I grew up in a society that you are made to belief that the elders don’t lie and not accountable or questionable.

When you fall out with an elderly person because the older person is abusing his or her authority or taking advantage of you, and you speak the truth, stand for what you think is right and challenge what is wrong, YOU end up being tagged the bad one and considered stubborn. You are called a bad child, totally disregarding the facts and situation.

The conclusion is normally based on age, authority, influence and not facts, investigation, critical or rational thinking. Society shouts down at you. Shut you up, frowns at you, calls you names and you have no choice but to comply and not just say sorry but beg bitterly with tears knowing you were wrongfully been punished and you are sorry for doing what you think was right and challenging what was wrong and unfair.

A society where the husband and father does not feel he is accountable or questionable to his wife and kids. How dare you ask him what he is doing with his money? How dare you speak back? How dare you ask why?

For years, we got away with this culture and behaviour. We then took this thinking and mentality in to the work place, government, church and the larger society. The first defence mechanism of a thief is to ask the apprehender or accuser “Do you know who I am?” “Do you know who you are talking to?” “Do you know that i can make you lose your job?” The police and people who are meant to be in authority get this all the time.

In the UK, the police officers operate and work under the authority and backing of the Queen. It is with that authority and backing he is able to enforce authority without the use of force but rather politely. For example “Sir, can you step out of your car please?” “Sir, can you put your hand on the car please?” etc. Polite but assertive; knowing and understanding the power and authority backing him. Don’t get me wrong, force will be used if civil conversations do not work and a backup will be called if needed. If this is done, the backup will arrive in a matter of minutes.

In Nigeria, The police get slapped; people threaten to get them fired. They even threaten their life. To the defence of the police officer, He does not have the full backing of his boss talk less of that of the Federal republic of Nigeria. He has no radio or walkie talkie to call for backup. The underpaid and uncared for officer has no choice but to beg instead and say “Oga! Oya, settle me and go”

I own and run a limited company in the UK. But I am accountable for every penny spent. I make sure I keep receipt and invoices of all business expenses. I submit or send these to my accountant periodically. Although I pay my accountant for his job, I am still accountable to him. I don’t say how dare you ask about that expenses or the reason for that invoice or expense if he is not clear. That is how it should be across all board; in government, schools, homes, work, councils, hospitals, churches, mosque etc.

But I know of a place where you dare not ask your boss what this cheque or payment is for. Even when it’s obviously given to his girlfriend who offers no services to the company. In other for the accountant to keep his job, he has to be creative and put such expenses under miscellaneous, client entertainment and edible catering.

For years the young kid who was initially bullied as a child, you will think will be a better leader, a better elder but no you are wrong. It is now his turn to exert authority in his favour and he is worse than his predecessor. His slogan has changed from “Daddy it’s not fair” to “Obey before complain!”or “wait for your turn” He now cheats the system, in a short while; he has forgotten what it felt like to be oppressed. He is drunk with power, obsessed with authority, looks down at others.

For a long time we blame leadership for our problems and underdevelopment. We wish they were accountable. But don’t know how to make them accountable. The institutions, senate, judicial system, auditors, police, traditional and religious leaders all seem to be best friends of leaders and all seem to turn a blind eye.

How can so much corruption and embezzlement be going on and no one is brought to books. Sorry, I meant so much “ccommonsmallstealing”. Hundreds of thousands of barrel of crude oil stolen daily and we are helpless and can only mourn about it. But no one is brought to books. This is organised crime. I wonder, for how long will this go on? Who will change things?

As I was lost in thought and passion for positive change, my 3 year old boy walked in said, “Dad what are you doing?” I replied, “I am thinking of something” He probed further “What are you thinking of?” I was a bit irritated because he was disrupting my flow of thought then he asked again “daddy! I said what are you thinking? In a louder voice as he felt he was being ignored. This made me jump. It felt like I was being drilled by my dad. I was thinking of what to say to him when he said “but you are meant to make me hot chocolate!” even louder as he got frustrated.

I had promised to make him hot chocolate before I got lost in thought and he was waiting for the hot chocolate in the room as part of his bed time routine. I had let him down. I did not deliver as I promised. I was in the sitting room and not in the kitchen making hot chocolate as I should. This kid although he is only 3 years old is different from when I was 3 or young. When we only take what is thrown at us. We never dared to ask questions. Just do things because we are told to but never ask why we should.

I found myself saying sorry I got carried away. But he would not stop, seeing the puzzle on my face. “What is the matter daddy? Has the hot chocolate or milk finished?” As I got up to go to the kitchen I had a spark in my head. The beautiful ones have been born. I would never have spoken to my dad with so much confidence and boss him around because he promised me something and has failed to fulfil it.

Yes the beautiful ones have been born. The Nigerian kids of today are more confident and more vocal than all the past generations put together. Think about it. The first word they learn is NO! They object to our old thinking and ways. I cannot remember ever saying no to my dad. Not even now. It’s always yes daddy or yes sir. Don’t get me wrong, He is well behaved, well mannered and thoughtful. But I dear not promise or say what I don’t mean.

I have to practise what I preach. If I say no eating in the sitting room or bedroom, I have to comply by my rules else he will question it. This behaviour is not unusual to us alone as I notice most kids in that age range within the working class Nigerians seem to exhibit the same behaviour. This new behaviour or culture is not taught in school nor at home nor on T.V. where has it come from? Western influence? I don’t know and that is not the point right now.

The next generation will not sit down and just watch things happen. They will probe, ask question, they will drill and challenge all that is not right. They will not end there but also say how things should be done.

This is the generation to make Nigeria and Africa great. The beautiful ones have been born. We need to educate them, protect them, empower them, encourage them, nurture them and guide them. They are the future.