by Abigail Anaba
We are sons of our fathers. No matter how much we want to denounce our parenthood, events keep proving again and again whose sons and daughters we are.
Let’s do a brief recap of major events in recent times.
January 1, 2012, President Goodluck Jonathan welcomed Nigerians into the new year with an increase in PMS pump price. He had withdrawn all subsidy on the product and based on that fuel would now sell for N140/litre. Protests followed and for a brief moment we saw youths who were prepared to disown their fathers and be born again! But alas they lacked the appropriate genes to sustain the recreation and before you could say ‘middle class’ the protests were over. We had no powers to fight the deal that had been made and we went back to answering to our fathers’ names.
Fast forward to June 3rd same year. We were all shocked as a plane fell from the sky. We ranted and raged about how heads would roll for this. And then we wept as the lists were publicised and united in grief because each one seemed to know someone who had flown that plane or could have. We demanded justice and created hashtags. A panel of enquiry was set up and while we waited for justice licences were restored. Another outcry followed by the call for signatures in petition. Surely, this was toeing a different path from our parents. Surely, we would show these adults that we are not to be taken for granted. But, as sure as our birth is, our dominant traits set in and we rescinded again and adjusted. God dey!
And then someone did the math. If over 70% of the Nigerian population are youths then it means we have the numerical power to fight our fathers and gain independence. Why should we content to be SAs when we can be ministers. Thus the march for 20 million youths started. We can finally do this! We are statistically able.
To our utter dismay, someone started some insidious nonsense about the group. There was a cat fight and then apologies. As it turned out some of the youths have come to realise how true the Gold rule is. Allow me to quote the evil Jafar from 1992 animation film Aladin: “He who has the Gold, makes the rules.”
Evidently, the youths have not been able to accomplish much by trying to build a house independent of their fathers. Perhaps then the solution does not lie with trying to act like bastards but in redefining our sonship. What use is 20million youths with 20 million ideologies?
The project change Nigeria is not a 2 year plan. It should not just be about kicking GEJ out of power in 2015, lest we be faced with the Egyptian situation. More attention should be paid to “and then what.”
Much as we would love to maintain the assertion, the problem with this country is not just about leadership. It is a rot that has eaten into the fabric of the system. We may not be able to change our genes, but we can change how our genes work.
If the top to bottom approach used by our parents for over 50 years has failed who says we cannot use the bottom to top approach?
If you occupy your individual Local Governments and demand for change, it will come faster than when we occupy the Federal Government.
This derision for the older generation, this ‘Ahitophelism’ can not bring about change. You must get the gold before you begin to make the rules. Since our parents have the gold then we must go to them, humble child to father, and get the gold.
We need to work with the existing systems: political, social and economic and use our numerical strength to our advantage.
If it means infiltrating the existing systems and working as under cover SAs, who says that is a bad place to start? No one is going to relinquish his power without a fight, you might as well work to get it.
Imagine a Nigeria where the individuals in the rural community are educated to rise above ethnicity and religion as they cast their votes. Why not use your numerical strength to mobilise and educate people that selling their vote is selling their destinies!
Imagine a Nigeria where those who vie for political positions are forced to debate their manifestoes. Why not use your numbers to sign petitions to your representatives and insist that certain conditions for public service are entrenched in the constitution.
It is time to acknowledge that we are sons of our fathers… and quit the smarter than thou attitude. We are not Egyptians or Syrians. Their blood does not run in our veins. Our blood is green. There must be a reason we won independence from the British without a gun shot. It is time to go back to our roots. The time to start is now.