THE current political awakening among young people in Nigeria can be compared to a scaled-down version of the well-known Arab Spring. By 2010, the Arab world had become a place of hopelessness and stagnation due to government persecution, corruption, and stagnation.
The social time-bomb in Tunisia blew off in December 2010 when government agents attacked street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi, 26, and seized his products with their customary impunity. After dousing himself with gasoline, Bouazizi lit a match. The “Jasmine Revolution” uprisings, also known as “the Arab Spring,” which shook the Middle East until 2013 had their beginnings in that act of self-immolation.
In Tunisia and Algeria, it brought about political transitions. Hosni Mubarak’s tyranny in Egypt was overthrown by it.
In Tunisia and Algeria, it brought about political transitions. Hosni Mubarak’s regime in Egypt was overthrown, and Colonel Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, a legendary figure in Africa, was assassinated as a result. The Libyan Jamahiriya, once an African paradise on earth, is nonetheless an unsuccessful state today. Barack Obama, the evil former president of the United States, can thank himself for toppling Gaddafi and Libya and, indirectly, elevating a ragtag Boko Haram organization in Nigeria’s Lake Chad region to the status of the most nihilistic Islamic terrorist organization in the entire world.
Similar activity is taking place here in Nigeria, albeit in a much more subdued manner. Years of poor, ineffective, and self-serving leadership weaponized poverty among Nigeria’s common folk. The Nigerian youth are poor due to high unemployment and graduate unemployment. Few young Nigerian men are in a position to ask our young women to marry them. Many young women are reaching adulthood without fulfilling the expectations placed on them to get married and establish themselves in their own homes. Their future and joy have been taken by the ruling elite.
The young person reacted in many ways. Others joined cults, became thieves, kidnappers, ritualists, or prostitutes, engaged in cybercrime, fled to other countries to work as hustlers, became singers or comedians, or served as the corrupt politicians’ e-rats.
They spend their time watching Big Brother Naija and essentially acting like logs at sea.
Then, in reaction to police violence, extortion, extrajudicial killings, summary detentions, and general harassment of young and everyday citizens, a series of irregular #EndSARS protests began. The #EndSARS demonstrations acquired a new dimension in October 2020. Young people, largely in their 20s and 30s, gathered in numerous locations to demonstrate against the most recent rounds of police brutality. Although they yelled “EndSARS,” their agitation was really a call for improved administration.
The Lekki Tollgate in Lagos served as the major location for the #EndSARS demonstration. Every day, hundreds of young people from all ethnic and religious backgrounds gathered, sung national anthems, delivered motivational speeches, and displayed messages urging for a better Nigeria.
They were forceful but polite as they spoke out loud (Soro S’oke).
Government and its associated authorities lost tolerance after these ongoing rallies lasted for over 10 days. They sent in armed thugs to scatter the protesters because the police were unable to do so. In Abuja, criminals pursuing demonstrators with deadly weapons. When the thugs failed, the military was called in to carry out the nighttime slaughter of unarmed youngsters at the Lekki Tollgate while they chanted national anthems.
At this moment, the thugs gained over and killed police officers while demolishing police stations. Along with attacking the police, the hoodlums in Lagos also raided government buildings and went after well-known politicians and traditional leaders who were known to be their allies.
They destroyed innocent people’s businesses and plundered stores after clearing out the COVID-19 warehouses.
After the chaos subsided, several corrupt politicians in Lagos attempted to lay the blame for the damage at the feet of the state’s Igbo residents and “IPOB.” The evident goal was to incite an ethnic conflict between the Yoruba and Igbo peoples in Lagos and beyond. Fortunately, the lies were exposed by the Yoruba socio-cultural watchdog Afenifere and the Yoruba components of the #EndSARS Movement. The devil moved on.
The kids simply had no interest at the start of the present race to 2023. They disregarded the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) one-year window for registration.
They even left 20 million PVCs that had previously been registered in INEC offices. The APC and its more established sibling, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, failed to provide young people a realistic route to the future.
However, Peter Obi’s role in the process—in particular, his switch from the PDP to the Labour Party—became the defining moment of the Nigerian Youth Spring. One of the best governors this nation has ever had, Obi is from Anambra State and has captivated the hearts and minds of young people everywhere, especially the #EndSARS/Soro S’oke Movement, which has since evolved into the Obidient Movement. In order to hold the leaders accountable for their actions in the future, they are establishing a new political culture in which party members participate in politics.
Obi has thoroughly explained his grasp of Nigeria’s condition over the years and how to transform Nigeria from a consuming to a producing nation by drawing on his in-depth research of other effective systems. He uses his popularity in the media, especially the electronic and social media, to gain favor with young people. Obi is primarily to blame for the youth’s renewed interest in Nigerian politics. They are requesting PVC registration from INEC for this reason, and they won’t accept “no” as an answer. The New Nigerian People’s Party’s (NNPP) Rabiu Kwankwaso is also catching the attention of young people in the North.
Can the 2023 shift be brought about by the Nigerian Youth Spring? Will they maintain their route till they reach El Dorado now that they are in control?