• ISSN:2971-7930 (E) == ISSN:0189-0662 (Print)




Onodi Benjamin Ezugwu (Ph.D),


This work explored youth dysfunctional development (youthquake), empowerment and public accountability of emerging leadership in developing economy. The objective is to educate young adults on how to live their lives, control their emotions and the right use of their reproductive organs to avoid consequences of sexual pleasure as leaders of tomorrow. The study noted that one of the attributes of life is to reproduce but lockdown occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic created opportunity for young people to indulge in immoral behavior such as rape and other form of sexual harassment. In view of the development, this essay can never be better any other time than now that the youths are going crazy about sexuality. Most often, parents shy away of their responsibility as the first teacher for their children. In some cases, the right information especially on sex is not given to children by parents. Such children normally rely on their peers for information on sex who may introduce them to pornography, cultism, prostitution, etc. This study looked into causes and effects of social vices, sexual revolution, and sex scandals in Universities such as rape, sex for grade and other form of sexual harassment in the Ivory Towers in Africa. Youth unemployment, emerging leadership in relation with Not-Too-Young-To-Run Act (2018), Youthquake in Africa (#ENDSARS&#EndAsuuStrike, DumsorMustStop and FeesMustFall) campaigns in (Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa respectively) and lack of good governance were identified as “red flag” for youth unrest in recent time. We therefore conclude and recommend that government agencies that have interface with youth organization should endeavor to genuinely empower the youth and create jobs for graduates from institution of higher learning and engage school leavers from primary and secondary schools in self employment by training them on skill acquisition and making agriculture attractive for the youth. Good governance is the only way to youth development, empowerment as leaders of tomorrow, if political and economic power is allowed to flow to the youth by way of articulated succession plan.

Full Text


Youth development is a process that prepares a young person to meet the challenges of adolescence and adulthood and achieve his or her full potential. Youth development is promoted through activities and experiences that help youth develop social, ethical, emotional, physical, and cognitive competencies. A holistic view of youth development include giving attention to youths’ physical, personal, social, emotional, intellectual and spiritual development, and emphasizes the strengths, resources and potentials of youth. It should be noted that development is a process, not a goal because people continue to develop throughout their lifetimes. Development takes place in families, neighborhoods, youth organizations, faith-based organizations, schools, and a multitude of other places including cyberspace.

Our immune system is weakened when we act counter to our deeper values and conscience, which grows in strength when we feel and express heartfelt love and care. If we neglect developing our emotional intelligence by failing in our self discipline to win the private victories that lead to public victories, we will experience emotional traumas, stresses, and such negative and disruptive emotions as anger, envy, covetousness, jealousy and irrational guilt. When a core relationship is stressed, broken or violated, it impacts the body and weakens the immune system. People experience headaches and psychosomatic illness of many kinds. Their minds often become depressed, unfocused and distracted, and they lose the ability to think abstractly, carefully, analytically and creatively. The spirits also becomes depressed and discouraged. People often begin feeling helpless, hopeless, victimized, and sometimes so despairing that they become suicidal especially young people. That is why it is so important to constantly nourish relationship with other people and with ourselves.

Statement of the problem/objective of the study

The post COVID-19 era has thrown up challenges on the economy and leadership in the 21st Century. In view of this development, the economy is now driven by digital and artificial intelligence and unfortunately most of our leaders are not internet friendly, hence most of them cannot fit into knowledge driven economy. The Youths in the recent time have been restive as a result of unemployment that pushed them into cyber-crimes and other social vices instead of channeling their energy to productive ventures. The governments (federal, State and Local) have not been able to provide jobs for the Youth and politicians are not interested in empowering them but use them as ready tools for election rigging and thuggery. There is no concerted effort to develop the Youth as leaders of tomorrow because of ‘sit-tight’ mentality of public office holders. In 2018, Not-Too-Young-To-Run Act was passed into law by the National Assembly but how many youth in Nigeria can afford the fees for the purchase of nomination form, from the major political parties in the game. Our crops of leaders do not care about succession plan and the Youth are helpless but they have been able to vet their anger during #ENDSARS and #EndAsuuStrike protests in Nigeria.

Similar protests were organized in other countries of the world especially in Africa, and campaigns for young people inclusion in governance has taken centre stage. For instance, FeesMustFall campaign in South Africa and DumsorMustStop campaign in Ghana. These campaigns are often referred to as Youthquake (significant cultural, political or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people). FeesMustFall was a student-led protest movement that began in mid-October 2015 in South Africa, while DumsorMustStop was initiated by Ghanaian actress Yvonne Nelson campaign on social media to protest against a persistent, irregular, and unpredictable electric power outage. This work is set out to explore causes and effects of dysfunctional youth development, empowerment and public accountability of emerging leadership in developing economy.

Review of related literature

Concept of Youth and development

The African Youth Charter defines youth as an individual between ages 15 and 35, while the Nigerian Youth Policy categorizes them in the 18-35 years bracket. Madueke (2018), observed that the age of youth, especially the period of adolescence, is most crucial to the development of the human person. He further stated that, it is invaluable time of self-discovery, formation of identity and pursuit of career. The period of adolescence is usually restive, incited by rapid development of the brain and hormonal surges that influence their sense of identity, emotions and moods, making them more impulsive and more inclined to take risks. Youth tend to cling to a world they construct and explore (friends, fashion, books, movies, music, etc), upon which they build their identity, comfort and security. They are inclined to fantasy, junk food and addictive substance to nourish their soul, mind and body, than following a disciplined and healthy lifestyle. Youths are seen as the young people considered as a group. The youths are normally considered as harbingers of hope for tomorrow and indeed they play a veritable role in nation building.

It was Pitman, Irby, Tolman, Yohalem, & Ferber (2002), who formulated the five Cs as attributes of development. They are: competence, character, connection, confidence, and contribution. Competence includes knowledge and skills that enable a person to function more effectively to understand and act on the environment. Character is what makes a person intend to do what is just, right, and good. Connection refers to social relations, especially with adults, but also with peers and with younger children. Confidence is the assuredness a person needs to act effectively. It enables a person to demonstrate and build confidence and character in challenging situations. Finally, contribution means that a person uses these other attributes not only for self-centered purposes but also to give to others. Youth development sees all areas of society working with young people to ensure they meet their capacities and provide the resources needed for their success which is inevitably the future’s success.

Maduka and Gabriel (2018), observed that Nigerian youths are easily described as social miscreants who are involved in cultism, smoking, armed robbery, kidnapping, smuggling, drug addiction, illegal possession of arms and ammunitions, thuggery, prostitution, exam malpractice, illegal hacking of social media and internet fraud, including other related practices thereby destroying the image of the country. It is the researcher’s opinion that the above trend can be changed by training of youth in several areas including Information and Communication Technology (ICT), plumbing and tilling technology, agriculture and agro-allied businesses, skincare training, catering and hotel management and make-up artistry to mention but a few.

Youthquake in developing economy

There is no doubt that youth participation in governance will allow formulation of policies that reflect their generations’ aspirations and youth inclusion in governance and it is being perceived as a catalyst for change. In other countries of the world especially in Africa, campaigns for young people inclusion in governance has taken centre stage. For instance, FeesMustFall campaign in South Africa and DumsorMustStop campaign in Ghana. These campaigns are often referred to as Youthquake (significant cultural, political or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people). FeesMustFall was a student-led protest movement that began in mid-October 2015 in South Africa. The goals of the movement were to stop increases in student fees as well as to increase government funding of Universities. In Ghana ‘Dumsor’ was a persistent, irregular, and unpredictable electric power outage. Many Ghanaian companies were collapsing due to the irregularity of power supply. Ghanaian actress Yvonne Nelson then started the DumsorMustStop campaign on social media and other Ghanaian celebrities joined her. Subsequently, hundreds attended a vigil in Accra on 16th May, 2015 to protest against Dumsor.

On 7th October, 2020 Nigerian youths commenced peaceful protest code named #EndSARS an acromny of: E-Educational and economic reform; N-National constitution amendment; D-Decentralize police; S-Security reform; A-Anti-democratic policy reform; R-Restructure Nigeria now; S-Save cost of governance. Unfortunately the government of the day did not capture the message because #EndSARS was misconstrued to mean disband a police unit known as Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and the then Ispector General of Police (IGP) quickly changed its name and replaced it with Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT). As observed by Akubueze (2020), the #EndSARS protest is a microcosm of the fundamental problems in Nigeria. The audacity and impunity with which the SARS officials have been operating all the while is a manifestation of the failing State of Nigeria. He (Akubueze) further opined that the #EndSARS protest is a cry for justice for all victims of the SARS and police brutality and also a call for a review of the welfare of the policemen. In the middle of April, 2022, National Association of Nigerian Students commenced #EndAsuuStrike to express their dissatisfaction over Federal Government refusal to honour 2009 agreement with Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) that led to another strike for more than three (3) months. The students were not happy that they are at home, because the Federal Government said that they have no money to meet ASUU demands, but government office holders were purchasing expression of forms to contest for President with whooping sum of One hundred Million Naira (N100,000,000.00) each for about twenty-seven (27) of them including a Minister for Education.

The National Republic Convention (NRC) presidential candidate in 1993 General elections Alhaji Bashir Tofa in his remark during the #EndSARS build up in Nigeria observed that under Buhari,s regime that came for change, Nigeria has unfortunately , become a lawless country with no rules and regulations; “a country where laws are not adhered to; and Government in place refused to take responsibility; and security agents that seems not to know what their work is. Yet, every year we budget and spend Billions of Naira on security, and citizens are taxed for the expenditure”. The protesting youths were demanding for 50% of government elected and appointed positions to be given to youths and to stop further recycling of old people. The above developments are signals that there is growing campaigns against exclusion of young people from participation in governance. It is important for policy makers, governmental institutions, business organizations, civil right organizations, professionals and every spirited individuals in Nigeria to join hands in the campaigns for inclusion of young people in governance. In our tertiary institutions (Universities, Polytechnics and colleges of education), students are allowed to play leadership roles vide Students Union Government and no wonder why some educated politicians in the Executive and Legislative arms of government were members of student Union Government in their various institutions of learning.  There is no other better time than now to introduce young people into leadership best practices and empowerment.

Emerging  leadership in 21st Century developing economy

There are as many definitions of leadership as there are many authors on leadership, but we are going to look into some of the definitions in order to appreciate what leadership entails. While Ukeje (1996:6) summed up his  thoughts on leadership as: a process of influencing, directing and coordinating the activities of an organized group towards goal setting, goal achievement and problem solving; it necessarily involves taking initiatives or initiating new structures and new procedures; and it is imperatively a function of the leader and the situational variables. Peter Drucker (1981:95), posits that Leadership is the lifting of a man’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a man’s personality beyond its normal limitations. In his view, it is not just a matter of “making common men do uncommon things,” it is about “making common men into uncommon men”. He sums up most characteristically thus:

It is character through which leadership is exercised, it is character that sets the example and is imitated in turn. Character is not something a man can acquire; if he does not bring it to the job, he will never have it. It is not something one can fool people about. For the spirit of an organization or group is created from the top. If a group is great in spirit is because the spirit of its top people is great. If it decays, it does so because the top rots; as the proverb has it: “Trees die from the top”.

Leadership is associated with power, character and attitude. In Maxwell (2003) Charles McElroy said that “power is usually recognized as an excellent short-term anti-depressant”. An English historian Lord Acton; retorted that power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. It was Abraham Lincoln who said, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power”. Power really is a test of character. In the hands of a person of integrity, it is of tremendous benefit; in the hands of a tyrant, it causes terrible destruction. By itself, power is neither positive nor negative. And it is not the source of security or success. Besides, all dictators, even benevolent ones eventually lose power.

President Thomas Jefferson of USA remarked, “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goals, nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude. If you care about your team and you are committed to be helping all of the players, you can’t ignore bad attitude. Attitude is an inward feeling expressed by behaviour. That is why an attitude can be seen without a word being said. A hardened attitude is a dreaded disease. It causes a closed mind and a dark future. When our attitude is positive and conducive to growth, the mind expands and the progress begins. Teddy Roosevelt said, “The most important single ingredient to formular of success is knowing how to get along with people”, I will pay more for the ability to deal with people than any other ability under the sun”. Unquote.

Leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they come to see it in themselves. To communicate the worth and potential of others so clearly, so powerfully and so consistently that they really come to see it in themselves is to set in motion the process of seeing, doing and becoming. Leadership role is similar to grand-parenting because the most essential role of grand-parenting is to communicate, in as many ways as possible, the worth and potential of their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren clearly that they really believe it and act on that belief (Covey, 2004). Most of the world’s work is done in and through organizations, including families. Organization is a relationship with a purpose. That purpose is aimed at meeting the needs of one or more persons or stakeholders. It should be noted that you cannot lead things. You cannot lead inventories and cash flows and costs. You have to manage them, because things do not have the power and freedom to choose.

It is only when people actually experience for themselves how a conscience-driven person models path-finding, aligning and empowering that leadership actually takes place. People then come to know for themselves how respected, appreciated and valued they are because their opinions are sought. Sometimes mental and emotional identification is a more powerful force than involvement. This was demonstrated by the followers of a Gandhi of India and by a Martin Luther King of United States of America, or a Nelson Mandela of South Africa. Leadership is all about reaching out to others. Without reaching out and meeting human needs, we really do not expand and develop our freedom to choose as we otherwise could. We grow more personally when we are giving ourselves to others. Our relationships improve and deepen when together we attempt to serve our family, another family, an organization, a community, or some other human need.

It was Nelson Mandela the father of new South Africa in one of his reflections who said and I quote:

‘At first, as a student, I wanted freedom only for myself, the transitory freedoms of being able to stay out at night, read what I pleased, and go where I chose. Later as a young man in Johannesburg, I yearned for the basic and honourable freedom of achieving my potential, of earning my keep, of marrying and having a family-the freedom not to be obstructed in a lawful life. But I then slowly saw that not only was I not free, but my brothers and sisters were not free . . . that is when the hunger for my own freedom became the greater hunger for the freedom of my people.

It was this desire for the freedom of my people to live their lives with dignity and self-respect that animated my life, that transformed a frightened young man into a bold one, that drove a law-abiding attorney to become a criminal, that turned a family loving husband into a man without a home . . . . I am no more virtuous or self-sacrificing than the next man, but I found that I could not even enjoy the poor and limited freedom I was allowed when I knew my people were not free.’ Unquote.

The above quotation is vital for young people that want to play leadership role, for them to know that a lot of sacrifices are required by a moral leader. It is important to point out that power is not given but acquired through hard work and divine providence. Hard work does not kill but toughen and strengthen someone to face greater challenges ahead. It is our  believe that young people should not be fooled about by politicians who used them as thugs during electioneering campaigns and drop them thereafter. Nigerian youth should take their destiny in their own hands and follow the foot steps of celebrated leader like Nelson Mandela. Mandela did not have an easy life. He fought alongside African heroes for the liberation of his people from one of the most racist systems the world has ever known. South Africans in particular and indeed the entire Africa saw in Mandela the personification of their highest aspirations and the embodiment of the kind of leadership Africa needs desperately. It is to this great man, lovely known as Madiba, the father of new South Africa, antiapartheid leader, lawyer, writer, intellectual, humanitarian and so on that present and future leaders must all go for sustenance and inspiration (Achebe, 2012).

Social vices among youths in Nigeria

Social vices are acts of indiscipline and conditions that violate the societal norms and values. They are habits or behaviours of immoral activities such as prostitutions, indecent dressing, robbery, cultism, pocket picking, drug addiction, examination malpractice, hooliganism, thuggery, gambling, premarital sexual activities and rape. Recently, it has developed to militancy and terrorism. Among other social vices are bad traits, unhealthy and negative behaviours that are against the morality of a society. The major cause of youth involvement in vices is peer group. Youth spend more time with their friends at school or at home. Young people have high level of curiosity to learn, to have fun and practice new things. For example, an innocent girl may want to experiment what her friends do and may be pushed into sexual activities in tender age. Also, a youth who does not smoke “Indian hemp” will want to try it to prove that he can belong, rather than being called a “Jew man”. Another factor that leads to vices is lack of parental care, supervision and attention. Negligent of parents can make the wards turn to their friends for love, emotions, care, advice that can lure them into deadly acts. It should be noted that this lack of discipline which interfere with the teaching and learning process, manifest itself in various ways including bullying, vandalism, alcoholic and substance abuse, truancy, inability or unwillingness to do some works.    

Role of parents in youth development

Ezeokafor (2020) observed that many parents do not care or devote time for their children again because house-help takes care of everything in the house. This has created a gap between optimal child-parent relationships in our own time compared with the era of our fore fathers. The early weaning of the child from breastfeeding and sending the children early to school is an evident of lack of parental care. It is important to note that when the attention of parents is lacking in their children, the outcome is always disastrous. Also, Anumudu (2010) observed that many parents never had time or take interest in looking at the workbooks of their children to see how they fair in class. Also, they do not care to know their children’s teachers. At the inquisitive period of their children, they are annoyed with them and often refuse to answer their questions. The sad thing about this attitude is that during examinations parents and guardians encourage their wards to engage in examination malpractice by financing and even actively participating in examination malpractice in many ways.

Although every parent desires quality education for their children but most of the parents are not prepared to subject their children to learning’s instructions unlike the former American President Abaham Lincoln who wrote the teacher of his son thus:

“He will have to learn, I know, that all men are not just, all men are not true. But teach him also that in every scoundrel there is a hero; that for every selfish politician, there is a dedicated leader. Teach him for every enemy there is a friend, steer him away from envy, if you can, teach him the secret of quiet laughter, let him learn early that the bullies are the easiest to lick. Teach him, if you can, the wonder of books. But also give him quiet time to ponder the external mystery of birds in the sky, beers in the sun, and the flowers on a green hillside. In the school teach him it is far honorable to fail than to cheat. Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone tells him they are wrong. Teach him to be gentle with gentle people; and tough with the tough. Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone is getting on the band wagon. Teach him to listen to all men, but teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth, and take the good that comes through. Teach him, if you can, how to laugh when he is sad. Teach him there is no shame in tears, teach him to scoff at the cynic and to beware of too much sweetness. Teach him to sell his brawn and brain to the highest bidders but never to put price tag on his bear and soul. Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob and to stand and fight if he thinks he is right. Teach him gently but do not cuddle him, because only the test of fire makes fine steel. Let him have the courage to be impatient. Let him have the patience to be brave. Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself, because then he will have sublime faith in mankind. These are a big order, but see what you can do. He is such a fine fellow, my son”(unquote).

Parents as the first teacher of their child or children should borrow a leaf from the above letter and feel free to discuss the proper use of sexual organs and co-operate with their teachers in school rather than antagonizing and intimidating them (teachers) in the presence of their children. Cases abound where parents walk up to school to harass and beat hell out of any teacher that may have scolded their child in school. There was a story from a primary school at Nkpor near Onitsha, where a female teacher in that school was called out of the classroom by the mother of one of her pupils and before the teacher knew what was happening she was beaten to death. The poor teacher did not know that the mother of the pupil had arranged with her son to visit the school to deal with her, but unfortunately the teacher died. How can a teacher be disposed again to do his/her best and no wonder why children of 21st century are wild and morals are thrown to dust bin.

Understanding relationship

Oxford Dictionary (7th edition) defines relationship as “the way in which two people , groups or countries behave towards each other or deal with each other, a loving and/or sexual friendship between two people”. Saluja (2006) cited in Nwonu (2016) observed that relationship as art of human relation when it is fully understood, internalized and applied intelligently, can help one to: Make and retain friends; Increase ones influence and prestige; Make others like and respect one; Become an effective leader popular on the home front as well as in office and in social circles; Develop expertise to tackle difficulty and complex situations; Be a better person (employer, employee, spouse, parent, sibling or son and daughter); Make others around cheerful; and Become enthusiastic and young at heart. Good or healthy relationship is characterized by; forgiveness, trust, loyalty, ability to keep confidence, co-operation, shared interest, empathy, compassion, sincerity, charity, fidelity, promotion of human dignity, sacrifice, justice and honesty, sympathy, golden rule principle, Godliness, caring and above all true love. In human relationship, one notices an aberration and unnatural things done by some in the name of relationship. Healthy relationship does not terminate with sexual intimacy but with principle of truth, justice, sharing, togetherness, mutuality and understanding.

Relationship describes what is happening between two or more events, objects or persons, how they are related. When a relationship exists between persons it is called an interpersonal relationship. It means that the persons, two or more, are connected to each other in a certain way. Relationships among human beings may be divided into primary and secondary interpersonal relationships. Primary interpersonal relationship means “a basic, long-lasting relationship founded upon strong emotional ties and a sense of commitment to the other person” Okeke (2005) cited in Nwonu (2016). The people in a primary relationship have become bonded to each to such an extent that the manner of relating is informal, diffuse, and less boundary-conscious. Secondary relationship between persons,  is relatively short-lived and is generally characterized by formal and limited interaction. Moreover, the persons in it are generally very conscious of the boundary that exists between them. Emotional involvement is often lacking or is at least limited, and the participants in such a relationship can be replaced by another. This is the way we generally relate to most classmates, colleagues at work, or the many acquaintances we have. Problems usually arise, when people are unable to know which kind of relationship exists between them and others. It is a problem that young and old people experience in various forms. It is present in relationships among boys or girls, and between boys and girls, men and women. People do not tell us whether they are in primary or secondary relationship with us; they simply show it in their behavior.

Sexual revolution among the youths in 21st Century

Sexual revolution, also known as a time of sexual liberation was a social movement that challenged traditional codes of behavior related to sexuality and interpersonal relationships throughout the United States and subsequently, the wider world. Sexual revolution movement started in America in 1960s and prior to this time traditional families were shown with a mother and father that were always married and never divorced and who had  two to three children, of their own no less, and who always had best of manners with one another. The shift in accepted social norms was encouraged by civil rights and anti-war movements which created a younger generation of people that questioned authority and rejected their parents’ values. This movement promoted a culture of free love that placed emphasis on the power of love and the beauty of sex. The origin of sexual revolution can also be traced to the emergence of the feminist movement, where women started challenging their exclusion from politics and the work place. At the core of the sexual revolution was that women, just like men, enjoyed sex and had sexual needs. Feminists asserted that single women had the same sexual desires and should have the same sexual freedoms as everyone else in society. For feminists, the sexual revolution was about female sexual empowerment. Many argued that the Pill more than anything influenced the sexual revolution, but was, in fact, responsible for it. What was so revolutionary about the Pill was that it allowed women to separate sex from procreation.

In sub-Sahara Africa, the new media influenced sexual behavior among young people more than any other thing because they are the most users of the internet. In Nigeria, majority of the 83 million internet users are adolescents and many use the new media in multi-folds (NCC, 2015). Socha and Eber-Schmid (2014), define new media as a 21st century terminology that is related to the internet and the interplay between technology and images or sound.   

Consequences of immoral behavior

The consequences for temporary sexual pleasure include but not limited to the following:

i). Unwanted pregnancy

This arises when the couples in case of married people have stopped raising children without family planning. Sex by unmarried people (man & woman) may also result to unwanted pregnancy and when this happen, the girl child will be in danger because she is not married and in most cases the boy or man responsible will deny her. Normally it is the parent that will take up the challenge. If the pregnancy is allowed, the girl child will stop her schooling. The problem will continue to linger because the child that is not born under marriage is not accepted in some cultures.

ii). Sexually transmitted disease (HIV, Hepatitis etc.)

Temporary sexual pleasure may expose the victims to sexually transmitted diseases like; HIV, Hepatitis, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, and other dangerous diseases that are incurable.

Iiii). Impotence

Untreated sexually disease may cause impotence in man. This is a situation where a man cannot impregnate a woman. 

iv). Barrenness

Temporary sexual pleasure may result in barrenness in woman. This situation poses danger to a woman’s marriage especially in Africa. This is because a childless woman is ridiculed by the husband’s family members and in most cases threatened with second wife for her husband.

v). Abortion

Abortion of unwanted pregnancy is resorted to by the victims. This act has led many unmarried youths to early death.

Immoral Sexual pleasure can be avoided in the following ways: Abstinence from sex outside marriage; Avoid occasions of sin; Avoid being idle; Read about Great and virtuous men and women; Work hard in all your life endeavours; and Avoid bad friends. Beware of friendship with members of the opposite sex, such relationship must be platonic. This means that there must be no cuddling, no kissing, and certainly no sex. But if you are weak person, if you cannot control your emotions, emotions like lust, then stay away completely from members of the opposite sex (Owoh and Owoh, 2006). Electronic entertainment should be embraced with caution. Radio programmes, T.V programmes, Video film and CD films are distractions and very dangerous because they are usually addictive. This means, you can easily be addicted to them. This type of addiction is particularly dangerous because it eats into and destroys your TIME.

Idleness is a state of doing nothing ‘not willing to work’. Idleness is worse than playing away your time. As the saying goes, ‘no food for a lazy person’ idleness is a choice. Once you have chosen to be idle, you have no right to hope for academic success. To achieve academic success, there is absolutely no alternative to hard work. There is luck in most human edeavours, but luck according to Napoleon Bonerpat, one of the greatest captain of war was always 70% assured of success through hard work and preparation before he goes to war leaving less than 30% to luck. Owoh and Owoh (2006), believe that what people call luck especially in the field of academics is simply the result of hard work. They conclude that students should be 95% assured of success through thorough preparation and throw only 5% to luck. For instance, no type of luck will ever help you to solve question on Algebra if you do not know the formula. But if a topic you have read and understood appears on the question paper during examinations, that is luck. If you are healthy and able to sit for your examinations, that is luck. If your parents are able to pay for your education, that is luck. If you have all the materials you need to prepare for your examination, then you are lucky.

Sex scandals in universities

The Ivory Towers (Universities) in Africa have come under criticism over Sexually Transmitted Degree (STD). The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reporter Kiki Mordi and her team carried out survey on some Universities in Africa and confirmed the existence of sex for grade in the Ivory towers (Vanguard Newspaper, 2019). This embarrassing report accused some University lecturers of engaging in the act. I do not want to go into the saga but cases abound that most of the students involved are the lazy ones because it is a known fact that such students normally seduce their lecturers by way of indecent dressing and in most cases resort to threats to those that fail to yield to their sexual advances. To curb the menace of sexually transmitted Degree, the authorities should extend the punishment to students and not only the lecturers because in law both the person that offered bribe and the receiver of the proceeds of bribe are guilty of the same offence. There are channels of complaints for students victimization be it sexual abuse or extortion, but such students will not follow the official channels instead they use social media and videos to implicate randy lecturers. If a student is sure of what he/she wrote in exams, why wouldn’t she walk up to the HOD or Dean of her department/faculty and demand for remark of her papers (answer scripts). Such students’ papers should be called for remark whenever a case of sexual harassment or sex for grades is reported and if the student’s performance is not encouraging, further investigation will unravel who approached each other for sex. Indecent dressing by students should not be tolerated in school environment because experience has shown that such students use their dressing model to attract patronage from randy lecturers and unsuspected ones.

Theories on Human Emotions

Many theorists on basic emotions abound. Plutchik (1980), observed that basic emotions include acceptance, anger, anticipation, disgust, joy, fear, sadness and surprise while Izard (1977), listed basic emotions as; anger, aversion, courage, dejection, desire, despair, fear, hate, hope, love and sadness. Shaver et al (2001), categorized emotions into primary emotion, secondary emotion and tertiary emotion.  For instance, Love is primary emotion and it can move to secondary emotion as affection and graduate. Also, love can move to tertiary emotions as; adoration, affection, love, fondness, liking, attraction, caring, tenderness, compassion and sentimentality. Love as primary emotion can move to secondary emotion as Lust and Longing which move to tertiary emotions as; arousal, desire, lust, passion, infatuation and longing. Joy is a primary emotion but becomes zest or contentment or pride or optimism or enthrallment or relief under secondary emotion, while Joy graduates as tertiary emotions such as; enthusiasm, zeal, zest, excitement, thrill, exhilaration, contentment, pleasure, pride, triumph, eagerness, hope, optimism, enthrallment, rapture and relief. Surprise as a primary emotion can move to secondary emotion as surprise, irritation, exasperation, while it moves into tertiary emotions as; amazement, surprise, astonishment, aggravation, irritation, agitation, annoyance, grouchiness, grumpiness, exasperation, and frustration. It is difficult to overcome youth emotions, because their minds often become depressed, unfocused and distracted, and they lose the ability to think abstractly, carefully, analytically and creatively.

Some theories on leadership

Let us consider some leadership theories such as trait theory, situational theory and servant leadership theory that are relevant to this study.

First, trait theorists believed that the leader is endowed with superior traits and characteristics that differentiate him from his followers. Trait theory tries to find out what traits distinguish leaders from other people and the extent of those differences. Trait theory also called dispositional theory is an approach to the study of human personality. Trait theorists are primarily interested in the measurement of traits, which can be defined as habitual patterns of behavior, thought and emotion.

Second, situational theorists believed that leadership is a product of situational demands. They are of the opinion that situational factors determine who will emerge as a leader rather than a person’s heritage. The emergence of a great leader is the result of time, place and circumstance.

Third, Servant leadership implies that leaders primarily lead by serving others such as followers, employees, customers and community. Characteristics of a servant leader include listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to others’ growth, and community building.

A critical look at the above theories revealed that first and second theories were proper fit for most Africa leaders like President Eyadema of Togo that was to be succeeded by his son. But while he was about to be flown to Europe for treatment he died on the way because there was no hospital in Togo to attend to his condition. In Nigeria, the citizenry have been obsessed to the extent that they no longer know the difference between democracy and dictatorship rule. This is because the system has been over militarized and citizens are subjected to malicious obedient to every life endeavour including civic duties and nation building. Military dictatorships by their very nature concentrate power and the resources of the state in the hands of a very few people (or, as we have seen in Africa, in one person’s hands). Dictators hang on to power by resorting to tactics designed to keep the mass of the people silent and docile. In Africa, dictatorships that have used violence, murder, and bribery, and psychological, financial, and social intimidation to force the opposition into perpetual retreat are many and widespread (Achebe, 2012). On other hand, democracy is the very antithesis of military or absolutist rule and it is something that is full of meaning even in our ancient African cultures. It was Winston Churchill who perfectly said, Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time. We have to go by Churchill’s wisdom and faction a type of democracy or ideology that will accommodate our cultural heritage if we are to move forward as a people.

On the contrary, the third theory (servant leadership) above is fit for progressive leaders like Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Gandhi of India and Martin Luther King of United States of America. To lead in the twenty-first century, you will be required to have both character and competence, such person should be willing to pay the price of leadership. That is, to go the extra mile in order to be a great leader. Maturity develops when a person pays the price of integrity and winning the private victory over self, allowing him or her to be simultaneously courageous and kind. In other words, such a person can deal with tough issues compassionately. Therefore, the combination of courage and kindness is both the source and the product of integrity.  

Leadership challenges in Nigeria

In Nigeria, since independence in 1960, we have witnessed 15 leadership regimes out of which five (5) regimes were civilian, while ten (10) regimes were led by military dictatorship. Unfortunately, only Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and General Yakubu Gowon (Rtd) were under the age bracket of youth when they took over the mantle of leadership in Nigeria. In 1966 after assassination of General Aguiyi Ironsi in a counter coup led by Northern elements on revenge mission, General Gowon became the Head of State of Nigeria. His regime lasted for Eight (8) years from July 1966 to May, 1975, when our economy was booming as a result of rise in Oil prices (petrodollars) in the 1970s. Our young military Head of State then (General Gowon) being in high spirit over his victory in Biafra/Nigeria civil war announced to the world that Nigeria had more money than it knew what to do with. He is not to be blamed because he was trained as a soldier but has no formal leadership training prior to his emergence as Head of State but he was a youth. As stated above, The African Youth Charter defines youth as an individual between ages 15 and 35, while the Nigerian Youth Policy categorizes them in the 18-35 years bracket, hence General Gowon was 32 years old when he became Head of State in Nigeria, while Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa was 34 years old when he was elected prime minister in 1960.

It is worthy to note that apart from Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Dr. Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’adua and Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan none of the previous and present leaders in Nigeria were opportune to undergo formal leadership training prior to becoming head of government in Nigeria. Most of our leaders were not prepared for the job but were thrown up by either providence or ‘godfatherism’ or as necessary evil. In any case, all hopes are not lost because an empirical review on our past regimes from independence to date revealed that we had 32 years of civilian regimes and 29 years of military dictatorship regimes in Nigeria.

Not-Too-Young-To-Run ACT 2018 and emerging leadership

As democracy is still in progress and believing that our youths are future leaders and God on our side, the bill on “Not-Too-Young-To-Run” has been passed by the National Assembly and President Muhammadu Buhari had given ascent to it on 31st May, 2018. Not-Too-Young-To-Run (NTYTR) bill was sponsored by Tony Nwulu in the Federal House of Representatives and Abdulaziz Nyanko in the Senate. The NTYTR Act altered sections 65, 106, 131 and 177 of the Nigerian constitution 1999 as amended. According to the new Act the minimum age to run for President was reduced from 40 years to 35 years; Governor, from 35 years to 30 years; Senate, from 35 years to 30 years; House of representative and State House of Assembly, from 30 years to 25 years. It should be noted that lowering the age limit is one thing, getting into political office is quite another and will likely be a tall order for young Nigerians. Apart from age limit, there are other factors that exclude young Nigerians from participation in governance. Such factors include; high cost of campaigns and maneuvering, old boy establishment networks, no ceiling to stop old people from running, godfatherism syndrome and ethnic hatred. Tribalism is a dangerous attitude that drags nations behind. For instance, Chinese had their chance to emerge as the leading nation in the world in the Middle Ages but were consumed by inter-ethnic political posturing and wars and had to wait another five hundred (500) years for another chance (Achebe, 2012).

Youth empowerment and governance in 21st Century

Youth empowerment involves activities that result to young people’s advancement in knowledge and development of right attitude to life. Such activities include formal education, skills acquisition, succession training or mentoring, training and coaching etc. Empowerment is the natural result of both personal and organizational trustworthiness, which enables people to identify and unleash their human potential. In other words, empowering enthrones self-control, self-management and self-organizing. Sometimes young people believe in the potential of others but not in their worth, so they are not patient, persistent, long-suffering, trust-giving, and self-sacrificing. It is worthy to note that, unless people have a sense of their own personal worth, they will not be able to consistently communicate the worth of other people.

Drucker (1992), observed that the world is not becoming labour intensive, not materials intensive, not energy intensive, but knowledge intensive. Quality knowledge (intellectual capital) is so valuable that unleashing  its’ potential offers society or organizations an extraordinary opportunity for value creation. Currently, experts have predicted that artificial intelligence may turn out to be as powerful revolution as the mobile telephone in recent years. It was a computer scientist John McCarthy in 1955, who described artificial intelligence as the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs. Artificial intelligence is a term applied when a machine mimics cognitive functions associated with the human mind such as ‘learning and problem solving’ (Onoja, 2020). This is not a new concept but gained momentum due to availability of resources and exponential increase in computing power. The above development has challenged young people to be computer literate since no intelligent decision can be made within the shortest possible time without assistance from artificial intelligence. Part of leadership failure in Nigeria is attributable to most of our past and current leaders not being computer literate while we are now in computer age. These days it is virtually difficult if not impossible to process mass data without the involvement of computer packages.

Vision 20-2020 proposed that youth empowerment activities should include the following:

i.                 Reduction of unemployment rate amongst Nigerian youth through job creation;

ii.                Provision of micro-finance schemes to support young entrepreneurs;

iii.               Establishment of functional leadership and development centres in all local government areas;

iv.               To develop and inculcate national pride, patriotism, self-esteem, self confidence in Nigerian youth;

v.                To encourage participation in sports;

vi.               To establish recreational centres in all communities/local government areas;

vii.             To increase awareness on sanitation and pollution;

viii.            To educate and sensitize the youth on the global climate change and how to harness alternative source of energy;

ix.               To educate and sensitize the youth on communicable diseases such as Tuberculosis, Hepatitis, STDs, HIV/AIDS etc;

x.                Reduction of the rate of teenage pregnancies and child marriages;

xi.               To sensitize the youth on the illicit use of drugs and its harmful effect on health;

xii.             To improve literacy and numeracy amongst Nigerian youth with focus on the girl-child in the North and the boy-child education in the East and West; and

xiii.            To provide training in technical and vocational skills.

The above proposals could not be achieved, since Nigerian government is good in policy formulation but the implementation is zero, because of corruption and lack of good governance.

Public Accountability  and Attributes of Good Governance

Good governance is concerned with the assessment of government performance relative to the attainment of its stated goals. The word ‘Governance’ was derived from the Latin word ‘Gubernare’, meaning ‘to rule or steer’. This word was used to refer exclusively for exercise of power and responsibility for accountability in the running of kingdoms, regions, and towns (Popoola, 2020). It is a measure of the level of transparency, integrity, effectiveness, and efficiency in the application of scarce resources to satisfy the desires and aspirations of the citizens. Basically, there are eight major characteristics of good governance; they include accountability, transparency, effectiveness and efficiency, participation, consensus, responsiveness, equitable and inclusiveness and following the rule of law (Angahar, 2020).

Accountability refers to the process of holding persons or organizations responsible for performance as objectively as possible (Angahar, 2020). When an individual is elected or appointed to superintend over the affairs of an office, such a person becomes an agent or trustee and acts on behalf of those who either elected or appointed him. This agency relationship creates a social contract between the agent and the principal with obligations on the agent to be answerable for his actions and inactions. It is only proper that public entities that utilize public resources should have an obligation to account for the way these resources are allocated, used and the results these spending have achieved.

In the words of Akpa (2014) cited in Angahar (2020), public accountability in a democracy has three components namely; Financial accountability, Administrative accountability and Political accountability. First, Financial accountability places an obligation on all public office holders entrusted with public funds to account for the allocation, custody and the use of such resources in line with the established policies, rules, and regulations. Second, administrative accountability seek to check the degree to which the administrative structure of governance functions well. Third, Political accountability arises when a politician makes choices on behalf of the people and the people have the ability to reward or sanction politicians.

In Nigeria, public accountability is not operational because corruption has become an industry and institutionalized. The former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Mr. David Cameron described Nigeria as being ‘fantastically corrupt’. It has been argued that the military institutionalized corruption in Nigeria, no doubt, the civilian governments beginning from 1999 to date were found to have carried on with corrupt practices in diverse ways in an unprecedented and increasing magnitude. The depth of corruption as a social ill can be seen in the huge budgets by the three tiers of government without a corresponding development of infrastructure and social services such as education, health, electricity, portable water and transportation (Okoye, 2016).


Young people ought to be gently accompanied and helped to develop positive self-image and healthy relationship with people, at least within the family. We are in the era where children are no more regarded as adjunct and passive recipients of their parents’ dreams because youth of these days agitates to be heard and understood, and his ideas, interests, and preferences taken seriously and integrated. However, care must be taken intensively for the youths to be guarded and properly informed on exhibition of their energy, talents, skills and creativity for the betterment of our nation. There is a great need for a proper re-orientation of Nigeria youths through youth empowerment, entrepreneurship development program, equipping them with certain necessary social security measures, and skills in order to make them self-sufficient and independent from any kind of societal crisis. The social life of the youths in Nigeria is unstable, as a result of neglect of youth development.  Nigerian youths are academically, morally and socially deficient. Many of them are not interested in academics or development issues. What is in vogue now is a huge craze to get wealth and this has resulted to increase in social vices with high levels of drug abuse and immorality.

This calls for discipline on the part of the parents, who are too busy to spare quality time with the family. In most cases the head of the family visits his family once a month, while the mother of the house will join her children in browsing and watching the movies without any form of control on the use of social media. Discipline as a noun, is derived from Latin word “disciplina” which literally means, teaching or instruction. Disciplina is an alteration of discipulina, which itself was derived from discipulus meaning pupil (learner, student).

The question begging for an answer is; can undisciplined parents discipline their children? We are in a society where nothing matters, for instance, some mothers are victims of indecent dressing, father no longer frowns on indecent dressing of their daughters and good morals are no more in vogue. Since some parents are not disciplined themselves, it is difficult for the youth to be disciplined, as Igbo adage says “Nne ewu na ata agbara, Nwa ya na ele ya anya na onu”(this is translated to mean that when adult she goat is eating a specie legume crop, her offspring will be looking at the mother’s mouth). The following attributes of discipline should be observed by parents and advocate them to their children: Orderliness, Seriousness, Straight-forwardness, Punctuality, Commitment, Justice, Strictness/Rigidity, Consistency and Feeling of sorrow.

Finally, there should be concerted effort by government and politicians to key into succession plan to enable leadership to flow to the youth. This can be done by providing ceiling on the age of political office holders, to back up Not-Too-Young-To-Run Act and put a stop to recycling of the same group of people in office. COVID-19 pandemic should be a lesson to elderly people in politics, hence majority of the victims were those above 60 years and some of our high profile politicians contracted the virus easily. When youths are gainfully employed the society will be free from social vices because idle mind is the evils’ workshop.  


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