Buhari Should Sell the Nigerian Youth as Slaves

Buhari Should Sell Nigerian Youths As Slaves

Buhari Should Sell Nigerian Youths As Slaves

President Buhari, like many past Nigerian heads of state, is living proof of why slavery flourished along the coast of West Africa a few centuries ago. The Europeans, Americans and others nurture, support and encourage their youth. That is they could build the edifices that symbolise civilisation and world power. In contrast, many African kings had no use for their proliferating population of youths. Today is no different. Diaspora is the dreamland of the Nigerian youth. Under Buhari’s administration, the incentive for the Nigerian youth to go overseas for a better life has never been greater. Only because of the lack of opportunities that stare them in the face. If leaders have no respect or value for their youth, who will?

It is the height of administrative laziness for a national leader to have no constructive use for its youth. It is why people have to deal with racism daily and glorified slavery overseas. When African leaders have a good use for their youth, it will be great. Africans may just become more than honorary human beings to other races.

President Obasanjo in his first civilian administration famously threatened that Nigerians. His claim was whoever did not like his rule should go overseas and find a better life. The same man is now struggling hard to convince a very sceptical world that the rising failure of the government to cater for the exploding youthful African population. Youthful Africans will not seek a better life in the diaspora, but only if they take his “own” advice. Obasanjo had eight years of power to show a good example of his current proposal. Still, he could not do so on his best day in power.

It is a constant misfortune in Nigeria that while presidents are in power, they are no better than “village tyrants” or “ineffectual figureheads.” Yet, once they leave the office, they miraculously become enlightened leaders. The youth, however, remain a structural casualty of Nigeria leaders; downtrodden, despised, and dispensable. Maybe they are also fungible.

There are American and Europeans with lots of cash who would like to prove that Africans are naturally prone to be slaves for biblical and scientific reasons. I present such people and President Buhari with a challenge. The Nigerian government should announce a program funded by the Americans and Europeans in question. It will offer Nigerians between the ages of 18 and 25 a chance to apply for relocation visas to any three nations of their choice. The only condition is that when they arrive at their destinations, they will work hard, unpaid for 36 calendar months. Then later they will grant them permanent residence visas as long as they are fully law-abiding. That would indenture labour or outright slavery.

At least a million Nigerian youths would voluntarily apply in the 30 days. This would have the youth yelling, “Hallelujah! Anywhere is better than here!” and the evidence of the apparent hopelessness of their fortunes and futures in Nigeria. However, the willingness of the youth to work unpaid for 36 months in return for residency is telling. It would be decisive evidence that the Nigerian youth is not lazy but ruinously deprived. Some leaders in Nigeria have even said to them to forget school and go back to the farms.


Grimot Nane

P.S. The relocation program described above in the article was just a thought experiment. Our zine does not in any way support, encourage or defend slavery.

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