When We Truly Become Tired

Written by   on   Feb 10, 2017 / 41 Comments

 

As Nigerians planned a nationwide protest that was to be led by the music legend, Innocent Idibia (Tu face), Deltans celebrated the return of ‘their illustrious’ son, James Ibori. It was indeed a season of immense celebration for the people of Oghara in Ethiope West LGA of Delta state.

Nigerians were to protest against the poor state of the economy, hyperinflation, near collapse of the Nigerian state, comatose power supply amidst all others. The protest theme was “I am tired”.

Although Nigerians are indeed tired of many things in the country, they are however not yet tired enough to take (an) action(s) towards the change they desire to see. When I talk about Nigerians, I am specifically referring to Nigerian youths.

All over social media, some turned the #IstandwithNigeria protest into an APC/PDP debate; a debate that has become the destined end of many Nigerian national arguments. What we have failed to understand is that we wrestle not against APC and PDP, but against the political elite in the country.  

It is common knowledge that politicians in Nigeria are not led by ideologies, but rather, are influenced by the side of the divide that favors their ambition at any point in time hence, the frequent cross-carpeting.

A political elite (Class) refers to a relatively small group of activists who are highly aware and active in politics, and from whom national leadership is largely drawn (Wikipedia). They are the most informed, educated and politically active people who have a strong influence on public officials.

There is also another group of people to whom our protest should be against. This is the ruling class. They are commonly referred to as the political godfathers and king makers who play behind the scenes, but nonetheless, reap the proceeds of the National cake.

The political elite and the ruling class have all their children schooling (or schooled) overseas, and automatically, reproducing another generation of people that are well-read and more experienced than their contemporaries in Nigeria.

These elites travel for medical tourism at the slightest sign of cold or catarrh and would have done so for malaria if not that it is a tropical disease. It is common to see their children in juicy Ministries and Parastatals in Abuja- all they need is a phone call or a letter of introduction to be employed, irrespective of their academic class of degree. They have shortchanged Nigerians by successive embezzlement from the days of military dictatorship, yet, are constantly celebrated in their states and constituencies.

It was rather appalling to see that while the pro-Nigeria protest was going on, some Nigerian youths were handed (paltry) 1000 naira(s) for a pro-Buhari rally. Youths who ought to have taken their lives from these men who have sat in the corridors of power for over 30 years?

I have always been emphatic in stating that what Nigeria needs is a revolution (a sudden, radical or complete change). A revolution centered on an ideology targeted to bring a change in the economy and in socio political organizations. This can only come when youths indeed become tired.

Until we truly become tired, we would have youths who would rather spend hours watching Big Brother Nigeria and even longer hours discussing the housemates- what a blatant waste of human resource. We would have young people who spend hours online feasting on tribal E wars (especially between Yoruba and Igbo youths!!).

The common fear is that a revolution often turns violent and results in loss of lives [For instance, the case of Mohamed Bouazuzi who started the Tunisian revolution by self-immolation]. No one is calling for such drastic suicidal measures, but I would rather see youths become interested in matters of the state and of governance.

We need a fundamental change in our way of thinking, a change in our socioeconomic situation, we above all need to demand that successive governments ensure that a large percentage of their appointments go to people still in their prime (below 50).

In 2015, President Buhari submitted his ministerial list which comprised of four former senators and five former governors including 70-year-old Audu Ogbeh!! No one questions this because we are told we need experienced men in government. Do we not? And has this not kept us a 3rd world country?  With this circle of appointments and reappointments, the political elite usually find ways of remaining in power (whether productive or not).

For the James Ibori celebration, we saw youths massively join in welcoming a villain (with rousing ovation). In 1990, Ibori was arrested for theft from a store and convicted of handling stolen credit card alongside other criminal offences.  His tenure was characterized by theft of public funds, abuse of office and money laundering to the tune of $250 million. Ibori’s return ought to have angered the youths that a man who had mortgaged their future had returned home to live off his ill-gotten wealth.

                                                                                       

In warri and indeed, all over the country, petty thieves are lynched and burnt with tyres. Yet, 30mins drive from there; it was a carnival welcome for a man who still has criminal cases pending in court. To worsen this, the federal government has also announced plans to ‘amend’ his court charges!

So while I laud the #IstandwithNigeria protest of 6th February, I realize that we may still have a long way to go. It’s indeed time for us to get involved- we can at least start by reading the 2016 and 2017 budget to know how much is appropriated, and for what; to read the Nigerian constitution, and to follow the President on twitter. Let’s just do something!

For this reason, I celebrate Onyeka Nwelue and his new party, the “Progress Party”. What will become of this party in 2019 is still very uncertain but it is indeed a progressive step towards ousting the existing political class and ushering in a new crop of young and vibrant leaders. A step to show what could possibly happen when we become truly tired.

 

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Comments (41)

Feb 20, 2017

Mathew Chukwuyem

Here is my take on this fantastic write up. History shows few revolutions happened without violence. I agree to the mind renewing revolution. this is what we need at the moment. But, we must consider what President Olusegun Obasanjo termed ''Hunger Inferno'' while talking about mind revolution. The system has so much impoverished the masses no one will pay attention to calls for a protest. I have worked as an electoral officer and seen MEN sell their votes for #500. When we tend to agitate for change, they throw crumbs at the masses and all seems well. Look at the National Association of Nigerian Students, (NASS) and Nigerian Labour Congress NLC. These are bodies that in sane societies can halt a government. OBJ infiltrated, broke them up into factions and that was the end of NASS. NLC was to strike during the last fuel hike, we saw two different factions. We have a system designed to strangle the masses and when they seem to wake and fight back, they are given a little respite. So i say, as much we have to revolutionize our minds, we must FIGHT the system. The system is what employs Adamu's son, with a pass in the university into the CBN and makes Mohammed's son with a First Class roam the streets for a job.

Reply(1)

Feb 23, 2017

Chizzy Odilinye

Mathew, your analysis is spot on. My question now is, How do we fight the system?


Feb 15, 2017

Chinedu Francis

Nigerian youths and Nigerian seems to have a misplaced priorities, I wonder why we should celebrate wealth and possessions more than character and morals which has greater value. A public office holder or a politician siphons public fund and is praised and worshipped, but a man who kept his sanity while in power is classed a failed person irrespective of what so ever he/she may have achieved while in power. We need a serious reorientation

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Feb 16, 2017

Chizzy Odilinye

You couldn't said it better


Feb 14, 2017

kevin Ezeoke

Nice treatise.Until we stop serving mammon and God which is a mission impossibilia we will be malaise with a lot of political cum social maladies.keep it up dear.I adopt all your arguments and sunmissions therein as mine and wish not to further add anything in other not to sound superfluous.

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Feb 15, 2017

Chizzy Odilinye

Thank you Barrister Kevin. Though I will gladly welcome more arguments to enable us come to improved conclusion... Meanwhile, I almost thought it was Hon Patrick


Feb 13, 2017

Chidike

I agree!

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Feb 12, 2017

BelaChris

I concur with you Chizzy. Knowledge empowers. Societies are led by knowledge. Information is the currency by which democracy operates. Most of us that are youths are rather lazy to engage our minds in getting informed& translating this knowledge into transformational followership that subsequently evolves into effective leadership. Am I implying we do nothing but follow blindly& fold our arms @ a revloution? Mba nu! Just like you earlier said, "...we have to demand accountable leadership..."; which is not an end in itself though, but a means to a country we intently desire. Is it our ancestors that will rise up to the occasion? You ( yes, all of us reading& commenting) tell me. "Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility." - Sigmund Freud.

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Feb 14, 2017

Chizzy Odilinye

Nothing more to add. this is spot


Feb 11, 2017

Amara (Esq.)

I have not stopped laughing... Adat, you are so damn funny! But come to think of it, what is wrong with Nigeria, what is wrong with me, what is wrong with you; that we can't fix. Are we not tired already? Are we not fed up with the system? I only wish our youths can read more of this kinda piece to ignite the fire for TRUE change. "our mumu don do ooo" according to Charlse Oputa. Well done Chizzy, we await more thought- provoking piece! May God bless our country Nigeria!!!

Reply(1)

Feb 11, 2017

Adat

If population is power then we should be 6th most powerful country in the world and the first in Africa. We have Oil, solid minerals and fertile soil for agriculture. There are some contries that survive only on agriculture and are better than Nigeria and some don't even have oil. So, my sister something is wrong with the way most people think. The bad governance cut across almost all the people in goverment from the Presidency down to the councilor in the wards. If u have worked with SUGs and association my sister, u will know that even the youths no the carry last. Something is wrong and these guys are enjoying the flight even if it's the last plane to Paris. We can fix all these but not with the way we think right now.


Feb 11, 2017

Chika Okafor

Nice piece dearie. We need to come to a point where we are not moved by mere words,tribe religion and/ or empty promises but seeing and saying the truth for what truth actually is. I still believe the future holds a lot for Nigeria but like has been said,we need to wake up to our responsibility and get involved in the transformation, not waiting for change to come from space to us. God help us

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Feb 13, 2017

Chizzy Odilinye

Yes dear. we must look beyond tribe and religion. These are the major problem we have in Nigeria. Indeed God will help us as soon as we start helping ourselves.


Feb 11, 2017

Vin

Unfortunately any revolution in this country will be violent. The political elite and ruling class will not give up their power and ill gotten wealth without a fight . The problem is, we pay lip service to change . Nigerian youths are not ready for a revolution, each simply wants a share of the national cake, a way to break in to the political elite or the ruling class.

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Feb 11, 2017

Chizzy Odilinye

You couldn't have said it better. But o think we can all start something. Like getting involved in state affairs.


Feb 11, 2017

Adat

I think you more intelligent than pretty. Sometimes I have a feeling that this country is cursed . Maybe our ancestors did something heinous in the past. This government promised us change and we never cared to ask if it is a positive or negative change. All we ever wanted was change but it seems like it was the negative change that they were talking about. We have been consistently unfortunate with leaders in this country . The SUGs in tertiary institutions and presidents of association have made it a priority to loot students monies and these are the so-called leaders of tomorrow. I feel that there is something fundamentally wrong with the way most Nigerians think and if we don't start thinking right then the most desired positive change will be a fairy tale.

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Feb 11, 2017

Chizzy Odilinye

Thanks Adat for your wonderful comment. I think the only crime is the series of corrupt practices and I dare say the discovery of oil. The case of SUG executives looting money is worrisome. It however exposes the culture andindset of young people.


Feb 11, 2017

Lilian

We need responsive, responsible and accountable leadership in Nigeria these are tenets of leadership .The problem of Nigeria is Nigerians we tend to speak up when we're not benefactors but look the other way or call ourselves "blessed" like someone pointed out earlier , so not until we trash such ideology and mindset we're stuck!! Nice piece though

Reply(1)

Feb 11, 2017

Chizzy Odilinye

I agree with you dear. Many people keep quiet after appointments. I know the problem may seem ernmous however, I still believe so much in Nigeria. Thanks for stopping by


Feb 11, 2017

chinelo Obike

Well done Strawberry... Once again you have hit the nail on the head. Until the youths see the need to take the right decisions and actions, then stop fighting which party is better on social media, only then can we make a difference.

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Feb 11, 2017

Chizzy Odilijye

Thank you Chinelo. That indeed is the point. Let's demand accountability and food governance from every government official. They they will sit up


Feb 10, 2017

NKEM F.O.

Well said! We must fight against our common enemies i.e the political elites. A clarion call for all youth, irrespective of culture , religion etc. Now is the time to awake from our slumber. The future belongs to all youth and our unborn children, we must act now............ Revolution is what we need now. Feb 6th was a good start, We await more and to occupy Nigeria until they bring down cost of governance which indeed killing our Nation. Thanks so much for this wonderful insightful article.

Reply(1)

Feb 11, 2017

Chizzy Odilinye

I agree with you 100% The cost of governance is so high. Thanks to Gov Peter Obi. He opened our eyes to how much can be achieved of the cost of governance is low. Thank you Nkem


Feb 10, 2017

ChiefCollins

Errmm, author, how about I give my opinion? What do you guys think about quietly holding a referendum and voting on a split? Let's just disintegrate, the more the merrier. More nations better progress for all. Dat's my take #shikena

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Feb 10, 2017

Chizzy odilinye

The referendum should be on the best system of government to adopt.


Feb 10, 2017

Francis

Indeed You have hit the Point Again. But I want to Point Out to the Amazing Welcome of James Ibori from both Young And Old Alike of His Once Governed State, Shows There Is Something Special/Unique between Him and His State Citizens. ( further Investigation May reveal that.) There is something more to it. From a peripheral look, it Shows they Love Him. Now the Question is "Why do They Love Him?" Now for the youth Taking up the Mantle and Champion The Actual Change Needed. First The Youth Have to Develop Interest In The Affairs Of The Country. They are where they are today, because they believe in this; " it doesn't concern me" Until they start following up Matters relating to their Country, Start Knowing that they have "A Say" in the Affairs of the Country. These Old Men will Continue to Rule with their Old Mentality. I REPEAT, UNTIL THE YOUTH DEVELOP INTERST IN THE AFFAIRS OF THE COUNTRY! We will keep moving round and round like a Wall Clock. Thanks Chizzy.

Reply(1)

Feb 10, 2017

Chizzy Odilinye

I really want to understand that 'special' love. Being from Delta, maybe you can helpe


Feb 10, 2017

Chukwukadibia Ude

Very simple message. I believe this is from your heart. We are not tired until we take action. You have highlighted many issues here. We celebrate people we are not meant to celebrate. The one that gets me angry the most is that people tell you that someone in power is blessed, even when he takes public funds for personal use. We are position crazy in this country. And our attitude to things is like, "The guy is sharp" and "na only am de do am"....especially on trying to justify the actions of those we are celebrating. The ruling class indeed has failed. I came across a book by Karl Maier which title says, This House Has Fallen. I haven't read it but indeed, the ruling class due to negligence of understanding has let our house to fall. Traveling for better services will not stop unless we sit down and look into our institutions. To me, forming a new party that will introduce young and vibrant Nigerians is a good move but let's not forget that structure is not strong enough. Culture sustains structure. I believe the party is built on firm principles that last. We have to patiently seek the truth, understand the truth and the right way as well as knowing our enemy before we can boldly make our nation great again. We skip processes. We feel governance is just to read about other countries and then begin to fight for rights here. Governance is guided by the word, 'the incorruptible seed'. I will tell you the truth, many of us do not want to patiently follow our leadership development process. Having a desire to change something is good but the thing is being patient to watch an grow to perceive all the truths about what you want to change. God is in Nigeria. He is working and if you want to key into the plan, definitely, you will have to become a citizen of His kingdom and study deeply His kingdom principle. I enjoyed your lamentations. It shall come to pass where what you have spoken out for Africans will become fruits to be eaten by posterity. Thank you for this.

Replies(2)

Feb 10, 2017

Chizzy Odilinye

Indeed culture sustains structure. Thanks for your spot on analysis.

Feb 10, 2017

ChiefCollins

Oga, na another article you write give us for here again ooo, shuu. Your writeup is cool, but Abeg summarize next time. Tankio


Feb 10, 2017

dani david

nice one.my only fear is that most of these youth who agitates on social media are opposite of what they profess in reality,only for one to meet some of them and discovered that they are far from real leadership. most are even more self centered than the so called corrupt officials.until we are selflessness as our true indentity we cant take our place in near future and spark up the desire revolution.only selfless men can lead true and lasting revolution.

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No Replies..


Feb 10, 2017

NepaMan

I think in a country like ours, the only way to cause radical change is to kill all these polithiefcians or better yet get them incapacitated. wasn't there a KOWA party with a younger candidate but power still went to a 70yr old dictator. Use the Jerry Rawlings approach. #KillThemAll.

Replies(2)

Feb 10, 2017

Chizzy odilinye

Kowa party was there I agree. But did little in grassroot campaign and youth involvement. That is what I'm advocating for

Feb 10, 2017

ChiefCollins

Bros, more feathers to your cap! Twale. Simple solution for a very gigantic problem. The touts can be very useful in this area. After all, no one is truly useless. Tankio again


Feb 10, 2017

dani david

nice one.my only fear is that most of these youth who agitates on social media are opposite of what they profess in reality,only for one to meet some of them and discovered that they are far from real leadership. most are even more self centered than the so called corrupt officials.until we are selflessness as our true indentity we cant take our place in near future and spark up the desire revolution.only selfless men can lead true and lasting revolution.

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No Replies..


Feb 10, 2017

Ekyhills

Wonderful! This should be on Facebook and Instagram! Youths need see this....... #Revolutionbeckons

Reply(1)

Feb 10, 2017

Chizzy Odilinye

Yes dear. Indeed. Please help me share if you can


Feb 10, 2017

Nnamdi

One day we will really get tired of the oppression, the 2baba protest is the beginning of what's yet to come.

Reply(1)

Feb 10, 2017

Chizzy Odilinye

It's just the beginning my dear. But we need to statgeize to get maximum result. Thank you


Feb 10, 2017

Emmanuel Charles

Nice piece. Keep it up dear. Passion always make the difference according to Fela Durotoye. (FD)

Reply(1)

Feb 10, 2017

Chizzy Odilinye

Thanks Emmanuel. Passion is indeed a driver


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