The Implicatons Of The ‘October 1’ Protest

To tell ourselves the hard and bitter teaspoonful truth, where we are in the Nigerian state is not desirable, if it were desirable, we would be talking about sustainability, which is not the case.

The putrefaction of our dear Nigeria country has brought same to a nadir. We are at zero point. The Nigerian state is sitting on a keg of gun powder. Worryingly, everyone is acting as though, they are not affected by the evils that come with the current systemic administration and this is not good for a developing and growing country as ours, for it is cowardice to be an onlooker in the face of oppression and tyranny.

The reasons for the fixed historical duty, which is the October 1 protest, are not far-fetched.

That we might have full knowledge of the implications of the October 1 protest, it is most pertinent that we tell ourselves a little history of the epoch date and why the date remains a date with destiny.

It is trite knowledge that the Nigerian state got her independence on the 1st of October, 1960.  Now, before the said independence came, the Nigeria state was a collection of peoples. We had the oyo empire, the benin empire, the kanem bornu empire, the sokoto caliphate, the igbos with their republican spirit and the likes. These collection of peoples nevertheless disagreed with themselves and found a way of coming together when they needed to get things done. These collection of peoples had their different system of governance and were evolving at their different pace and space until the white man came and amalgamated the northern and southern protectorates in the year 1914 and ruled the Nigerian state with their system of governance which they claim to be superior to ours, indirectly exploiting and extorting us in broad day light with harsh and draconian policies.

Not to travel too far in history, the Nigerian peoples, feeling the heat of domination by the western powers, the unduly racial discrimination and arbitrary exploitation and extortion from the colonial masters, pushed a movement for their independence, to get off the wicked claws and shackles of the white domination, which can be tailored, doctored and authored to mean that the Nigerian peoples can in actuality, give themselves a defined law which they all will abide by, most importantly treat themselves equally for the western powers treated them as less humans and lastly, could govern themselves .

Sadly, the current Nigerian state has gone to the dogs. It is more of a banana republic. Since the independence, the Nigerian oppressors whom we refer to as leaders are after their own pocket, forgetting the primary and solidarity course we fought the white man out of our lands.

If the beginning is well, we must struggle not to fail for the beginning and the end keep pending. The Nigerian state has started well by fighting out their freedom from the evil and tricky colonialist but have since began to fail themselves by disregarding the spirit of oneness which philosopher savingy describes as the volkgeist spirit, the feeling of belonging to a particular group.

The Nigerian economy is dying by the day. The poor continues to get poorer at the expense of the rich. The government has neglected its primary functions contained under section 14(2)(b), 1999 CFRN, which holds that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government”.  It suffices to say that the government has the sole responsibility of seeing that the citizens are being provided with the basic and necessary amenities of life, that they are protected from any seen and unforeseen forces within or outside the state. Sadly and painfully, since the independence of the Nigerian state, the Nigerian peoples go to bed with one eye opened and one eye closed, for fear of being killed or kidnapped whilst asleep.

In the words of a young radical human rights activist, FESTUS OGUN:

“Electricity, we power our generators,

Water, we dig our boreholes,

Roads, we contribute to patch,

School, we sponsor ourselves,

Hospital, we pay our bills,

Security, we hire mai-guards. What exactly does the Nigerian government do for its citizen other than to impoverish and kill?

We no longer have a government, what we have is a group of people carting away the national cake of the Nigerian state for their generation yet unborn.

A time comes when one must take a position that is neither political nor popular, nor ethnical, nor religiously affiliated, but one must take it because conscience deems it right.

Seated heavily on the above mantra, persons have dusted their boots and tied their shoe laces to take to streets and be at the barricade come October 1, to bring to the remembrance of the Nigerian government and awareness of the general public that our government have not only failed us but more so, have adopted the evil, ungodly, unholy and Gestapo system of administration of the colonialist.

The October 1 protest is coming as a result of the frustrations and tiredness of the people as regards the Adolf Hitler blown system of rule, the disregard for human lives, the insecurity in the land, the terrorism and tyranny that has befallen the country, the high cost of living and commodity, the underfunding of education, the unfavourable policy at the expense of the masses, broad day light extortion by uniformed men.

The case of the October 1 protest is more like the case of a man who has been pushed the wall and has come angrily, in the open to challenge the unjust push.

There is no difference between the current evil and autocratic Nigerian government and that of the ones whom we fought orally and physically to attain our independence. They are one and the same, they are two sides of the same coin, more understandably, they are like Siamese twins. Their actions are for their good alone, the welfare of the Nigerian peoples do not matter to them.

The continued prevalent ills and malady in the society without rapid and first aid panacea to them as it affects the peoples is what has birthed the October 1 protest, the people, demanding and requesting for a better society that works for all- an egalitarian society.

The ‘monkey dey work, baboon dey chop’ must come to an end in our society. The poor cannot continue to labour while the supposed leaders, the oppressors, indirectly reap the labour of the poor by making harsh and draconian policy, making them pay for unreasonable pass ticket to sells their goods in market places.

We can no longer continue to live in the hobbesian state, where life was poor, solitary, nasty, brutish and short in nature.  The Nigerian state must borrow a leaf from those who have trekked the rugged path of democracy and are now reaping their dividends. Why?, following the infallible words of Thomas Jefferson, ex-american president, ‘the rule of law is enthroned when the government fears the people, but when the people fears their government, it leads to tyranny’. It suffices to say that, sovereignty is with the people, the people decide how they should be ruled and whatever the people say is rubberstamp.

That the administration and positive good of the larger number of the general public must be in contradistinction to that of the colonial era, where the welfare of the peoples were not taken into consideration has incited the move for the October 1 protest.

Worryingly, the harvest is plentiful and the labourers are few. Many are still waiting to become direct victims of this shenanigan regime, which is only sheer hypocrisy.

In the end, we shall not only remember the wickedness of our enemies but more so, the silence of our friends.

It cannot be a lie to posit that the October 1 protest is for the good of the general public.

Aluta Continua.

JOSEPH ALIU, is a Human Rights Activist, Good Governance Advocate and a Law undergraduate, Oou chapter and can be reached via 09029265474, 09085773212,


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