By Bamidele Salam
This morning I feel moved to send this note to those of my fellow citizens who are privileged to be in leadership position at a time like this.
I am using this medium because there is no better one for now.
The ongoing #EndSARS protests nationwide have signalled a twist in our country’s history.
For those who can discern the said and unsaid messages of the protesters, the agitation is a clear indication that Nigeria is very close to a tipping point.
#EndSARS is a loaded metaphor for the younger generation’s frustrations with the bad governance, oppression, corruption, nepotism, mediocrity and insensitivity of most of us in public offices. It is a wakeup call to arouse us from our lethargic snoring, inactivity and half-heartedness as people elected or appointed to solve these myriad of problems which we inherited, created or increased!
Every sane person in public office today knows that Nigeria has no reason to be on a list of poor countries in the world talk less of being the world capital of poverty. It is a self evidenced truth that Nigeria’s current woes are not as a result of any natural reality or occurrence.
The pains of scoring so high in exams but not being able to secure admission to tertiary institutions, of spending so much time and money to graduate from schools only to remain unemployed for decades after, the pains of scrambling to buy job slots from overfed public servants, the pains of watching old parents die in agony without being able to access their pension and gratuity, the pains of bearing children that can not access good education, the pains of being discriminated against on account of tribe and religion, the pains of mass socio-economic deprivation, living like a slave in one’s own country! These are just some of the pains which waste the years of our youths, kills their morale, destroys their self esteem and about which they want us to ACT in a manner that shows we understand the problems and ready with the solutions.
I am of the view that there is no better time than now for us to OWN UP to our collective failure as leaders, openly begin a honest engagement with our youths and make a new declaration and commitment to work with them to birth a new Nigeria 🇳🇬.
We have a unique opportunity offered by the #EndSARS protests to turn from the path we have treaded in the past 60 years which has only led us to poverty, insecurity and international disgrace.
If we seize this opportunity, we will not only be helping the protesting youths, we will be helping our own children who though privileged today may not remain so privileged forever!
We cannot postpone this moment forever!
May God give us the wisdom and courage to do the needful NOW!
God bless Nigeria.
I remain yours truly
Member of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
17th October, 2020