Most universities are now rounding up their academic sessions which mean thousands of graduates are queuing up for NYSC. Some hate it, some love it, and some just can’t do without it. I am one of the few who still can’t get the point of it all. It is common knowledge that a large percentage of Nigerians live below the poverty line(less than a dollar a day) so to most Nigerians any means of income is a means of income; some look forward to the program and thank God for the only source of income, others are grateful for the extra cash while a select few whine about how meager it is. All of these classes of people seem to forget the main reason for which the corps was set up: integration. You’re probably rolling your eyes and thinking ‘please, we’re already integrated!’ but are we really? Do we really start to see ourselves as Nigerians and not ‘igbos’ or ‘igalas’ and so on and so on….? Do we really love every tribe like we claim to? Would you marry a Nigerian? If yes, is there a limit? I expected that most people will be ‘modernized’, it’s the 21st century! everyone’s moving towards globalization but to my greatest surprise, a few people still had some ethnic groups blacklisted while most were a little more accommodating of all ethnic groups but could not help stating categorically what or rather who they preferred (this is a general outcome, there are obviously exceptions so don’t get your knickers all up in a knot if you are part of the exceptions)

That was the generation before ours; most of them still hold on to ‘tribalistic’ differences.  In this new generation there’s a different kind of segregation; While some fretted over where their much anticipated spouse might be from, others just didn’t care as long as they were ‘well taken care of’. This could mean a million and one things right? Wrong, bottom-line he’s either loaded or not (guys too believe life will be more comfortable if there was a rich girl involved) everyone is hunting for that ‘special’ person the one that will make their heart beat faster than normal accompanied with an unparalleled adrenaline rush and most importantly make all their dreams come true. In fulfilling this goal, charms, manipulative schemes, blackmail and even murder are effective tools in securing a desired piece. We all want to be assured that we’ll be well taken care of, however in the words of a famous musician no one knows tomorrow.

A relationship which, in most cases, eventually leads to marriage is to be built on love, just love. I know you’re thinking love alone is never enough but that depends on what love means to you. I’m not talking about the mushy ‘butterfly-in-stomach’ kind of love but the 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love (which I must add makes no mention of money!). So am I suggesting you stick with a fruitless, unpromising, indolent, lethargic and idle individual and cleave to him or her as the one? NO!!!! I’m just saying finance should not determine love; it could determine romance but not love. Everyone is special in their own special way; every ones a diamond some already glitter some are still in the rough……

So maybe we can come up with a program (hopefully it will yield better results than the NYSC) to integrate this new generation segregation; where we do not judge, pick or treat based on what’s in the bank, where the rich, middle class and the poor could relate without a feeling of superiority or inferiority, where inter marriage is possible between classes and more emphasis is placed on the worth of a person irrespective of his financial value.

By Isoken Edogun

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