Is There An Evil Behind The Veil?

By Omaga Elachi Daniel

WE are experiencing a season of peaceful cum violent protests across our dear country, Nigeria. The sum of these protests, for and against the plethora of #hastags, #EndSARS, #EndPoliceBrutality, #ANewNigeria, #BuhariResin among others, could be a crushing burden for us to carry as a nation, if the prevailing situation is not handled with utmost care. We must be very careful, else we'll throw the baby away with the bathing water. It will take the efforts of the government, relevant stakeholders and the public alike, to make this work.

Many have paid with their lives; the scores may have increased in the last few days, no doubt. Prisoners of law, both the guilty and those not guilty, those that have been tried and those awaiting trials, others who may have been incarcerated unjustly, partly due to social status and circumstances, are being freed in Benin, the capital city of the "Nation's Heartbeat State", Edo. Who knows what lies in wait in other parts of the Nation? Indeed, the times are uncertain.

Threats of wars are being made. In some quaters, paradigm shift in leadership, that of restructuring and an end to bad governance. Of course, we all crave for a Nigeria, where milk and honey will not be food for only those, privileged to be in public glass houses, I do too. Websites are being hacked, global outcries are been elicited. As always, the Nigerian Youths have proven that they aren't lazy and are among the best brains in the world. How we use these brains for the good of our nation, especially at this very elastic point of our existence, should be our priority at all times. I stand in solidarity with every Nigerian youth out there, but most importantly, by "Nigeria, my Country". Indeed, this generation has written her name with gold, in the annals of our history. It is a fight for the soul of Nigeria and not only about SARS and Police Brutality.

The roads have been exhausting for our leaders and the led alike; the road forward seems daunting, especially when it feels we are careening out of control and teetering on the edge of a cliff. There are questions and speculations as to whether there's an evil behind the veil. Whether the protests have being hijacked for narcistic reasons and interests. Perhaps, those that may further threaten the already weakened multivalent bonds that hold us together as a nation.

As we bear all of these trials, we face another test. A test that will determine whether and how democracy can long endure in our country, a test of responsive leadership and followership. At a time like this, when we are faced with many national crises, we instinctively look to our leaders, to the people we entrust with our mandates, to call on every citizen to be and do better, including those public offices.

In all, we must not loose our focus! We expect that given the responsibility and opportunity, every Nigerian's patriotism and values will prevail. We were first, Nigerians and must remain Nigerians, even as we anticipate a more peaceful nation, where the socioeconomic prosperity of all Nigerians, will be guaranteed.

To me, that we have fallen this far, points to a failure of both leadership and followership. With recent happenings across the country, one can say without mincing words, that the followership have realized that the power of the people is more powerful than the people in power!

Responsive, people oriented leadership of all kinds; in government at all levels, institutions, organizations and communities, is a prerequisite for the positive change we desire. My continued hope and belief in Nigeria, comes from my faith that we can turn the tide. Not only because we have before, but because we must, somehow and someday.

If properly harnessed, this can be a season of subjugation and renewal; a fertile ground to grow our nation. We must not loose our focus on the things that unite us, even as we continue to vent our displeasure with the system.

Omaga Elachi Daniel writes from Okpoga, in Benue State.

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