The discovery of crude oil in industrial portions in Oloibiri in the current day Bayelsa State has been regarded extra as a remedy than a blessing as a result of of the indolence it bred on the half of coverage makers. We keep in mind the well-known assertion credited to former Army Head of State, Common Yakubu Gowon who mentioned the drawback was not cash however the best way to spend it.
An issue that this new discovered gold introduced was that of spillage which decimated the setting so badly that farmlands and rivers the place fishes had been caught had been adversely affected. There was lip service being paid by the worldwide oil corporations to correctly clear up the broken lands and rivers. The hapless lots particularly of the Niger Delta have been the ones which have borne the brunt with no hope in sight of a reprieve.
In just a little city in Kiribo in Ondo State, a toddler now the world well-known Omoyele Sowore was born to a peasant illiterate farmer. At the age of 9 he witnessed how the oil spillages affected the rivers the place he fished in to contribute his quota to the household until. He was so distraught that he vowed to turn out to be an activist to make sure a greater deal for the much less privileged.
His tenure as the President of the College of Lagos Pupil’s Union gave him a broad platform for activism. Earlier than then he participated actively in the anti-Structural Adjustment Programmes protests which rocked the streets of Lagos and led the regime of the then Head of State Common Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida to crack down on the defenseless protesters. As Pupil Union President he fought a ferocious battle towards cultists who made life insufferable for college students on the campus.
In the aftermath of the June 12 1993 annulment by IBB, he used his privileged place to arrange rallies in assist of the revalidation of the mandate of Chief M.Ok.O Abiola who was the presumed winner of the election dubbed as the freest and fairest in the annals of Nigerian political historical past. For his troubles he was expelled twice from the college and was almost denied the alternative to do the obligatory Nationwide Youth Service Corps which he ultimately did in Adamawa state, the house state of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.
After his youth service he couldn’t get a job as a result of of his anti-government actions which marked him as an enemy of state. He was a daily visitor of many jails throughout the nation.
Shortly earlier than the return to democratic rule in February 1999, he needed to go to the United States for medical causes and determined to stay behind in Uncle Sam to carry the authorities accountable from overseas.
The introduction of the web which democratized the media and subtle it to the arms of abnormal residents introduced the golden alternative to maintain the authorities on their toes. He established Sahara Reporters – the first residents’ journalism web site in the nation and broke many corruption tales that despatched shivers down the spines of corrupt political leaders in the most populous nation on the African continent.
He determined to transit from an activist to a political chief by throwing his hat in the ring in the final presidential contest. I knew from day one which he wouldn’t win as Nigerians don’t appear prepared for any kind of progressive management preferring to undergo and smile apologies to Fela and await a Messiah that’s worse than ‘Waiting for Godot.’ The late authorized luminary cum social crusader, Chief Gani Fawehinmi set the precedent by attempting to unseat the then Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in 2003 however was tragically left in the lurch by the identical lots he fought for. Human beings have by no means actually modified since the betrayal of Jesus Christ by the identical downtrodden people he sacrificed his life and luxury for.
The Columbia College educated Public Administrator made a strident name for a revolution to happen on August three and the authorities hurriedly whisked him away and has held him ever since. His sensible Counsel who by the way is a human rights activist, Femi Falana SAN was capable of get the court docket to launch him on bail underneath stringent circumstances – he needed to get a surety to deposit a whopping 100 million naira. As anticipated no one got here out as everybody appears scared of the vindictive authorities that neither forgives nor forgets.
His arrest coincided with the interval wherein the well-liked Large Brother Nigeria present was happening which caught the consideration of most Nigerian youths to the exclusion of the plight of the one who put his life on the line for them to have a brighter future.
The organizers disclosed that 240 million votes had been recorded by viewers to vote their favorite housemates which translated into billions of naira. The identical youths couldn’t suppose of mobilizing their massive numbers to key into the crowd funding drive to boost funds needed for Sowore’s bail.
The priorities of most Nigerian youths are coronary heart wrenching to say the least. Points of essential nationwide significance which must do with their survival are hardly ever mentioned by them however nice consideration is given to frivolities and issues that preserve them enslaved to their political taskmasters. No marvel many politicians take greater than a passing curiosity in leisure because it’s a veritable software of thoughts enslavement which they use to distract the youths from their actual issues.
The youths choose whiling away time in entrance of their generator powered tv units watching raunchy leisure reveals and arguing over who their favorite celeb slept with.
It’s tragic that no protest was staged on Sowore’s behalf to pressure the authorities to launch him after he met his stringent bail circumstances however the identical youths welcomed their favorite massive brother stars in the solar and rain after their exit from the home.
If the current technology of youths is to proper the wrongs of the elders, there’s the want for a complete precedence shift to points that tackle their properly being. The Arab Spring wouldn’t have been profitable if the North African youths had been extra involved with updating their profiles on instagram.
We badly want a reincarnation of the radical and professional energetic youths that battled the colonial authorities for our political independence if Nigeria is to transit to the apogee of the maximization of her immensely wealthy potentials.
Tony Ademiluyi writes from Lagos and edits www.africanbard.com
Disclaimer: “The views/contents expressed on this article are the sole accountability of Anthony Ademiluyi and don’t essentially replicate these of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice won’t be accountable or accountable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained on this article.”