For a better Nigeria!
The year was 2008, I had written my senior Waec exams the year before and all my mates were scrambling for this new thing called Facebook.
A lot of people didn’t have smartphones then and they’d pay for 30 mins — 1hour subscription to use the internet(Facebook) at cyber cafes*. I paid about 150naira to open a Facebook account then because I was eager to stay in touch with my friends from secondary school.
It was during this period I learned about the anti-cybercrime unit of the Nigerian Police force SARS. They had visited my neighborhood to arrest a popular “Big boy” then, having accused him of yahoo yahoo — A name that still causes setbacks for Nigerians in many parts around the world till today!
SARS was “responsible for curbing” cybercrimes of the early internet days in Nigeria. This was when “guys” went about extorting innocent people(mostly foreigners) from all parts of the world. Let’s just say the menace created during that period is still not cleared up till today, countries around the world are extremely skeptical in relating with the Nigerian populace.
As if that is not enough, SARS still inflicts both physical and emotional injuries to the Nigerian people.
As more people gained access to the internet, via smart devices it became a leading source of information, up to creating loads of unconventional employment opportunities for everyone all over the world. It is such a closed-up community with free and equal access to all. I’d say “ the freedom to be human.”
From healthcare, business, government issues, education to religion, you name it. The internet shone a new ray of light on everything.
Are there still Yahoo yahoo boys today? I’d say
Do we still need the police? Yes, definitely!
But you’d agree with me that we no longer need the type from 2008.
The type that believes every young adult is earning a living illegally, nor the type that has refused to get enlightened like their counterparts in other parts of the world.
We want a complete reform of the Nigerian Police force, and we simply ask to #EndSars.
I encourage you to lend your voice to this cause because in the world of today, you have a voice and it counts, whether online or offline
Or what are alternatives?
Only that it may not be the type you have imagined or the one you are used to. I think we can explore new ways of seeking the kind of change we want.
A couple of days ago, I was having this conversation with a family friend — a mother figure and she said: “they should plan a coup for the leaders, the lockdown period was an opportunity”.
This wasn’t my first time hearing this, and it seems to be a narrative among our older generation — A “supposed solution” no one has adopted till now.
Now, I really do not fault her comment. It was a tactic used in a certain period in the past, and I think it worked.
Only that It can’t work in these times. Asides from the fact that every part of the world is more visible than ever, and the moral and religious implications, we need new and unconventional methods to solve the problems of today.
We will make mistakes with lots of resistance, but I am confident that we will make headway and we will be better for it.
Why Twitter(social media)?
Although unconventional, nothing is really new on earth. I have read enough African books and watched enough Africa Magic to understand that the olden days' village square meetings were effective for community development in the past. What is even better is that everyone has a voice on Twitter. Our village square of today is Twitter(Social media), and we hope to make real changes this time.
We call out the bad and ugly, we celebrate the good. We enlighten and educate ourselves., and there are no barriers!