How much does the cattle herder pay for RUGA? nothing?

By Tony Eluemunor

Keeping faith with the sorry saying that:”All things bright and beautiful Nigeria kills them all,” we members of the wasted and wasting generations (age 40 and above) are busy demeaning the only hope that Nigeria could ever hope to get it right as a nation. 

Nigeria is right now on the verge of a right thing. Ever lucky, Nigeria is hosting a new political and nationalistic and developmental Mojo; that magical phenomenon of Nigerian youth rising up to sieze control of the political space and lead from the front, instead of following behind their fathers and mothers. Mojo? It is a slang for a magic charm, talisman or spell or magical power or supernatural influence or luck. 

Ordinarily, Nigeria has so failed and traumatized it’s youth that that segment of the citizenry should be totally alienated. But, here comes the young ones are rising up to embrace and remake their fatherland. The political interest they have shown in the forth-coming 2023 election is out of this world, and could only have come from Nigeria, a country that breaks all the rules. 

Instead of studying and understanding the youths, members of the wasted and wasting generations are insulting them by calling them all sorts of derogatory names and demonize them as crank pots, illusory idiots and worst still, Biafran war mongers. Foolishly, the Obidients have been mis-tagged.  The politician and businessman called, Mr. Peter Obi does not own and control the Obidients.

The Obidients own him and could repudiate him anytime. What we are seeing goes beyond mere political support for Peter Obi. It approaches an inbueing of the dreams of a new generation of Nigerians on a person. No, I will take that back, it was not just imbued on Mr. Obi, it is actually being forced on him. He is not a young man and so does not belong to the generation that has adopted him. It is a strange political marriage. 

The youths are trying to stand up and matter. They are trying to change Nigeria for the better. They are trying to build a new and better Nigeria, a Nigeria of their dreams, they are trying to nurse Nigeria back to life. And this is where we members of the older generations read their intentions wrongly. They are angry, they are sad, they are children of a worthless country who have refused to accept the frustrating view that Nigeria cannot rise to greatness, that things cannot begin to change. 

Now, such a situation should provide a wholesome opportunity to the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress to key into this largely uncoordinated youth movement by showing that they can and are ready to do things differently. All they need do is to carefully check the feedback to know what the youths want; a real change. The Mohamadu Buhari administration has shown that Nigeria requires a surgical operation, not a pedicure and the youths are demanding that surgery. Finish. 

Yet, the members of the wasted and wasting generations are too blind to see even the youths for what they stand for, such that some crazy columnists have tagged them Biafrans. What nonsense! Here Nigeria is treading an accursed path for the third time. In the 1940s, crass politics did not allow Nigerians to realize that the Zikist Movement meant more than a support for the late Africanist, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe or his political party, the National Convention of Nigerian Citizens.

A set of Nigerian youths, inspired by Zik’s Africanist preaching formed the Zikist Movement as a youth wing within the NCNC…but the Zikist had their own flag, motto, song and logo, did not recognize the British colonial administration, wanted immediate independence from Britain. 

Like the Obidients movement, it was pan-Nigerian, with Raj Abdallah (from Okene, Kogi State as president. Though Osita Abunwa ( an Igbo) was it’s poet laureate, Adeniran Ogunsanya, Kola Balogun led the garrison of Yoruba Zikist youths while Tony Enahoro from Uromi was among it’s most militant members. The British authorities imprisoned them in droves and they went to jail with smiles on their faces and songs in their hearts because it was a sacrifice for Mama Africa. 

Unfortunately, their elders failed them. Even Zik could not give them the “prestige of his support” as Chinweizu pointed out in The West and the Rest of Us.” When that movement wilted and died nationalism died in Nigeria and crass and shameful and animalist ethnicity replaced it. 

Over 70 years passed before Nigerian youths  could rise again in the EndSars protest. After two weeks a gory bloody encounter between the unarmed youths singing and happily waving the Nigerian flag and soldiers ended it. The youths had held the belief that Nigerian soldiers would never shoot at Nigerians waving the Nigerian flag. They learnt a bitter lesson that night. 

Now, the youths are on the move again. The Obidients cut across Nigeria. There is nothing wrong with having the Atikudients and Tinubudients variantions but Atiku Abubakar’s and  Bola Tinubu’s policies and messages have to win the youths over first. 

So far the youths are claiming political turf …for the third time. This time it’s proving to be a tsunami. Nigeria killed the first two of such movements or protests. We must learn from history because the French Revolution began as a protest, before it became a revolt and ended as a revolution.

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