By Hon. Babatunde Ogala
I have heard some of those who forget history or had no knowledge of same say older generations failed the country.
And I ponder about their lack of knowledge of history of struggles in the country.
Some generations before ours fought for Nigeria’s independence at great risks.
Some others took over the gauntlet from there and fought in the Ali must go protests of 1977 and even the students revolt of 1963.
They played their parts and left for others to take up going forward.
Some others participated and led the June 12 1993 protests at very high risk to their lives. They faced the jackboots and many lost their lives for the democracy which we all now enjoy and gavr us the voice to even express ourselves freely and assemble to protest today.
Many were killed.
Every generation played its role in their youthful days as the youth of today and have now handed over the gauntlet to them.
So the protesting youths are only playing their parts as many before them did which laid the foundation for the freedom they enjoy today. They need be commended for so doing.
So my advise has always been not to accuse generations before now of failure because those generations laid the foundation which the present are building on and generations after the current ones will also build thereon.
There will never be an end to protests and agitations as we have seen in even in the most advanced countries.
Without the sacrifices of those who fought the colonialists; those who fought military and were exiled , imprisoned, and killed there won’t be the democracy and freedom that we all enjoy today that has made the current wave of protests possible.
Every generation played a role to get us to where we are for the present to take it therefrom.
We need to be educating and reminding ourselves including our children on this where opportuned to so do.
The protests of Ali Must Go 1977, June 12 1993 and Subsidy protests of 2012 were bigger and were led by generations of youths before now..
And I dare say the ways of the past didn’t fail and indeed laid the foundation for freedom of speech and assembly hence we have the democratic space of today to take it from where those before now stopped.
The June 12 struggle didn’t fail and it berthed the democracy of today
The Aba women riots didn’t fail.
The subsidy protests of 2012 didn’t fail.
Ali Must Go protests of 1977 didn’t fail.
Those advising alternative approaches and calling for a truce are not finding faults or in opposition to the current wave, but are rather suggesting ways to make things better to yield results .
Perspectives may differ. So can approaches to achieving the same goal.
Those who led in 2012 were not picked or compromised.
Even those of 1993 that were picked, jailed and exiled didn’t compromise.
It was a high price many paid including with their lives. Many of the frontliners are alive and here on this platform.
Even those of who proffer alternative approaches see that as solution and not opposition.