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In his book: “As You Like It” Shakespeare said: “sweet are the uses of adversity which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head; and this our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.”

In his book: “As You Like It” Shakespeare said: “sweet are the uses of adversity which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head; and this our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.”


“Adversity” in this context means hardship, struggle or trouble. And the saying simply means that hardships could lead to success in our lives. We only become stronger by the day through our struggles. If we have never faced difficult circumstances, it could be even more difficult for us to experience the good things of life. In our lives, sometimes, troubles are capable of making and not marring us. Simply put, everything that has a disadvantage has an advantage.
It is in this context that I wish us to peruse the political arena in Nigeria as the tempo feverishly rises for young adult intellectuals to take over the running of government and sack the era of sit-tight leaderships that have not only become the curse of the country but one that has completely crippled the economy and security since Nigeria attained self rule almost six decades ago.
The message has frequently been put across in the social media to Nigerian young adults that there are two PVCs involved in this revolution. The first is the Personal Voting Card and the second, the 'Please Vote Carefully' slogan. Using their PVCs effectively is the most credible way of settling scores with the older breed of politicians, largely known as 'state actors' (courtesy ex-president Jonathan) who only succeeded in ushering nothing but misery into the lives of a vast majority of Nigerians.
The country's young adults will ultimately have to consider all this and the difficult situations they have had to face during the administrations of the Peoples' Democratic Party, PDP, and the incumbent All Progressives Congress, APC, before they can settle for a leader who, hopefully, will actualise the sweet dreams of most Nigerian citizens about their country.
Before the inception of the Buhari era, Nigerians were hungrily beckoning for change. They had become tired of 16 years of rule by a party which had been dispossessed of any further care for the welfare and plight of its citizens by internal crises. The crises in the PDP at the time had started with the bid of Chibuike Amechi, the governor of Rivers state, for a second tenure as Chairman of the Nigeria Governors' Forum, NGF. The NGF was largely regarded as a formidable force within the Nigerian political circle. The showdown snowballed into a confrontation between Governor Amechi and President Jonathan who was said to have sidetracked Amechi who won the election for Air Commodore Jonah David Jang, the then governor of Plateau state. 
In 20 years of intensified sufferings during PDP and APC administrations, most Nigerians thought they would possibly remain trapped in poverty and never get out of their condition any time soon. They practically came to believe that the situation they thought they voted for in 2015 had become a change for worse, a change that would ultimately ruin them and their businesses. Most citizens, especially the pensioners, resigned their fate in life to the dictates of the power wielding political class which bestrode the streets of Nigerian villages, towns and cities like a colossus. The impunity that attended the actions and inactions of the political class came to a crescendo and inevitably sparked hope in the younger generation of Nigerians that if these sit-tight politicians can be quietly eased off the positions they had come to take for granted, Nigerians would come out of their struggles stronger, saner and more united.
 But when they voted massively for change and replaced PDP with the newly formed APC mega-party in 2015, many took lightly to a development that cropped up at the time. The fact they seemed to have neglected was that many of the people in the PDP had defected to the APC when their party lost the presidential election. And the APC had welcomed them with open hands, in a bid to swell its number.  So, it wasn't surprising that the change Nigerians anticipated from the APC and voted for did come, but to their chagrin. The condition of the economy and security in the country deteriorated alarmingly because the leopard can never change the colour of its skin, as the saying goes.
In the midst of all the excruciating poverty that was ravaging the land, on 19 April 2018, President Buhari “confided” to delegates in the Commonwealth of Nations' Business Forum which was convening in London that Nigerian youths were lazy. The President described Nigerian youths as lazy elements of the society who only sat back, did nothing and expected the riches of oil wealth to cushion their lives. According to the President, “more than 60 per cent of the population is below 30. A lot of them haven't been to school and they are claiming that Nigeria is an oil producing country. Therefore, they should sit and do nothing, and get housing, healthcare and education free,” Mr Buhari was quoted as saying.
The comment immediately went viral and sparked nationwide anger and a string of protests on Nigerian streets and in the social media. The presidency later explained that Mr Buhari meant a lot of and not all Nigerian youths.
That statement and the revelation made by Pastor Tunde Bakare, the General Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, LRA, became the last straw that broke the camel's back. Mr Bakare is a highly respected Nigerian who ran as Vice President with General Buhari in 2011 under the auspices of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC.  And when he told the nation that in 16 years, PDP borrowed a total of N6 trillion and in just 3 years of its existence, the APC had in comparison already borrowed N11trillion, the youths were alerted to the gross financial recklessness that attended the “hard-working” Buhari government as against the “lazy” Nigerian youths.
Coupled with all the other injustices that culminated in the proliferation of insurgencies and militant groups across the country in the 3 years the APC had been in control, all the anger lurking and boiling in the minds of the youths while they waited for the opportunity to vent their spleen, Bakare's exposition of the APC's financial unreliability and President Buhari's dismissal of Nigerian youths as lazy became the clarion call, the wake-up trumpet that was to bring all Nigerian youths together across tribal borders and political party sentiments.
From then on, all Nigerian youths became united in their spirit and desire to oust the incumbent government and to put an end to the vicious circle of recycling leaderships that had brought nothing but penury to the youths and the down-trodden, hoi polloi of the country.  From Arewa Youth Organisations in the North, they came. They came from Oduah Peoples' Congress in the West, the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra in the East. All Nigerian young adults decided to come together to organise for a new and more meaningful future for Nigeria.
At the forefront of the revolution is 55-year old Professor Kingsley Moghalu, a political economist and lawyer, a former senior staff of the United Nations who was also deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria from 2009 to 2014. Others are 46-year old  Fela Durotoye, a public speaker and business strategist; 56- year old Donald Duke, a lawyer and former governor of Cross River state; 55-year old Funmilayo Adesanya-Davis, a professor of Language and Communication Arts at the Rivers State University of Education, Port Harcourt; 75-year old Muhammadu Buhari, a General in the Nigerian army who was military head of state from 1983 to 1985 and currently Nigeria's President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, said to have spent a sixth of his presidency on sick leave.
There are 63-year old Remi Sonaiya, a retired professor of Language and Applied Linguistics at Obafemi Awolowo University; 47-year old Thomas-Wilson Ikubese, a poet, motivational speaker, radio and TV presenter and chief medical director of Sckye hospital and diagnostics limited; 47-year old Omoyele Sowore, a lecturer at City University of New York and the School of Arts, New York, writer, public speaker, human rights activist and publisher of Sahara Reporters; 40-year old Enyinnaya Nwosu, a lawyer and former lecturer at West George College; 40-year old Ahmed Buhari, CEO of Skylar Incorporated; 57-year old Ayodele Fayose, current governor of Ekiti state who was impeached as governor in 2006 and has had running battles with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Others are 59-year old Adesanya Fegbenro-Bryon, former regional coordinator for Britain's Department of International Development; 46-year old Charles Udeogaranya, an APC chieftain; 41-year old Mathias Tsado, CEO of Matstrutt Nigeria Ltd; 39-year old Eniola Ojajuni, a lawyer and businessman who is also a  consultant on imports, exports and investments; 48-year old Olu James Omosule, former chief officer for Scope America Outreach in the USA; 47- year old Tope Fasau, CEO of Global Analytics Consulting Ltd and 69-year old  Sule Lamido, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, 1999 – 2003 and former governor of Jigawa state 2007 – 2015 who stood trial with two of his sons for allegedly embezzling state funds. There are 18 contestants in all, some serious, some not so serious.
But before Nigerians commit themselves again to an elusive vote for change that is likely this time to finally bring the country on its knees if it fails, it is necessary for those who are now angling for a change in the system or to take over the running of the government to be familiar with and to understand better some of the challenges they are likely to face should they finally wrest power from those families that have wielded it since Nigeria had self rule nearly six decades ago.
First is that the trappings of power can be quite intriguing, sometimes devastating. The case of General Gowon can illustrate this assertion very lucidly. He still remains the most eloquent testimony and typical example of a powerful man who became a victim of the trappings of power.
Everyone was happy in Nigeria when the civil war abruptly came to an end in 1970. The war had been brutal and wearing. And so, its end brought a great relief to many families on both sides of the divide. The Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, became first a national icon, and later an international celebrity. He was in control of vast Nigerian territories that boasted of large deposits of crude oil and gas, and other solid minerals which were in great demand across the globe.
By the time Gowon had been five years in the post, dignified recognitions, salutations and accolades were flying in from all parts of the world to the Government House. He began to enjoy travelling and having luncheons and dinners with the Queen in the UK and other important heads of government in Japan, France, China, Canada, Europe, America and the rest of the world. He was soon carried away by the euphoria of the pomp and pageantry associated with his office and forgot his people who had begun to suffer as a result of his neglect. It was during one such dinner-abroad trip that his government was toppled. So, if tomorrow Nigerian young adults come by political power, they must not forget this. They must guide against the drive that attends power, wealth and fame because it can bring down any government at the end of the day.
Second is: Will young adults be able to treat the older out-going generation with the respect and dignity they deserve? Can they win the confidence of the older citizens by meaningfully managing the nation's vast economic resources so that no one would continue suffering in a country that is naturally endowed with so much mineral and manpower resources, especially the aged and pensioned citizens?
Third is: Will the youths inadvertently give the elders an opportunity to stage a comeback and vie with them for opportunities because the youths put them in a tight position of disadvantage where life became so difficult for them to cope with? Can the young adults avoid a situation that would ultimately give rise to the nostalgia of “the good old days” by creating “the better these days?”
Fourth is: Can the youths grapple with the schemes, machinations and possible sabotage of the civil service who are the real masters of the country's destiny? For more information about this, anyone can Google my article titled “Nigeria's Siamese Twins of Corruption” published in the 27 December 2013 edition of Sahara Reporters. 
And the fifth is: Can a young adult government make a serious attempt to retrieve the brain drain that has been the scourge of the country? One way to do this is to ensure a steady 24/7 electricity supply in all the villages, towns and cities in the country. I personally have no doubt that if this is done, many Nigerians in the Diaspora will come home to start small and medium size businesses that would in turn ameliorate the unemployment situation in the country. It is so saddening that countries like Zimbabwe, with all the embargoes placed on it by Europe and America, can still boast of 24-hour electricity supply and smaller countries like Ivory Coast and the Gambia which allegedly derive electricity from Nigeria are doing better than Nigeria.
It is easy to stand from a distance and criticise government. They haven't done this. They haven't done that. But when we are in that position, can we actually do differently? That is the million dollar question which will count at the end of the day. When we move from our four bedroom high rise apartment in the UK or USA to occupy Aso Rock, with the entire attendant military and police “security”, with some closely trusted officers being more interested in securing the stomachs and the education of their family members, can we calmly stand the heat?
When Nigerian young adults want to come in and take over governance in the country, they will need to reflect deeply about the trappings of power. There is all that huge sum of money around. Billions and trillions of dollars will be at their disposal. They will have the power to distribute the funds. They will have their priorities. They would want to follow the examples of more successful democracies around the world. But when the civil servants come in, as definitely they will always do, can the government stop them in their track, from negatively influencing its goal and the focus of the new political class? There will always be that fanning, rankadede and kabyesi stuff that attends to power, wealth, fame and initial success, no doubt. Can the young adults now angling to take control of governance deal with these distractions when they prop their heads up? 
It might be necessary to remember the Arab Spring of 2010. Eight years on, what have the youths achieved after they ousted the so-called autocratic families of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, Muammar Gadaffi in Libya, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Abdullah Saleh in Yemen and Ben Ali in Tunisia with the “help” of America and Europe? One would have thought that 8 years on, those countries would have at least started to enjoy the long overdue dividends of democracy for which they fought and won. But, no. The young adults of those Arab countries are still finding it difficult to grapple with the demands of such high offices and only crises and bloodshed have continued to trail their “leadership” ever since then.
If indeed Nigerian young adults must redesign the values of their country to fit into tomorrow's world of fast growing technology and to carry their people along in their plans, they must beware of the trappings of power. 
·Mr Asinugo is a London-based journalist and publisher of Imo State Business Link Magazine (imostateblm.com)

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