You only have to appreciate the high level cynicism in town to understand why #YoungNLegit is something to be happy about.
Whoever it is that is in-charge of the EFCC Twitter handle has to be one of the best communicators in Nigeria. There are really few at good at their communication duties in Nigeria, let to talk of relating very well the boredom of unsuccessful anti-corruption tales to the Nation’s teeming and distracted Youth population. Throwing shades apart, the account has provided information and relevant communication on the workings of the anti-graft body, providing understanding to Nigerians in ways previously not desired nor attained.
Basically, s/he has made people interested in anti-corruption, but that is just one bit. With #YoungNLegit, the aim is to make sure the Youth themselves steer clear of the enticements of corruption.
Reading through the tweets on the trend, #YoungNLegit takes a break from the usual info-banters that the account usually elicits, to more introspective, emotional – sometimes heartbreaking – expressions of thought. Young – unverified, yes, but we allow – persons between 21 and up to 40 (sure, they young too) are proudly declaring that they are legitimately fending for themselves (and, for some, families), rejecting the lure of illicit means of income, despite the harsh conditions in the country which seem to make it easy.
The group of heartbreaking #YounNLegit stories is led by @Olami_Saka, “who is 26, a First Class graduate, unemployed, but not into crime.” Why? “Because tomorrow never dies”. There are many of his type in nearly every Nigerian community, whose four-year midnight hours through tertiary education have failed to materialize into comfortable economic status. These are part of the products of an education system that told the hot brains not to worry about entrepreneurship because the oil money that feeds the Government will never run dry. Lo! Brent draws towards 30 dollars a barrel today and many States cannot pay salaries, let to say employ. But, like, @Itunesco, these young Nigerians still choose to stay away from bunkering for their share of the remaining oil money, because “today’s scarcity will become tomorrow’s plenty”.
There is the brave and heroic league, one of whom is @oba4fun: “31, a trained aerodrome firefighter… When others are running out, I run inside”. She represents the fearless generation who will not be kept back from doing the duty for which they have committed, regardless of how high the odds stack against them. Hopefully, this league includes life guards and disaster managers who stand guard for episodes like Suleja and Lekki floods where they help to mitigate the failures of Governments to prevent such disasters from happening in the first place.
There are those who will not allow Government to dull them, such as @comsanne, who is now 26 “awaiting NYSC stream II” but already running a small business. NYSC’s drama with the second batch of the 2017 set of Prospective Corps members is dealing many inconveniences to Nigeria’s youths; some are compelled to shift wedding plans, new nursing mothers may have to consider a temporary maid, and many persons are crossing the maximum 26 years age limit for Banks and the Big 4 Advisory Firms. But persons like @comsanne already have something going for them, something legit.
Then there are more established folks like the On-Air Personality for the Beat 99.9 FM, @OsiSuave, whose Challenge to Youths last time to collaborate did not quite go down well with everyone as very humble. But he’s 30, and getting rewards for the legit things he is doing.
Nigeria can be a frustrating place to have been born into. It’s the real land of the Hard Knock Life. The alternatives to maintaining a clean lane do not glitter like the gains that lie in pouncing on others and reaping the spoils of corruption. But some have chosen to stay true to good hustle and turn away from the bad things that allure.
They continue to declare their pride, that they are #YoungNLegit. Perhaps those Banks and Big 4 guys should start calling them up to see what they can offer.
By Alexander O. Onukwue | Follow @inquizimedia on Facebook and Twitter