Children they say are the leaders of tomorrow but who are the leaders of today? Will there be a tomorrow if today gets destroyed? Will tomorrow ever come? When tomorrow comes, are today’s leaders willing to hand over power? These and many more are the age-long questions which have been successfully ignored. Generations have picked up the primary school song ‘parents listen to children because we are the leaders of tomorrow…’ but the status quo remains. What then can be done to cause a shift from a norm that seek to remain permanent?
According to N. Chandrababu Nzidu, ‘People always want welfare, development, and good governance. As long as you are delivering, people are with you.’ From this, it is safe to say that majority of Nigerians have lost hope and confidence in the present-day government. Despite the abundance of both human and mineral resources, Nigeria is like an old man who is suffering from self-induced pain. While the government kept bringing up policies which are injurious to the economy, Nigerians have always found ways to work harder and keep surviving. How do we break free from this web of bad governance?
Over 20 years ago, Fela, Lagbaja, Eedris Abdulkareem, Africa China amongst others sang about the terrible state of Nigeria polity and governance. Have there been a significant paradigm shift in the last decade? Unanimously, our response would be an emphatic No. it is baffling that the same issues sang about are still prevalent or has worsened in our current reality. Yesterday’s children have grown and have been pushed to the wall with only one cause of action, fight back. The elders then ask, can the youths who are easily distracted unite?
October 2020, Nigeria youth united and decided Nigeria was due for a nationwide protest to make demands on the government they elected. Though the protest came up as a result of police brutality on youth, it then metamorphosed into a holistic demand to reform governance in Nigeria. Irrespective of the cruelty melted on youth by the government during the peaceful protest, the ‘coconut head’ youth were unperturbed and determined to be heard by the world.
The Endsars protest gained momentum and the whole world were speaking about it. This feat attained by Nigeria youth is unprecedented and worthy of appraisals. Surprised by the courage, grits and gut shown by the youth, consciousness has been awoken in the heart of Nigerians of their power as citizens. In the space of three weeks, the whole world felt the massive impact of a unified voice.
We say Rest in peace to all fallen heroes whose lives were lost during this protest. Your death propelled anger in the hearts of Nigerian youth and they are more determined to ensure your deaths are not in vain. While the scales in the eyes of many have been removed, it is important to state that our current set of leaders won’t back down easily. To become leaders of today and not tomorrow, there is a need to massively get involved in governance and that starts by getting our permanent voters’ card. Aluta Continua, Victoria Acerta.
This article was written for Fatherland Gazette by SOLA ALOGBA