After years in limbo, Nigerian youths have taken their destiny into their hands

Posted by News Express | 27 October 2020 | 1,111 times

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Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is also important is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on — John Kennedy.

Statement of Facts: (1) #EndSARS Protest has changed Nigeria forever.

(2) No Nigerian leadership will ever take Nigerian youths for granted again

I know that a lot of Nigerians would be wondering where Nigerian youths get the will, the vibe and the courage to sustain protest for more than two weeks which is no doubt a record in the history of protests in Nigeria.

The simple answer is that for the first time, they decided to step out of the shadow where Labour and Civil Society Organization leaders kept them and take their destiny in their hands.

For a long time Labour and Civil Society groups were limiting the potentials of the Nigerian youths with their negotiated, complicit and compromised strike actions.

What a lot of Nigerians don`t know is that most of the protests that Labour and Civil Society groups  have been embarking on since the dawn of this democracy in 1999 were negotiated or if you like, as we say in our own parlance, they were ‘arrangee’ protests or strikes.

Government would act illegally or inflict pain and hardship on the Nigerian masses. Instead of the youths revolting, they would calm down, because there were Labour and Civil Society groups who they felt were genuinely representing them.

But what they don’t know was that they were been made for dinner. They did not know that Labour and Civil Society groups were trading with their destiny.

Let me make myself clear. When Nigerian government acts irresponsibly, instead of Labour reacting immediately, it would set up a committee that would dialogue with government on the irresponsibility, which is like, after armed robbers have struck at a bank, killed people and carted away the money in the vault, instead of Police going after them, they would set up a committee to dialogue with the robbers. For Labour, at the dialogue table, deals would be struck and even the number of days the protest would last would be agreed with government.

Labour would set a day for the commencement of the “indefinite protest” and tell gullible Nigerian masses to stockpile foodstuff in their houses for the, “mother of all strikes”.

They would declare that there would be total shut down of the economy and country, as international airports, national borders, markets, banks, schools, offices would all be shut.

While Labour would be threatening fire and brimstone, government officials would be having a good laugh, laughing as innocent Nigerians who would be panicking and scampering to stockpile foods.

The D-Day would come and the protest would commence and greater number of Nigerians who earn their living on a daily basis would comply by shutting down their businesses with the belief that it would be a long drawn protest.

But lo and behold, on the second or at most the third day, Labour would announce the suspension of the protest. But in order to make Nigerians not to feel betrayed, so that they would deceive them another day, the Labour would say that “government is now ready to listen” and that they are going back to the negotiation table.

That would be the last that anybody would hear of the matter and the illegality would stay with us.

Nigerians would go back to their businesses and offices. The youths who have been mobilised with high sounding but empty threats would go back home disappointed.

But unknown to most Nigerians, Labour leaders cannot genuinely fight government. The reason being that they are doing business with government. They are handling government businesses.

For instance, many of the Labour leaders in the Maritime sector own Stevedoring companies, the ones in the petroleum sector own oil servicing companies, while those who are in the Aviation, own cargo companies. So, a lot of them are millionaires in their own right. The khaki is just to a cover up, to keep on deceiving gullible Nigerians.

They put their business interest first before that of Nigeria, because they don`t want government to sanction or expose their under belly.

That is the reason why protest in Nigeria up till now has been stereotyped. Government has decreed to the Labour leaders that if they must protest, it must not go beyond three days.

That was how Nigeria became a country of spineless people, the real reason why, Muhammadu Buhari called Nigeria youths “lazy” – a people that cannot protest for more than three days.

But when the youths began to see the Labour leaders who they were looking up to in the past as redeemers or messiahs becoming politicians and turning 360 degrees to be defending what they fought against in the past, the scales fell off from their eyes.

That was when they realised that all along, they were been treated like fools and they therefore, decided to take their destiny in their hands.

The EndSARS protest was just a handy tool that is being used to express their disaffection with the irresponsible leadership that we have been having in the country, which Buhari government has taken to the climax and to also tell the Labour leaders that Obi is no longer a boy. Today, nobody in his right sense would say that Nigerian youths are lazy.

Let me end this piece with this wonderful quote from Cordy Booker:

“There is no true freedom. Whatever, life may throw at us, we have the freedom and the ability to choose our attitude. And I believe it is in those moments of choice that we manifest our destiny.”  

ABOUT THE COLUMNIST

Peter Anosike is a well-known journalist and development economist.

His book, Dangote’s Ten Commandments on Money (Lessons on How to Make Money from One of the World’s Richest Men), was rated as one of the best development books in the world by Wall Street Journal and FORBES. The book has been adopted as a workbook for grooming entrepreneurs by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN). Anosike’s other of his books include, How To Be The Best You Can Be and Look Forward and Lean Less On Your Past – all trending in Smashwords along with Dangote’s Ten Commandment on Money and How To Be The Best You Can Be. You can follow him on Facebook and Linkedin.

 


Source: News Express

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