The citizens and nation building (II) | Dailytrust

The citizens and nation building (II)

So, in thinking about how to build a nation, we go back to the type of people we need to be, to be tooled to build a nation. Remember, a full, ready and exact people. It cannot be everybody that will be in the forefront, in the frontlines doing battle.

You will have to have point-men and women, and leaders from among the youths, but as many as can, should be full, ready and exact. This, I believe is the strategy of #EndSARS; the leaderless revolution, sans the underhand infiltration by entities with sinister agenda for everyone.  The youths must, however, remain active, positive and engaged. I recall another clip I saw recently where the guru explained how success is a series of positive outcomes and failure, a series of negative ones. A successful person will fail sometimes but keep going, thereby his positivism will bring good things his way and he will become successful in the end. A failure will win sometimes, but negativity ensures that good tidings, what we call good luck, fortune, people, continue to give such a person a wide berth, resulting in back-to-back and overall negative outcomes; failure. Therefore, stay positive, constructive, innovative. No matter the discouragement from society, always keep putting in your best for God and country… and for yourself. Take advantage of the goodness around you, and indeed, the opportunity to add value and be part of the solution. Nigeria is indeed an open sesame. This is where so many things have not been done that should have been done. Let me tell you a secret. Tell no one. But it is far easier for you to attain prominence for service and sacrifice here than if you were living abroad. Think about it. This is why many Nigerians living abroad still get very concerned with the motherland, and after sorting out the basic survival issues, many diaspora Nigerians express deep pain at Nigeria’s current state. Home is where the heart is.


Perhaps the greater challenge is politics. It is murky they say, but it is the most legal and most constitutional way of engaging the system. You can form NGOs and CSOs, but they may remain nice advocacy platforms, or at best become thorns in the flesh of every government. We need a constant culture of protest and citizen oversight, but we need leadership even more. Political parties are written into the Nigerian constitution and also protected by it, irrespective of the occasional shenanigans of people who govern. The recent deregistration of 74 political parties come to mind. It is what it is; a shoddy, underhanded and silly travesty of justice powered by elements in the ruling party and those who see themselves as the principalities and powers of Nigeria. INEC lent itself cheaply to that abuse of institution and process.  My concern is, the future is now, and we need to see more and more of our young people, so long as they are not statute barred, contesting for elections. Note that you don’t have to win the moment you start. Remember, failure is a part of success; a necessary lesson in the appreciation of success.

The challenge before Nigerian youths today is what to do. If they join the old parties, will they not become subsumed in the old, corrupt ways? If they choose not to join the old parties, can they rev up enough political velocity to torpedo the old order or will any new party just be like another child’s play, easily swatted away by the powers-that-be like the 74 I mentioned above? Guess what! I think the youths have the numbers to do everything. Let some go to old parties and shake them up if they can. Let some form new parties. Let some remain as activists; putting everybody on their toes. This way, Nigerian youths will emerge, everywhere.  How is that?


Old politicians are afraid. Very afraid. The youthful revolution was something formidable and remarkable. The protests needn’t be perfect, but it happened and the world got the message. Every strategy has a downside. A protest with leaders can be easily dissipated, with leaders bribed or intimidated. One that is leaderless can go on forever, lose direction and be hijacked by crazies. The choice is for the youths. Their time has come. No matter the case, it is very important to have an intellectual revolution going side-by-side, wherein the demands of the youths will be well-articulated and painstakingly pursued until they are achieved. Off the cuff, and for starters, I think SARS should become something like Police Tactical Service (PTS), a name that shows that policing is a service to the people and that elicits citizen cooperation. However, the last time I checked police was still training SWAT. There is a need for the youths to bank their gains, to continue to be in the labour room as a new Nigeria is being born.  Being present in the labour room, the child will be born into your arms. You will have to name the child and nurture her into greatness. This is what it takes, to build a nation.

COVID-19 keeps intervening rudely in the affairs of men and threatens to take the shine off the efforts of the youths as expressed in EndSARS. The inability of the youths to bank some gains should not be seen as a weakness by government because if further mismanagement of national affairs cause the youths to rise once more, the situation may prove unmanageable. We have started hearing of new cases of police harassment and SWAT has replaced SARS, with basically no input on modus operandi from the youths. Still, I urge that the youths press on intellectually. The intellectual space is still occupied by tired old men… men especially. This space offers a platform bigger than street protest. It offers a platform for the painting of a new picture of what you want your country to be. Vision. The intellectual space is where we will be able to prove that we have Nigerian youths with such large minds and brains that can secure the future of the country. It is the place where the roots of the recent protests will be given a sound grounding that will torpedo the mediocrity that has defined our existence as a people.