Days ago, some Twitter users unearthed tweets they allegedly linking promoters of the #EndSARS protests to the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
These tweets had different captions and opinions shared during elections, and the outcry came mostly from young people apologetic to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
In an attempt to legitimise the movement, they claim that the entire #EndSARS protests were sponsored. This kind of dog whistling is dangerous as it fits right into the despotic script currently being played by the government. The Government has frozen accounts of some prominent promoters of the #EndSARS movement while state security authorities still pick up protesters randomly.
This is dangerous and against the tenets of democracy. What makes it even more dangerous is the attempt at linking some of the frontline members of the movement to the opposition; thus making it look all political.
It is clear that the accusations are dead on arrival , but it is worth examining. If we are to assume that indeed, these #EndSARS promoters are opposition members, does that disqualify them from being active citizens?
The answer is no! In democracies, the primary role of the opposition is to keep the government on its toes and ensure that they are fair in policies and execution. Opposition is not primarily for antagonism, it is also for progress.
Every government needs self awareness and an internal critique system for their policies. In the absence of that, the opposition should put their feet to fire and do that. The overall goal for both, should be the progress of the people. All these are based on the assumption that Bolatito ‘Rinu’ Oduala, Modupe ‘Mochevious’ Odele and other active young people are members of the opposition party; which is not proven. They are only active citizens who took valid positions during election campaigns. It is improper to demonise people for their political positions as long as it does not hurt anyone.
Also, we have to really define what we want, because if we really want positive changes – active citizenship is a must. We really need more young people going into mainstream politics in Nigeria. Young people are taking up positions as Special Advisers but we need more than that, to effect the changes needed.
More young people should join mainstream politics and straddle politics with activism, it is needed.
“Ayọ̀délé Ìbíyẹmí is a lifetime student of Literature. He is also a reader who writes occasionally. For him, words are what makes the intractable world livable. Ayo tweets at @Ayo_eagles. He was a Wawa Book Review Young Literary Critics Fellow and won the 2019 Ken Saro-Wiwa Prize for Book Review.”