I don’t remember the exact words or chapter, but I remember these words were uttered somewhere in THINGS FALL APART: “sometimes a coward stands and watch the ruins of a brave man”. Those words were pragmatic advice given to the impulsive, fearless and courageous Okonkwo. Okonkwo paid dearly for neglecting that advice. Courage without wisdom is like motivation without vision, they are counter productive and self defeating.
Dear Nigerian youth involved in the #endsars protests, I’m speaking to you as a brother and friend. I have talked and walked the talk. Please heed to these observations and counsels:
1. It’s time to be articulate with your demands. I offer my sincere suggestions:
– DECENTRALISATION OF THE POLICE FORCE BY AN ACT OF LEGISLATION.
– INCREMENT OF THE REMUNERATION OF POLICE OFFICERS AND SOME INCENTIVES LIKE FREE MEDICAL CARE TO THEIR FAMILIES
– REDUCTION OF THE COST OF GOVERNANCE
– THE SIGNING OF THE ELECTORAL BILL INTO LAW
– EQUITTABLE DISTRIBUTION OF INFRASTRUCTURAL PROJECTS ACROSS THE GEOPOLITICAL ZONES.
The arrowheads of this protest have to figure out how to sit down with government and insist on the demands. If you ask me when, I will tell you candidly that the time is NOW.
THINGS YOU SHOULDN’T DO:
– DON’T ASK THE PRESIDENT TO GO. This protest is not about change of government but change of governance. Saying BUHARI MUST GO is making yourselves unwilling tools in the hand of partisan politicians, avoid this like cancer.
– AVOID CONFRONTATION WITH POLICE OFFICERS.
– DON’T GIVE ARSONISTS AND THUGS AN OPPORTUNITY TO CAUSE MAYHEM.
As this protest progress, the desperate elements of destruction are getting bolder in trying to cause a conflagration in the country. Lives are lost, properties are destroyed and people are injured. Let’s rethink our method of protest to avoid more casualties. If street protest is becoming uncontrollably chaotic, please suspend it and adopt another method. It could take the form of petition to international organisations and community to sanction the political elites.
Seeing the horrors of war, someone said “a bad peace is better than a good war.”. We are not yet at war and won’t be by God’s grace, yet it’s good to calm the situation down. Especially as some youth don’t seem to know what the protest is all about. I saw some smoking, driving cars dangerously, some drinking and plain rude to anyone that crosses their path.
In Mtt 10:16 Jesus said we should be as wise as the serpent and as innocent as the dove. This is the time to apply wisdom.