#OccupyLekkiTollGate: Is Protest The Only Way Out Of Our Problems?

By James Patrick

Wise men will always tell you that, “you can’t keep on doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result”. To me, I think it’s foolhardy to keep on repeating, or using a strategy that we all know would end up in the unnecessary lost of life and property. I have learnt so well in my little stay, in this world that, no government, no matter how democratically entrenched it may be, will fold it’s hands whenever it hears the word ‘protest’.

No government would smile at it’s citizens or any segment of the citizens planning to stage a protest no matter how peaceful it may be. No government would treat any protest with kid gloves. This is not far fetched from the simple fact that protest, in respective of how peaceful the planners intended it to be, most times turns out to be full of violence.

Those organizing a peaceful protest may not have the interest of toppling those in power or usurping their authority but to register their grievances. Over and over again, we have seen peaceful protest been hijacked by hoodlums, riffraffs and ragamuffin, using it as a platform to cause mayhem and to loot the valuables of innocent Nigerians. The last ‘endsars’ protest that started in Lagos was a clear example of all I have been saying.

We all saw how these hoodlums took over the protest to destroy the properties of good citizens of this country who have no hands in any of the calamities that have befalling us. Some innocent victims became casualties while other lost their goods, some people lost their buildings for what they know nothing about.

Those of us in this part of the world are not matured enough to carry out a peaceful protest. We do not have the requisite Patience and endurance to stage and successfully execute a well coordinated protest that would achieve the desired result we are clamouring for. On the part of our government, they too, do not have the dexterity to handle peaceful protesters. They do not know how to calm down the aggressiveness and the agitation of the youths who are tired of the ways they are being governed, beside using force. On the other Hand, while the protesters are immature, the government are not prudent, or they are not wired with the strategy to calm the nerves of it’s angry youths. At the end, violence becomes the order of the day and precious lives go down the drain.

The recent lekki tollgate protest that saw Mr macaroni and other able body youths been manhandled kept me thinking if protest is the only way we can solve our problem as youths in this country. All through the night, my troubled mind kept on thinking on how we, as youths in this country, urgently need to change our strategy because this protest of a thing, no matter how peaceful we want it to be, is not working – let’s tell ourselves the naked truth, it’s not and I don’t think it would achieve anything other than the lost of precious lives, at the same time, making some nonentity more famous.

The time is ripe to change strategy. The time has come for the youths in this country to change the way we go about demanding for a better living condition in our father land. I know a lot of people would say protest is the only way, but I bare to differ. It is not the only way! We can improvise so making ways to achieve our goals. One of these ways is the power of the social media. Let’s make use of technology as children of the technological age to chase these old thieves out of power.

Let’s make use of artificial intelligence as a strategy to vote in the right youth into power. Let’s make good use of it in the nest coming election to vote a youth full of honesty and integrity, who feels our pain, who can best lead us well into the promise land. Secondly, desperate time they say requires desperate measure, it’s time we the youths take the bull by the horn. It’s time we youths of Nigeria take our destiny into our hands. Every youths from the ages of 18 should go get his or her PVC. Your PVC is your most powerful tool in this country at this perilous time. We as youths must realise that our PVC is more powerful than the degree certificate we are carrying all over, which can not get us a job. Your PVC is more powerful than your birth certificate.

Your PVC is your life. Your PVC is your destiny in this country. The earlier you get one, the better and brighter your future may become. Lastly come 2023, let’s vote Wisely. Keep religion and ethnicity aside, they will not feed or cloth you. Go out there and vote youths of integrity and impeccable character. Let’s ensure that in the nest election, No politician more than 45 years of age should be voted into power. From the seat of the president down to a local government councillor.

Do not sell your vote. I repeat, Nigerian youths, do not sell your vote. If you sell your votes, you sell your destinies and your sufferings continue, period!

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