By Ekah Emmanuel Jr.
I refer to an online publication on IDOMA VOICE dated, May 17, 2017 captioned: “Gov. Samuel Ortom donates branded wheelbarrows to Benue Youth.
A wheelbarrow is a small hand-propelled vehicle, usually with just one wheel, designed to be pushed and guided by a single person using two handles at the rear, or by a sail to push the ancient wheelbarrow by wind.
The term “wheelbarrow” is made of two words: “wheel” and “barrow.” “Barrow” is a derivation of the Old English “bearwe” which was a device used for carrying loads.
The wheelbarrow is designed to distribute the weight of its load between the wheel and the operator so enabling the convenient carriage of heavier and bulkier loads than would be possible were the weight carried entirely by the operator. As such it is a second-class lever.
As plausible as the invention may appear, the intended purpose is to enable the convenient carriage of heavy and bulky loads.
Consequently, the use of wheelbarrows in Benue today, is exclusively in motor parks and market places where able-bodied young men (mostly with bare and sweaty bodies) engage in conveying shoppers’ or travelers’ luggage from point of purchase or arrival to desired spots for a fee to make a living.
Given the current hardship and rate of unemployment in Nigeria, its difficult to decipher who is who among wheelbarrow operators.
However, as leveraging as the operation may appears, should it now be adopted as the most viable entrepreneurship tool for the teeming youths in Benue, among which you have graduates of all works of life?
As sincere as your intention may be, you can be sincerely wrong! As good as your intention may seems, how many children of the elites are pushing wheel barrows as a trade? Choiced jobs in the society today are exclusive reserves of the children of the rich and powerful and party chieftains but entrepreneurship is only a sermon preached to the low class whom my friend Adama J. Adama will call the otalakas.
I may not know what other empowerment options you can offer, but I disagree with you that the best form of empowerment available is WHEELBARROW PUSHING JOB.
I differ with you, in the strictest term, that the destiny of Benue youths is in the sweat of their blood.
I refuse to accept with you that you were voted into power to enjoy the fully air-conditioned offices alone with your children and kinsmen while your electorates take up jobs in wheelbarrow pushing ministry.
It is not just unfortunate but it is a national insult that “Benue youths” would, under the leadership of the APC led state government, have a derived synonym as “WHEELBARROW PUSHERS” in the name of job creation and employment generation.
It is unfortunate that our “youth leaders” are either in their early fifties or late forties and definitely wont belong to the wheelbarrow pushing cadre and will definitely not feel the pains of the real youths upon which this wheelbarrow inflicted burdens are stigma would be unleashed.
It is unfortunate that youths who should rise up to their responsibilities in fighting these ills are those who would simply return home upon receiving the same wheelbarrows as palliatives as if to say the government is doing them a favour.
As much as desire that the government should rise up to the true meaning of leadership and governance, I wish you dont mortgage the destinies of your children on the platform of greed.
I, speak as an aggrieved Benue youth and a citizen of Nigeria, not representing any sociocultural or political group but as a concerned statesman.
I am Ekah Emmanuel Jr. and am independent-minded.
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