Gone are the days when Nigerian youths like me would sit under a tree and listen to the stories of ancient fights from our grandparents. We now live in an age where we are restrained and scared of getting killed.

The economy is in great depression; terrorists have taken over my mother’s land and the Nigerian government has failed and continues to fail Nigerians. Nigerians now think of the government as a joke, which it is. The National Assembly is now a place where political leaders throw chairs at each other. Where is decorum?

Every year we lose lives that could have been saved if the government would improve the educational sector, law enforcement agencies, military forces, health sector and other vital sectors in the economy. Nigeria has been ranked as the 16th least peaceful country in the world, according to the 2018 edition of Global Peace Index.

Boko Haram, a terrorist group disturbing my country for years, is still present. This terrorist group has destroyed lives and properties. Boko Haram insurgency is believed to have claimed at least 100,000 lives, displaced more than 2.6 million people, caused pain to over 52, 311 orphans and 54,911 widows, and led to about $9 billion worth of damage.

For years Nigerians have hoped that one day these attacks would stop, but it turns out the government is afraid of them. In 2001, when Osama bin Laden attacked America, I saw how determined the government and authorities were in capturing the terrorist. That was because they had no fear, and they believed they could confront these enemies. They devised a plan, followed it through and achieved a great result. If the national government is afraid of these terrorists what can we citizens do?

Youths are considered the leaders of tomorrow, but what leaders are we going to be if we are not given sound education? Learning in Nigeria is as difficult as living in the country. We are made to write series of tests and exams that are not important in determining our intelligence. A graduate who hopes to begin a new life after college is left to wander on the street with no job. New data issued by Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) pegs the unemployment rate at 14.2 percent in the last quarter of 2016, up from 13.9 percent in the preceding quarter. Among college graduates unemployment is now the order of the day. You must know people working in these industries or companies and bribe them before you can get a job.

A single United States dollar equals 364.50 Nigerian Naira. The exchange rates have gone so high that it is difficult for Nigerians to send their children abroad to study. Meanwhile, Nigerian politicians are enjoying their lives, living in luxury while the people are crying for help. The democracy that is supposed to be by the people and for the people is now by the government and for the government officials and their families. In today’s Nigeria you’ll find a politician with little or no knowledge of education elected as the president of the country. An example is that of the present president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari. Last year he was told to tender his high school result and surprisingly his mathematics grade was missing, It was assumed he failed the subject and decided not to put it on the document. In today’s Nigeria 95 million people are living without electricity. I am terrified as to where my country will be in the next five years and how we are going to survive.

We need the government to help us in every possible way, and just as we need the government, the government needs us, the people. If we all can speak out and vote, then we can make a change. For years we have been voting for the wrong candidate who has no interest in making Nigeria better, but rather to embezzle money. Both men and women, young and old need to vote in this upcoming 2019 election. Your vote is your voice, your voice is your choice and your choice is your life.

Ajibade Victoria is an international student from Ibadan, Oyo state, Nigeria dreaming of becoming a renowned pharmacist. She is currently in her second year studying nursing at Lander University.