Ogunjimi James Taiwo
“Indecision is debilitating; it feeds upon itself, it is habit forming. Not only that, it is contagious, it transmits itself to others.” – H.A Hopf
As this month gradually nears its end, it is important to take stock of the things that happened that made this month one of the most unforgettable months in the history of this country. We need to re-visit the events, the news, the shocks, the losses and our response to them. Did we just shake up some dust? Did we just plan to unsettle things and then let them return to normalcy? Are we prepared to let things continue in the old order? Are we prepared to watch our new-found confidence wane again?
“How much better to know that we have dared to live our dreams than to live our lives in a letargy of regret.” – Gilbert Caplin
The month of January started with everyone expecting news of bombing as promised by the latest boys in town[Boko Haram]. It turned out that there was a bomb blast, but just not the type we expected. It came not from Boko Haram, but from the president himself. The grand commander himself announced the removal of fuel subsidy. The reactions started pouring out immediately. Civil society organizations and labor groups started a rebellion that we all thought would lead to a change in the old order. But it happened that 2 weeks and more than 12 lives later, labor called off the strike/mass protest and the Chief dictator himself deployed soldiers to the streets in a democratic government. We shouldn’t just forget the things that happened, we should learn from them. One of the things we should learn from the protests is that we shouldn’t rely on other people to fight our battles, we shouldn’t rely on other people’s platform; we should create our own platform.
PRESIDENT TURNED DICTATOR
“Nothing dies quicker than a new idea in a closed mind.” – John Mason
One of the most annoying things that came into light this month was the realization that we have a president who seems too scared to act, a president who takes his orders from IMF, a president who would rather get a handshake from IMF boss than receive the full embrace of Nigerians. What further brought into light the incompetence of Mr President was the unfortunate fact that Boko Haram decided to up their game and our president had the guts to tell Nigerians to live with the burden. The president further came out to announce that there were Boko Haram members in his government, yet he didn’t mention names. That set us thinking, would the president rather take actions to save lives or would he rather protect a few terrorists? Do our lives have value to him? Will he rather trade our lives to protect terrorists? The president of a nation should be held responsible for everything that happens. He should see to it that none of the citizens come to harm, but when a president neglects his duties and chooses rather to protect terrorists than protect peace-loving Nigerians, then we are headed for doom. The way the president descended so fast from the most adored president to the most cursed president makes one wonder how he ever got a hundred votes.Later, we started hearing that Mr president’s unhappy with Boko Haram. We need to ask, didn’t you give them free rein to work? Like Mike Murdock said, “You have no right to complain about what you permit.”
REMEMBERING OUR HEROES
“The measure of life is not in its duration, but in its donation.” – Peter Marshall
The resultant effect of the removal of subsidy didn’t go without claiming casualties. The Occupy Nigeria protests went well, we demanded our rights, we forced them to make some concessions; but we lost a few people. Obviously on orders from the grand commander himself, the police decided to use protesters for their target practice,and the Occupy Nigeria movement lost some comrades. We remember them today, not as MIAs, but as matyrs. It’s left to us make sure that they don’t die in vain. It’s left to us to fight for the Nigeria they envisioned. It’s left to us to keep on pushing till we get what we want. We miss you comrades, but we’ll fight to actualise your dream. We’ll change the order of things. R.I.P Comrades.
“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Elliot
The most important thing is that the Occupy Nigeria protests showed us who we really are. It made us understand that no matter who we are, no matter what tribe we belong to, no matter what language we speak; we have one goal: FREEDOM, we have a common enemy: THE LOOTERS IN GOVERNMENT. What we experienced during the protests is something that doesn’t come easy. We shouldn’t let it go away, we should continue to build on the little successes we won. We should come together to build a platform that can neither be bought off nor compromised. It’s our nation,whether or not we become free depends on our collective actions.
James Ogunjimi CDHR Coordinator, Olabisi
Onabanjo University Unit. 08134319591