A Democratic Protest.

It’s another day as has been since last year in the life of well-meaning Nigerians. June 12th, after so much agitation, was finally made the democracy day instead of May 29th. It’s democracy day today, the 12th of June, 2021, and the use of undemocratic means to shut the voices of protesters has been deployed. You’ll want to believe that they’ll get the irony, but their daftness won’t let them. They want to remove me from my office, said the president in a supposedly live broadcast a few days ago which was recorded the day before. This was what he made of the #ENDSARS protest that shook him to the core. So, by fair means or foul, democracy will only be permitted when we ‘behave.’ Jobs too will be created for the youths on that premise. You can’t be trying to unseat a democratically elected president you voted in because of his non-performing and dictatorial records for the past 6 years and expect to be treated with kid gloves. A man who was at the forefront of major protests against the former president in a bid to ensure he lost the goodwill of the people. He succeeded amidst his chants for change. The change he brought has drastically taken us many steps backward from 2015. Food prices are on the rise and you wonder how people are meant to survive this. One thing must kill a man, in Nigeria, everything, as is presently structured, is orchestrated to kill us.

Why are you protesting? or What is the reason for this protest? would pop up on my TL. The responses have carried the cutting tone I love to employ when addressing mischief-makers. The fact that people asking these silly questions are tweeting with the use of VPN owing to a ban of Twitter by their president isn’t enough to answer their questions, nothing else will. Nothing is the way it should be. Nothing is working. The fear that having different agendas for the #June12thProtest will adversely affect it should not be entertained. Everyone has an agenda and since it all addresses the incompetence of our present ruler, all of them will be welcomed so long as they are advocating for their rights. There is never a better time to air your grievances about a thing than a platform of protest against the said thing. The SSMPA law, ethnoreligious wars, disregard for law and order, Twitter ban, hikes in food prices, general detestation for the actions of the president, etc. are addressing the concerns of the people. Trying to poke holes at one man’s agenda will do no good for the cause. It is this wait for your turn and disregard for the oppression of one group that has emboldened the flagrant oppression of us all. When we have refused to speak to protect religious inclinations and moral sensibilities, we forget the human rights factor. It is when it gets to our doorstep that our outrage for its disregard becomes visible. The strange thing is that even with this outrage there is still this need to display our oppressiveness by shutting down people with their agendas. Let people fight for what they want to fight for, after all, the other times you succeeded in shutting them down, no one got their requests granted.

Mothers, friends, and family members have called their loved ones in Nigeria to stay safe and if possible, not go out to protest. The fear is a live thing. The fear that the government will kill without remorse, will shoot and ask no questions later, will commit willful mass murder and defend it. For all the things we want to be done, they can do them but they need the country to be this way to keep using it as a front to commit their acts of corruption. They need insecurity, hunger, poverty, etc. as a cover. They need them fiercely like we need liberation.

Despite the fear of death, promise of torture, or getting locked up, people have gone out to protest. The courage this shows is mind-blowing. While this is going on, others are protesting online too. All in all, this protest was held. They will note that the people are tired and will damn the consequences for a chance for things to become better. Power to the people has no political ownership. There is a thinly veiled show of support the opposition party has shown to this present government that is despicable. So, no, we do not show support by chanting a mantra that is known to them. We do this because we know that no matter how twisted things get, the power will always remain with the people.

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Nkemdilim Akaniru

Nkemdilim Akaniru

Content Writer/Educator/HR Enthusiast. I could become rich being lazy if I would, but my bosses see me as a hard-worker. I love singing & learning; Let’s learn!