The Dawn of a New Africa – Chukwuemeka Ezeugo


As a Charter Team member who has “a lot to do” (as the Students For Liberty President, Alexander McCobin, told me during the Leadership Training for Charter Team members in Nigeria), I had a yearning to hear from the key speakers at the first-ever Students For Liberty West African Regional Conference, which was held July 26-27, 2013, at the University of Ibadan in Oyo State, Nigeria.


Just like most of the participants at the conference, I wanted to hear about many issues. Many Nigerians believe we are free because we are not in a cell block somewhere in Kuje or Kirikiri, though they don’t realize that our minds have been imprisoned by an anti-people system. Some of us understand independence as being able to move out of our parents’ home, not realizing that we end up being as dependent on the government as we were on our parents. In essence, we are never free. A lot of us tend to question our existence because we are confused and lack purpose, and there is no one to direct us on what to do. Of course, those in government have failed us and actually benefit from our inexperience and foolishness, encouraging laziness and perpetual dependence among the youth.


In our culture, and of course, all over the world, there is a belief that the old ones among us are wise because they have lived for so long, and therefore must have seen enough things in their life to make them wiser. In Nigeria, the “wise ones” fail to share this “experience” with the younger generation, who are only seen as useful for electoral violence and other forms of terrorism. I was ashamed to watch the youths that  (dis)Honourable Bipi of the Rivers State legislature conveyed to the hallowed chambers of the state’s House of Assembly, just to cause mayhem and chaos. That is the kind of life political aspirants and office holders dream for the youths. A life of chaos.

The Students For Liberty West African Regional Conference brought together youths who have refused to live a life of chaos, who have decided to chart a meaningful course for their lives, who believe that they can break free from the prison of the mind. During the conference, students from various tribes, ethnic and religious backgrounds were able to interact without any hindrance,  without those sentiments inherited from our fathers that have kept us in shackles for so long.

The conference proved to me that anything is possible, as long as one puts his or her mind to it. Change is possible in Nigeria if we work towards it using the right tools and the right platform. By growing one’s personal skills and development, one can rise above dependency on the government. We can influence government policies to respect and promote true capitalism, the freedom of citizens and entrepreneurship. I came to see and believe that Students For Liberty has what it takes to make a difference in the lives of Nigerian youths, and in Africa as a whole. For those of us who felt the conference was not going to be as successful as it was, Olumayowa Okediran proved us all wrong. I was with him as far back as February this year after our Legislative Internship Program, but had no idea that he was already planning a conference that was to be held five months later. I want to use this medium to congratulate him for a job well done, for leading by example, for setting a good standard for the Charter Team Members in Nigeria, and for building up our morale and motivation. He has proved to us that we can do even greater things than he has done. I am happy to have met all the wonderful people at the conference. I am truly glad to have been a part of the SFL WARC. This is the dawn of a new Africa.


This article was initially published on the Students For Liberty website

SFL member writes on experience from Regional Conference