Nostalgia,#ENDSARS and The Birth of Maturity …

Magana Jari Ce

If you were in Abuja on Saturday, 16 October,2020, and along the Airport road, by 3 pm, then my friend, you definitely, slept on the road. Thanks to the #EndSARS protests. 10+ hours with no movement. Ok.the protesters entertained us, by force; and a little farther up the road, to a soccer game. Nobody really slept. It could have turned violent. Thank God!

I understand the Presidential Panel on the demands of the #EndSARS protests accepted the 5point demand. It would have been good and well and Mature, but, for the Nigerian glitch: The Cart is still standing before the Horse. Two things, the haste in accepting the demands and the Inspector General’s “quick” response. These smack of the “fire brigade approach – accept and wave aside the matter! Not this time. The correct position is that the horse is in front and the cart harnessed behind it!

The Inspector General of Police announced the setting up of the SWAT – as a replacement for the SARS. Haba,Oga! SWAT means Special War and Tactics team. The haste didn’t allow for proper thought and planning. Even Mr Trump, in faraway US, would have been proud of the sleight of hand – replace the black pot with the black kettle! If we are following the American model of SWAT, then, it’s duties are: riot and crowd control,violent confrontation with criminals, war on drugs, threats of terrorism and hostage taking. Are these what the new Nigerian SWAT team will do. If “yes”, then, we will only see them, once in a blue moon. Not mounting road blocks. In fact, at some point, every Nigerian became a suspect. It was scary. IGP, sir, I would have thought the correct and acceptable sequence is – dissolve SARS. Set up a Board of Inquiry, headed by an educated DIG or AIG and made up of 6 other members, including 1 or 2 leaders of the #EndSARS movement, NBA, identifiable Youth Group and any other vulnerable group( taking into consideration the expected spiral effect). The Board should have a deadline of ONE week.Arrests of identified SARS culprits. Mobilization of the Police Mobile Squad,as interim stopgap. Now, we are going to do everything in reverse order!

Gidan Kashe Ahu

Still on the cart and horse. I hope the President’s speechwriters and spinners are aware that Geneva canton, Switzerland, voted to have a new minimum wage of 23 Swiss francs ( $4000 or £3,500) per hour. This in despite of many virtually free amenities.Do I need to list them? A personal car is really a luxury, there are trams, buses and taxis. Private schools are a luxury. They have no ASUU. So, Advisers and speechwriters, mention this to the President. A comparison is also acceptable when there are equal factors. If they have a higher pump price, it’s because their officials do not have apartments in Dubai. God! Why would somebody leave his luxurious detached mansion, with all heavenly amenities and be proud to live in an apartment in Dubai? I just can’t wrap my head around it!

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Nostalgia.Nostalgia…any Nigerian above the age of 50 years, must agree that we went to school- from primary to tertiary level – free! In the 70s through the 80s, we paid token school fees and were paid allowances and fed free.So, I ask since then and now, what changed? Nigeria is now 100x times richer, no matter what index of exchange used. My son, PaulDan, in Unical, regaled me of how students traded soup for eba. Laughable? No criminal. We abdicated our responsibility for tomorrow. In the 70s, all Federal universities had kitchens. We, “the poor” ate and licked our knuckles dry. We didn’t care if someone went to a restaurant to eat. So, what changed? I will tell you: Every State wanted a university. Every individual wanted to own a university. ASUU exploited the situation by taking up jobs in 3 or 4 universities…and leaving their core university unattended to. The VCs did not have the spine to caution them. The Federal Education Ministry could not hold them, because most of them were paid off. Today, any Government that attempts to check them, has a fight on its hands. ASUU has being on strike for almost eight months.

And talking about ASUU. They met with the Federal Government team. Resolutions, meaning agreements, were reached. So, why would they defer signing? Strange? No. Someone somewhere is manipulating them. We all know private schools are in session.Need I say more?

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Thanks to the #EndSARS Protests, do I detect some discomfort among our legislators – NASS and States’? Maybe, we will be forced to take a look at Mr Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s suggestion, once upon a time, when he said a slice of Legislators monthly total package will provide jobs for graduates, for 6 months. Well, it might sound like Jadom ( go and read Christopher Okigbo,jor!), but, like the Court Jesters in old England, they speak the truth. Only they could tell the King the truth! Did you see the teeming youths on the streets, in every Nigerian city? Even though, I’m a conspiracy theorist – that someone is sponsoring the “protests”, the numbers dilute the theory. Ok, someone definitely stirred and encouraged it, …we all saw the tweets of ” I woke up this morning,…”, But, I hope he and his people haven’t lost control…and here’s the Birth of Maturity…I appreciate the Nigerian youth, thus far. They’ve kept it peaceful. They’ve stuck to their demands. And I know nobody will deceive them to destroy their Country. Oh! It’s the Birth of a new Nigeria. And I’m blessed to witness it – for my children and my grandchildren.

And I commend the Nigerian government – and all its agencies – for the restraint so far. We are parents…and we must indulge the protesters. Whether we like it or not, we FAILED them. As I once wrote, a legacy is not in the mighty buildings or roads or bridges that a person builds, but, in the way we affect their souls. Neither Jesus the Christ (pbuh) nor Mohammed (pbuh), the Last True Prophet of God, built any physical structures,But, for centuries, they are mentioned daily. So, President Buhari must make earthshaking changes: He must take our public school system back to the old days… tuition free. Boarding free. Vacation jobs. Jobs assured as our kids leave the NYSC. He is already paying salaries and pensions regularly, but, he must compel ALL States to do same. We voted for Change, not pain.

Gidan Kashe Ahu 2

Ah! Nostalgia! Did you see Don Jazzy trying to hold down time? Or Yul Edochie or Charley Boy. There’s no time to make our faces to meet the new people ( apologies to WB Yeats!) Maybe, we should have stayed at home..and watched our grandchildren…and cooing and anxious and relieved, when they come home each day!

But, seriously,how did the Protesters raise Twenty five million Naira (#25million Naira) in just 4 days? Interesting! Such money passing through our banks and neither the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) nor the Police nor the Interpol, has raised an eyebrow!

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Cautionary Tale: oh ! Sons and Daughters! Theory is different from practice! Even the foolish Americans knew when to sheath their swords and see the effects of their protests. Don’t spoil a good soup with ajinomoto. Maggi is enough for now!

And for those stoking the fire of the #EndSARS, the “revolution” throughout history, will EAT it’s managers, when it runs out of tinders. 1789 – the French Revolution.

Gidan Kashe Ahu 4

When I say Americans are naive, many readers attacked me. Ah! See how malleable they are in Mr Trump’s hands! ( Please Google Mr Michael Moore’s fascinating article on Trump and Covid).

Thank you for reading

Did you like my Post? If you did visit my site and Like. Just like. I really don’t care about your comments.

Finally and seriously, no matter how much you love the #EndSARS protests, wear a mask or stay at home: Covid is lurking!

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