Before We Accuse Others For Showing Anger Only On Social Media By Bemdoo Hulugh
The recent NIS examination scam once again call to mind the need to confront this fraud called government. Lately, so much have gone wrong in the country that many people have used social media to call for protest but they bring back the same report. They tell us the turn-up was poor. As a result everybody is accusing each other of showing anger only on social media but never show up in the physical when it’s time to take action. Everyone is accusing each other of been a coward and a noise maker on social media, some blame those who went for NIS examination for not starting a revolution.
Nigeria have 112million people below poverty line, 54% unemployed youth and 100million destitute. All these people don’t have revolution on their mind, all that matter to them is survival. Once they manage to survive every day, they feel accomplished. As Nigeria is becoming more difficult, people sell their belongings and borrow money to send their children to school hoping after graduation they will get a good job and take care of the family. But after graduation there is no job. Frustration begins to set in and the graduate finds solace in a church. Every Sunday the Pastor keep telling him/her to stretch his hand and receive the key to his car, job, house as the whole congregation say “Amen”. The graduates begin to believe so much in miracles that for every job examination he thinks this will be the miracle. This kind of person is not thinking about a revolution; he is thinking about how to get a job and take care of the family, he is hoping that as he continues to try, luck might shine on him.
The people don’t need to be preached about miracle and prosperity alone. They need to know that a fraudulent government is responsible for their problems and in a democracy power rest with the people. I believe it is 20% of people in a society that give it direction while the rest follow. This 20% is made up of leaders, policy makers and risk takers. They are the ones who change the course of history. If we have volunteered to be among this 20% then we shouldn’t complain or insult people for not coming out for protest. Have we thought if the reason they didn’t answer the call for protest is because all our writings have only managed to provoke their anger on social media but not on the streets of Lagos and Abuja? Just because people like and share your facebook posts or retweet your tweets shouldn’t make you feel they have accepted you as their leader. When you accuse them of being cowards and noise makers, they too can say you are using their unfortunate condition and the state of the nation to make fortune and fame. As you write and speak against this fraud called government and in the process building a brand as defender of the weak, yet in the real sense the weak and unfortunate people know you only on social media.
History have thought us that people who have led struggles were not peasants, they were well to do people with good education who decided to sacrifice everything for their struggle. They inspired the down trodden to stand up and take their place. Fidel Castro is the son of a wealthy farmer and a doctor of law. He sacrificed his marriage, freedom and everything in the course of his struggle. Martin Luther King Jnr was a preacher who might have never boarded a bus but led the Montgomery bus boycott protest which marked the beginning of his struggle. Nelson Mandela was a lawyer who could have easily found a way to fit into the apartheid society but he decided to make the struggle for a just society his life. History has an endless roll call of these people. It is upon us to awaken Nigerians. Off course,they show anger on social media because we have been educating them through this medium and so it’s time we do same aggressive sensitization off-line. If Martin Luther King Jnr and Co could give leadership that led the black people to comply with the bus boycott, it was because they had earned the trust of the community.
My suggestion is that we should stop sending anonymous broadcasts calling for protest anytime something goes wrong in the country. Let us instead use social media to call for town-hall meetings and community meetings, so that we begin to meet more physical and share all those ideas we post online. Nobody should deceive us that the Egyptian revolution started on social media, it was a well coordinated up rise. Prior to the up rise, the opposition group studied the works of emeritus professor Gene Sharp on non-violent revolution and worked with leaders of the student led Serbian revolution. The people of Egypt prepared very well for that moment. In Tunisia, it was the public outrage as Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire that really sparked protests and riots but what really sustained the protest was rallies by independent trade union activists, Tunisian Federation of Labour Unions and others. Lawyer and teachers went on strike. It is a combination of all these things that brought down the government.
We must be well organised and well educated to take the shot when the opportunity present its self again. The tenure of any government is determined by the patience of the people. Abraham Lincoln who we have all accepted his definition of democracy said in his first inaugural address “this country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it.” It’s about that time we take back our country.
Bemdoo hulugh is an active citizen from Makurdi
You can also interact with me on twitter @bumy04
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