Rubbin’ Minds Last Week: Post election violence & the future

by Kayode Nubi

Yesterday’s episode of Rubbin’ Minds was a gloomy one, but also one that caused the guests and viewers to spring into action. A few minutes before the program went on air, I had the opportunity to sit backstage with some of the guests, and it felt sad that some opinions could not be shared on-air due to press considerations. It was obvious that the topic of the day was one that brought grief to anyone – especially the Nigerian youth.

Chude Jideonwo was a lone presenter, and he and the guests Cheta Nwanze, Ferdinand Adimefe, Olawale Ajani, Yemi Adamolekun, and Sewedo Nupowaku were to discuss and review “The Presidential Election & the Post Election Violence”.

The show kicked off at 3pm on the Channels set. Chude opened on a sad note, as he discussed the aftermath of the Presidential elections, one full of death and destruction. He then went on to introduce Ferdinand Adimefe, Cheta Nwanze, and Olawale Ajani. “The response of the government to the post-election crisis was slow. 6 days unchecked!” were the opening remarks made by Ferdinand Adimefe. This crisis led to the death of some youth corps members, who according to Cheta, did not have a hand in choosing where to serve. He stressed that the welfare of such should be highly prioritized, although it had not been the case, sadly.

Perhaps, this issue would not have come up if there was no such thing as the NYSC program. This led to the question by Chude – “Has the NYSC outlived its usefulness?”

Cheta responded, stating that the NYSC had died a while back when the ‘Nigerian factor’ crept in. He went on to say “Nigeria is a failed state. We have no government” in response to the remark made by Olawale Ajani who confirmed that he called for insurance of corps members, and then evacuation when the crisis started, but nothing had yet been done.

What is the cause of the violence?

The question posted by Chude met with another fiery response from Cheta, as he said the post-election crisis seemed to be sponsored, as they were too organized to be called spontaneous. I noticed a Twitter comment by @azizuko who said “Who gave the rampaging kids drugs? Maybe we should follow the drug trail instead of the money trail?”

“There is need to bring to justice those sponsoring the violence or it will continue,” Cheta said, and all agreed.

The second half of the program had Yemi Adamolekun (Enough is Enough) and Sewedo Nupowaku replace Olawale Ajani and Ferdinand Adimefe. Chude read a post from one of the deceased corps members who before losing his life had been proud to serve God and the country, claiming that the nation’s change had come. This led to a question by Chude – “Has the change really come?”

Yemi answered, saying it was a ‘Yes and no’, because change is a process. Sewedo on the other hand rebutted Cheta’s opinion and said “The NYSC program is expired. It’s time to have an intellectual-driven military service as a substitute”. Perhaps it would allow for mutual respect and good behavior as a person part of society”.

I was particularly surprised when Chude said “We are now in soup! Soup of brainwashing people to commit violent crimes.” Good thing he asked for a way out. Yemi suggested that digitizing records is one way out. She agreed that it could be a lot of work, but work that is worth doing. She called for another look at things.”There is need to look at Nigeria from the bottom-to-top and not top-to-bottom, as this would allow for more citizenry engagements in nation building”.

Sewedo was very diplomatic, as he advocated for working together and not waiting for the government. This brought the episode to an end on set, and as we all proceeded backstage, there were more discussions and plans to spring into action.

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