On EndSars, the Protests & Fixing Nigeria

Political-Hierarchy-of-Nigeria

The current ongoing EndSars protest began on the 8th of October 2020, today is day 16 and there’s so much misinformation peddled here and there about why Nigerians are protesting. I won’t go into details, I’m sure you can find accurate information online if you look.

Update: For those who do not know why the Protests broke out, for years Young Nigerians up to age 40 are targeted, profiled, and harassed for guess what? Owning an iPhone, driving a car, looking good, owing a Computer, having apps on your phone such as Slack, Hangout, WordPress, Twitter, having international phone numbers of friends who are abroad on their phones. See the Wiki page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/End_SARS) for detailed information about the police unit responsible for these harassments!

Just so we are clear, I’m happy the protests are taking place, I’m happy Nigerians are finally waking up, I am proud to be a Nigerian in these moments!

With the presidents’ address last night, a lot of Nigerians were disappointed. I was not, it was as expected and we all know that. But HOPE is Alive and Burning Brightly, you need to understand that, those forces beyond Sanwoolu’s control now know what Young Nigerians are capable of! You may not believe it, but they are damn AFRAID! And their only counter measure is FEAR!

Let us observe a minute silence for those lives that are gone, their deaths shall not be in vain. Believe that!

For the past two weeks, I was afraid for my nation and had sleepless nights, any attempt to close my eyes and the nightmares scream at me to WAKE UP!

What have we learnt?

DOCUMENTATION is Important!!!!

I am a single mother to a 10 year old, and one of my mantra for the past ten years is “My child cannot go to University in Nigeria, and I’m willing to do whatever legit work it takes to ensure that”.

I graduated third class from Olabisi Onabanjo University in 2009, Oh boy did I search for jobs. My 2nd job in 2011 was PA to asian daughter of an Interior Decoration firm, she was 15 or 16, I got paid monthly what $77 is today. Our local carpenters, the best of them got paid $141. The Asian Lead got paid $1794, and his assistant who did nothing all day got $897, don’t forget to add the fact that the Asians got a fully serviced accommodation, driver, about $350 weekly to spend on food.

Let’s move on.

Don’t be tempted to think the foreigners are our problem in this country because they are not. For years, our people have been selfish and are enablers.

Ever heard a young person praying to get a government job because of the notion that it’s the kinda work where you go to eat your share of the national cake, not one where you needed to do any work that mattered. This is not forgetting that those who want to do work that matters are sidelined and where possible framed and demoted or worse, sacked.

If you have had the opportunity to leave the shores of West Africa, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Mine is usually, e no go better (it won’t be better) for those who make sure our basic infrastructural needs are not met!

In Nigeria we have:

  • 37 states including the FCT, that is 36 Governors
  • Nigeria has 774 local government areas, that is 774 Local Government Chairmen we need to start asking questions from right-away
  • The current Nigerian Cabinet consists of 45 seats including the President and VP
  • We have one National Assembly, 109 Senators and a 360-member House of Representatives
  • Don’t forget the councillors o biko (please)

In a nutshell we have 1 president, 36 governors, 774 LGC, 43 cabinet members, 109 senators, and 360 reps in #Nigeria. Wow what do they all do? The right question is how do we begin to hold them accountable from the grassroots?

Writing their titles in small caps was not an error by the way please!

The last time a census was carried out was in 2006
Source: http://www.clgf.org.uk/default/assets/File/Country_profiles/Nigeria.pdf

So what can we do next?

  • Can someone draw an Organogram of the Nation, which office is the highest, who reports to who, etc, all the way down to the Councillors please?
  • Start reading about your country: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigeria – know your country basics, study it as you would a personal development course
  • Get your hands on a copy of the Nigerian Constitution, how would we know what needs changing if we are not informed, download here!
  • Decentralise LAGOS – I am saying this to the tech community in particular. If you need a land off Epe Expressway, 40 minutes from Ibeju-Lekki, mail me. If you want to move out of Lagos, to a serviced & serene apartment in Ijebu-Ode, 102km from the Lagos Airport, mail me.
  • Invest in a bodycam (preferable one that can stream your content to cloud 🤔) and CCTV camera around your house
  • Know your Representatives – https://www.shineyoureye.org – Kudos to the team curating that
  • The team at Budgit IT have launched a robust data portal to improve citizens’ access to allocations & projects in their states & LGs. Sign up: https://me.yourbudgit.com/take-action
  • Buy a bag, fill it with essential items and get yourself a Nigerian Passport, do you not want to be able to jet out and back like they do when the situation calls for it. No jokes, but trekking to Benin Republic is jetting out too!
  • Young Nigerians, be humble, be willing to share your knowledge, be digitally skilled and make massive and legit money from the internet! We all know this is possible!

Make no mistake, this quest for a Better Nigeria is one that requires stealth, strategic planning, patience, prayer to Olodumare and of course making noise when needed! This is the first wave, a leaderless wave for that matter, and look what you did my fellow Nigerians youths, home and abroad!

We all can volunteer our skills for the next leaderless wave, I am volunteering mine curating information via fixingnigeria.com, join on Slack to brainstorm the next leaderless wave people!

Oh and forget and cancel the Nigerian media, we need to start telling our stories by ourselves, we need to change the narratives with our stories!

The quest for a better Nigeria requires thinkers now more than ever, people who can anticipate all necessary outcomes based on the plans that will be made today. This quest involves making sure that all Nigerian Citizens home and abroad are informed!

Do not for one minute think that the key players who you thought had spine and integrity are handicapped, do not buy that narrative for one second, if they did, they would resign! Most of them are failures in their professional lives without the spoils of the government anyway so they remain tools allowing themselves to be used in anyway the forces deem!

Accurate Information is a weapon of the 21st century!

Bonus Tip: Protect your mental state of mind at all cost! It is okay to take a break, shut off and be back again to Speak Up, Soro Soke, Yi Magana, Kwuo Okwu!

P.S – If any of the numbers here are not accurate, comment and point to source. I did a search for the Nigerian Constitution and Wiki shows first, then other sites not affiliated with any NG government site, really, smh.

References

3 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on Jibi Rises and commented:
    Yes, we need to start asking questions from them all.
    It is not the time to sleep off – we need to keep the wave going.
    God bless the #NewNigeria

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for sharing this, Mary! I am reading the constitution you linked, and I can’t help but notice that Chapter IV 33.2 practically legalises the recent military killings at Lekki toll gate, as long as it can be argued that the protests fulfilled the definition of a “riot” (by whosever judgement). This is shocking and, in an outrageous way, enlightening.
    What further stands out for me is that there seems to be a general focus on the state, or the government. Chapter I speaks entirely of the state and its administration, and (unless I missed something) there not a single word is lost on the individual rights of Nigerian citizens anywhere before Chapter IV (which then begins with the declaration that “every person has a right to life”, followed by the disclaimer of which particular circumstances constitute a legal killing).
    For comparison, I would like to share an English translation of my own country’s Grundgesetz (which has been our equivalent to a constitution since the founding of the German Federal Republic after WW II): https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englisch_gg/englisch_gg.html#p0014
    There are scholars who would argue it is far from perfect, and it probably is in some regards. So this is not about any sort of right or wrong, or better or worse. What I find interesting to compare is how it starts (!) with the individual person and their rights: human dignity; personal freedoms; equality before the law; freedom of faith and conscience; freedom of expression, arts and sciences; the protection of the family; freedom of peaceful assembly and so on and so forth – the entire first (!) section of the document speaks about these basic rights of the individual citizen.
    One could wonder whether a constitution that puts the state before its citizens – literally, on its paper – might, by design, help to pass on the same mindset through generations of governments?

    Liked by 2 people

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