Nigeria Youth Storm Rebellion
8 a.m. The Assistant Inspector General of Police assures six senators in confidence, “It won’t happen, it won’t happen, Wallahi!” The doubt with which he says it rebounds on the faces of the senators. But they have been here before and think it is the hungry masses venting envy again.
8 p.m. A general tells Mister President, “My men will not fire on the protesters. The men said they will rather face firing squad than kill defenceless, hungry and angry youths.” Just above his breath, Mister President began reciting the verses of Laqad Jahakun.
9 p.m. Another general tells Mister President, “A jet is waiting for you Sir, it is time to leave.” There is a freezing silence. “Is it that bad, my good General?” The general hesitates. “Mister President, it is that bad. We must leave now.”
9.10 p.m. Mister President encounters many sad faces as he leaves. Men and women who once thought the world belongs to them. Now, they now know the world belongs to the people. Twelve hours is a long time.
Mister President is wearing the darkest mask of distress despite the elite security personnel that flank him on all sides. Moreover, the smiles he beams fools none. He has a gap in his teeth that looks like it opens into a bottomless pit. The pit that has wrecked a nation and its youth who are fighting back. The youth no longer have anything to lose.
Is this a piece of good or bad fiction borne of a roaming imagination? Time will tell. It must and will.
No one ever believes a rebellion will erupt or topple them. Never the elected and appointed officials. Not the party officials, party candidates and pro-party media awaiting elections. Never those who feed fat off the National Cake. Certainly, not the democrats who believe democracy can never fail people into hunger and destitution. In fact, no one wants revolution. No one wants to die unless the lines between life and death are no longer distinguishable. Nevertheless, the Government of Nigeria (GON) has blurred the lines between life and death well and for too long.
Rebellion? Not in Nigeria?
For a long time, most Nigerians look to stuff like Hummers, Banana Island, private jets and quick riches. These are excellent distractions away from the countless paupers and beggars they encounter every day. And helps them ignore the weight of their ever-worsening hardships. However, people cannot be distracted forever. In other words, the ability of Nigerians to cope with misery and fear is now collapsing. Society is collapsing. The GON with the near near-genocidal economic and security conditions it fosters and the mounting debts has exhausted its citizens ability to cope. Such an ability no longer exists.
What more can the people do?
In the movie the Godfather II there is a timeless real-world political lesson. Michael Corleone is hesitant to invest in gambling in a Cuba where the rich and powerful were saying, “It won’t happen, it won’t happen.” Michael’s hesitation is he saw a rebel get caught at a checkpoint. Rather than surrender, the rebel blows himself up with an army captain. The logic is Michael thought the rebellion could happen because the government pays soldiers but rebels get no pay. He was right. The rebel no longer had anything to lose.
Nigeria has put its youth in the same position as the rebel caught in Cuba.
All it will take to set off the revolt in Nigeria now is someone able to think and act well enough to try. All it takes is a try. The youth is awaiting that person. Perhaps, from a militant group. Some have had rehearsals. Who knows? The longer it takes to happen, the more competent that leader will be. There will be government resistance but it will not last. Security forces face the same conditions the common man in Nigeria experiences.
Most homes in Nigeria have youths. Those under the age of 30 make up 71% of the population and increasing. A poor life expectancy for older Nigerians is worsening. Why? Because of the harsh economic conditions, an absence of affordable and accessible health care, poverty and sheer hunger is reducing the population of the over 30s. These youths have but nothing and nothing to lose. Furthermore, they see their fathers, mothers, and guardians suffering despite their industry. The blight of unpaid salaries and pensions. As a result, countless youths even see their pillars become helpless or die.
Notwithstanding, not all youths in the country are poor destitute or lack opportunities. Some are rich and school overseas while Nigerian universities rot under the GON. Economic modesty or hardship is foreign to such youth. They are very visible.
Several thousands of youths under age 30 have large savings, have built their comfortable houses, own good cars and live well. Yet, they are afraid of kidnap ransoms that can impoverish them with ease. The fear of failed security in the land hounds them. Deaths of parents or patrons expose them. Anticipating the loss of their jobs wounds them. Runaway costs of living reduce their comfort and confidence. And these are the fortunate ones.
What do the everyday youths have? No jobs, no skills, no inclusion, and no hope. In fact, that is the portion the GON foists upon its youth without consideration. But the youth has had enough. Many seek a better future overseas, but at least 95% of the youth will remain in Nigeria. No African country seems to want Nigerian immigrants. Many other nations around the world are similar but for acute skill shortages.
Still, these youths who remain have no retreat or haven in Nigeria and are ready to revolt.
Unsurprisingly, the youth has lost all confidence and all trust in the GON and its institutions. Every one of them. Show us just one institution the youth trust. One example is all we ask. How can the youth trust the GON, after their handling of the Covid support scheme and curfew enforcement? Or the heavy-handedness of security personnel during the “Stop SARS” protests or the Operation Python Dance?
Can the youth trust papirators who use the youth during elections only to forget them for four years and make their living conditions and access to opportunities much worse? If you do not trust institutions at all, it is so easy to attack and destroy them. Thus, the Nigerian youth is ready. But ready for what?
Action? The rebellion is now in the living rooms of most houses. Nonetheless, it will spill into the streets. As the Nigeria youth storm rebellion hovers, so it lands. This time, it is possible only the lands around the Benue and Niger River (Benger) will remain, but Nigeria as a unit is in doubt.
Despair has now replaced hope in all quarters.
10.00 p.m. A foreign correspondent reports to his editor, “We have reports that the President has left the country in a private jet. Further, information from the aviation authority says at least forty other private jets carrying politicians have flown out of the country in the last 30 minutes.”
10.03 p.m. A local broadcaster tells Nigerians, “It is not clear what is happening in Abuja but we will keep you posted.”
10.06 p.m. Another foreign correspondent, live on telly reports, “The President has left the country but there is no dancing in streets. There has been a sudden spontaneous decision to bring down any symbol of oppression down. We have to leave now…”