Dear older generation of Nigerians,

How have your lives been? It may or may not yet have dawned on you that your time holding the reins of the country is almost up. We, the younger generation, appreciate the work you have done to drive our country forward. We have come a long way after 56 years of independence from colonial rule. However, have we, as a nation, come far enough? Have we lived up to our optimum potential? Have we done enough?

We will not forgive you for your efforts in driving the labors of our founding fathers to the mud. We will not forgive you for your inactions and blatant apathy towards social injustice and inequalities. We will not forgive you for abusing and neglecting the human rights of our people in the name of sticking to our ‘traditional moral standards’. It amuses us how you can even throw the word ‘moral’ around judging by your “fantastically corrupt” methods of running the country and the systems within the country. But again, we may just have to forgive you so that we can work together to create a much better nation for our children and your grandchildren/great grandchildren.

The time has come where there could be no need direr than the need to transfer resources — intellectual, professional, relational, and financial — to us, the younger generation. We want to learn from you. We need to learn from you. We want to adopt some of your best practices and do away with your not-so-great ones. This would prevent us from making the same mistakes you made; or worse. Do not be afraid to teach us because you fear that we may become better than you and rebel. If we do not become better than you, then what was the point of teaching us in the first place? Also, rebellions have often led to positive revolutions, so fear not.

We also seek your forgiveness. Forgive our excessive exuberance and youthful impatience. We think we know it all and that we have the most brilliant and innovative ideas; forgive us. We try so hard to, at a young age, reinvent the wheel without even having the slightest understanding of how the existing one works; forgive us. However, you should not blame us much. It is not our fault that we want something better than what we are currently being offered. We believe that we can have and become so much more. This strong belief and hope that we can make a difference sometimes clouds our judgement and inhibits our thinking.

It is no secret that your generation and ours have flaws, but the priority now should be to answer the question: “How can we put aside our differences and work together for a greater good?” We need to provide an answer to this question, and quickly too.

I want my children to grow up in a country where, to succeed, all you need to do is work hard. Where their background would not be a limitation to how much they can achieve or how great they could become. I want them to grow up in a country where “fantastic corruption” is at its barest minimum. I want them to grow up in a developed first-world country. We need to work together to make Nigeria this sort of country for my children, your grandchildren & great grandchildren. My generation believes that we can make Nigeria great again, but do you?

Let us know when you are ready to begin this inter-generational mission.

From a hopeful young Nigerian man,
Arinze Obiezue

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