is established in order to make positive impact on youths. With a vision of better future, its aim is to teach them to practice good moral values and resist peer pressure.
We therefore, call on all students to join this battle to save Nigeria and become a Renaissance Youth by learning and practicing these thematic words honesty, honour, integrity, consciousness, respect, contentment, courtesy, and patriotism. It is through those that students/youths can ensure security in Nigeria.