Dear Distinguished Nigerian Youth,
I use this medium to salute your courage, resilience, and fortitude in the struggle for the birth of a new Nigeria. I salute the avatars before us, who paid the price in sweat blood and lives to put us on the road to redemption. In such a short time, using the weapon of protest our collective voice has reverberated through the length and breathe of our country, and across the globe. The entire world has heard us; by speaking up, and by answering the historic call to Soro Soke, we have exposed the extreme wickedness in high places, which has hobbled our vast potential as a people. One of the most resounding achievement of our protest is to take away legitimacy from the callous, irresponsible and directionless political elite, whose greed, unbridled corruption and incompetence turned our once promising country to a wasteland.
In symbolic, yet significant examples, we the youth have shown that with little, we can achieve a lot. We shamed those in government, who grab and control our billions, yet have left fellow citizens to wallow in hunger, poverty, illiteracy and despondency. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic when countries in the world were showing love and standing by their citizens, our rulers choose to punish already hard pressed Nigerians with senseless hikes in cost of services. As youth however, we showed them a refreshing example. In the face of naked threats, and attacks by state sponsored thugs, both in and out of uniform, we provided sumptuous meals to feed thousands on protest grounds. We the creative and energetic youth of the world’s most populous Black Nation deployed innovative off-grid solutions to generate and distribute electricity at protest grounds. Collectively, we raised funds for the most vulnerable among us, including people with disabilities. This and many more we achieved through grit, determination and an unwavering commitment to the realisation of the manifest destiny of our country.
Notwithstanding the phenomenal successes that have been achieved, the struggle to free our country from the vice-grip of corruption and bad governance will exert from us another level of sacrifice. I concede that even the stretch of one year is not enough time to protest the ravages, injuries and hammer blows we have endured in the hands of the troublers of our peace. Nonetheless, we must begin to explore ways to negotiate progress within our protest. Our collective anger and agony has been felt in the current phase. We must now navigate towards the realization of bigger goals and higher ideals.
The victims of police brutality, whose plight sparked this movement will be eagerly waiting for the next steps to get them justice. Having energized the people with hope, we cannot afford to let them down now. Dear Distinguished fellow youthful compatriots, we must remember the over 12 million children of Nigeria, our fellow citizens who are out of the school system. These young citizens face a bleak future, and would be praying that our movement will lead to an outcome which will give them a start in life through education. Nigerians who have been robbed of quality healthcare because politicians have stolen the country blind are looking up to this movement. Pensioners routinely denied of their benefits have their hopes raised because of this movement. This is a movement anchored on the struggle for justice and good governance.
To realize these lofty objectives, we must consider a change in tactics after the first phase of anger and agony. I believe the protests should continue, but in forms, which support our capacity to engage the core issues, which brought us to the streets in the first place. The locusts in our country are waiting in the wings to discredit the movement. They are instigating lumpen thug-victims of their misrule to attack genuine protesters and cause mayhem. The State is enabling these lawless brigands to go on the rampage, and then turn round to accuse our movement of being the cause of the violence. The State has put its propaganda and disinformation machine into overdrive to create the basis for a violent and brutish crackdown of the protests. The crocodiles, which could not smile in triumph over Boko Haram terrorists, kidnappers and bandits, have been unleashed on defenseless citizens.
For avoidance of doubt, I do not list these odds to scare us away from the struggle. I have outlined these realities to make it apparent that we need to infuse new strategies as the struggle will surely escalate, necessitating new approaches to achieved the goal. For the realization of these goals, I wish to humbly suggest to my fellow youth compatriots the following lines of action in the near term.
1. Formation of a loose movement leadership structure reflecting the centrality and diversity of interests and thematic issues which have underlined the movement. This leadership structure will coordinate the movement in close consultation with youth across the country.
2. Creation of thematic committees in response to #EndSARS and other ancillary governance issues, which have dominated protest messaging. These thematic committees will pool expertise of young people in such areas as Police Reform, Security, Health, Education, Infrastructure, and Job Creation. These committees will begin engaging the core governance issues raised by protesters to ensure demands are met within specified time frames.
3. Volunteer monitors across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory to document and report on government action on aspects of protesters demands, which the government has acceded to.
Finally, I will like to reminder our patriotic youth that we must not forget who our adversaries are! Our collective anger as citizens is against the spectacular and colossal failure of the APC-PDP axis of political evil, and all it has represented in the last 20 years of our journey towards democracy. The travesty of letting APC-PDP politicians mine political capital out of the protest is not acceptable. This movement must seek to send these crop of elite packing from our governance space. 2023 is around the corner; the litmus test for this movement is in its capacity to dismantle and dislodge the APC-PDP axis of evil. Anything short of that is the continuation and multiplication of the woes of the Nigerian people.
Fellow Protester and Advocate for Good Governance