…Of Silly Trekkers And Misplaced Priorities

Photo Credit: www.newsline,ng
Photo Credit: www.newsline,ng

If you are oblivious of the latest reality show going on in Nigeria, then you must have been hibernating under a rock or something. What started as the “ambition” of a young man to according to him “fulfill a promise” he made two years ago to trek from Lagos to Abuja to celebrate in solidarity with General Muhammadu Buhari should he emerge winner of the 2015 presidential elections in Nigeria has quickly escalated into a competition of sorts resulting in not less than eight other young Nigerians trekking from one part of the country to the other in order to show support for their political candidate. Like almost every other venture in Nigeria, the bandwagon effect has taken its full course on this trekking madness.

The list keeps growing everyday. Since the Katsina state born Suleiman Hashimu pioneered the trend, the roll call of trekkers has seen different breeds of Nigerians join the craze. Men, women, the physically challenged and even a nursing mother (whom I personally think should be arrested for endangering the life of a baby) have all jumped on the “trekking train!” And just when we thought we had seen it all, in the latest wave of absurdities, five men have chosen to take things several notches higher by vowing to trek from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia in solidarity with Buhari. At first the trekkers appeared to only be trekking for the president-elect, but unsurprisingly, just like in mainstream politics, the “Jonathanians” not to be outdone have 2 to 3 people of their own taking up the “challenge” in honour of the soon to be former president too. They claim to be celebrating their hero who displayed rare statesmanship by conceding defeat thereby averting what could have resulted in a war.

As amusing as this theatrical show may be, it brings to the fore the deeper problem of unemployment among the youths. The truth is that there are too many young people with too much time on their hands. A look at the age bracket of the people who have embarked on this adventure reveals their average age to be 35 years old. Now, these are men and women who are in their prime; the heydays of their lives, and so when we have young people who should be putting their strength and agility to productive use trekking the length and breadth of the country to celebrate politicians then we need no one to tell us that we are in trouble. Pray, if these trekkers had regular jobs or private businesses they were growing would they have the time or energy to waste on a senseless venture? And if at all they had to trek for a cause, there are several worthy causes they could have channeled their clearly abundant energy into.

There are only scanty parts of Nigeria that can boast of 6 hours of uninterrupted power in a day (as a matter of fact, in my area, we barely enjoy 6 hours of power supply in 2 weeks), yet nobody has thought to trek to the PHCN head office or the Federal Ministry of Power to protest this shameful cross that we have been condemned to carrying as a country through the years. Our politicians have been robbing us blind, looting the treasury at will but all we do as young people is to complain and insult each other on social media. Nobody has opted to trek to the EFCC or ICPC head offices and the Ministry of Justice to demand that more should be done to bring corrupt government officials and politicians to book.

The scourge of Cancer, HIV, Kidney diseases and other terminal illnesses all require volunteers to create more awareness to the plight of those who are suffering from these ailments, yet these youths never thought of walking to raise funds for these causes but find it very convenient to trek for a politician who doesn’t know them and may never even dignify their self inflicted “long suffering” with a handshake. Yet we wonder why young people are not taken too seriously in the scheme of things, especially when it comes to running for political offices. It is the same reason why we keep recycling the same old politicians who have been ruling even before I was born.

General Yakubu Gowon became Nigeria’s head of State at age 32. The late Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu became the military governor of the Eastern region of Nigeria at the age of 33. Chuka Umunna, the British labour politician has been a Member of Parliament for Streatham since 2010 when he was only 31 years old. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the crtically acclaimed Nigerian author and novelist won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book as well as a host of other awards before she was 30. Indeed, there are several other young people who are not in the limelight but are excelling in their various fields of endeavour, yet some young able bodied Nigerians believe that the best way to gain recognition is by trekking for politicians whose children live in luxury and school abroad.

It is a pathetic situation, an error of ignorance…a fallacy of reasoning.

12 Replies to “…Of Silly Trekkers And Misplaced Priorities”

  1. Nice write up dear, been waiting for this. Its pathetic that some Nigerians have misplaced priorities. Just cos Sulieman started it, youths want to trek to congratulate Buhari n Jonathan. Y can’t they save their energy and pray for a better tenure or their lives than risking themselves for some1 obviously sleeping under condusive environment n excellent security. I second ur opinion on the arrest of the woman endangering her child on dis risky trip. She unfortunately has a husband that couldn’t appreciate their child or his wife’s life but allowed her embark on a trip prone to Mosquitoes, cold, armed robbery attack, snake bites, accidents, rape, d list is endless…. Dis is Joblessness @ it’s peak. Im sure they heard Suleiman was given good recognition, n oda benefits that’s y more pple ave decided to ” FOOL THEMSELVES BY TREKKING ”. There’s a lot to trek for, or have a peaceful walk for like Ghanians protesting power outage, we have poor power supply, terrible roads, insecurity, unemployment, poor social amenities and they insist on trekking to congratulate pple. HOW STUPID. I think a bill or an announcement should be made to STOP constituting Nuisance by TREKKING to Congratulate any1 .

    Ng Anwuli

    1. Recently, an aide to the president-elect announced that no one should embark on any trekking exercise for Buhari anymore but just pray for the incoming government. Let’s hope they listen. Thanks Anwuli.

  2. Oh My God! Ololade, you nailed it here like never before. It’s as though you borrowed my pen and bled my thoughts through it. Those words really express your passionate anger about the newly-invented arrogant display of thoughtlessness.

    This piece is a brilliant pointer to the genuine purpose of trekking, and a reminder to the many visionless youths gallivanting around politicians who take no thoughts about them.

    1. Lol, glad I was able to pen down your thoughts too. It’s rather sad that we even have to discuss this in the first place. With all the suffering and angst at the state of affairs in the land, it’s inconceivable to imagine that some would still engage in fruitless ventures, alas that’s the reality. Thanks Dapo.

  3. My great friend from long time, nice piece. You are going places sis. God help and bless Nigeria. Even Buhari doesn’t want the trekking, and I doubt if Jonathan wants it too. Naija awake and arise…

  4. I just jogged down 10 floors of my building in celebration of this beautiful write-up of yours. So, I must get featured in your next write up oo… “lol!”

    When you drill it all down, you will most likely arrive at two things. One; you have rightly stated as joblessness, the second being POVERTY. I can bet you that the real motive influencing this bandwagon act is an expectation of recognition by and monetary reward from the forthcoming presidency.. how silly!

    The woman with the baby is actually news to me. I also read of some funny chap cycling miles in the same vein. This love for GMB is quite intoxicating I must say. Meanwhile we are faced with a total shut down of the petroleum industry, endless borrowings by the FGN occasioned by brazen thievery of the treasury by an irresponsible government, electricity supply is on ground zero,…… the woes are endless!

    In nine days.. we shall begin a ‘new story”… to say the least, the expectation of some of us is for our “new messiah” to flag off long treks of some public office holders to various jailhouses in different parts of the country. I do hope our bubble is not busted after all.

    1. Hahaha @ jogged down 10 floors! Don’t worry exercise is good for you. Thank you so much for capturing all i have said and more in your comment. Like you said, let’s hope our bubble is not busted!

  5. thanks for this. The Buhari they are trekking for was military governor of Borno state in his early to mid 30s

  6. Thiis trekking things ehN! It is no longer joblessness but Now a matter of Fuelessness ooo.
    Well, you have nailed it well & look 4wD to ur next write up.
    ThaNk u 4 writing.

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