There is no better time for social influencers to become political influencers than now | #EndSARS

The horrid drama performances as the assumed epilogue of the #EndSARS protests have been nothing short of astounding. From express denials of some authorities to the outright overlook by the central power of the #LekkiMassacre, among other carnage, the ire and frustration of Nigerian youth and older ones in solidarity would be perfectly understandable.

Celebrities and popular figures across the globe all took out time to encourage Nigerian youth in their fight against police brutality, which is, without doubt, a microcosm of the larger governance issues plaguing the Nigerian country.

Despite sustained protests, on the streets and on the internet – social media – it is apparent that those at the helm are deliberately crafting narratives which would suit their motives.

The latest which has drawn much criticism on media platforms within and beyond the country is the discovery of a camera at the Lekki toll gate, the site of the infamous #LekkiMassacre, by former Lagos governor and current minister of works and housing, Babatunde Fashola.

The manner in which Fashola made the discovery was sarcastically likened by many to that of a professional investigative analyst and forensic expert.

Flip the coin and you will see Speaker, House of Representatives, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, saying that it would cost Lagos about a trillion naira to rebuild, following vandalisation of government and private properties.

 

What all these suggest is that the current set of leadership has little empathy for the welfare of the Nigerian youth; the supposed future of the nation. It is therefore paramount that the Nigerian youth need to move from the level of agitators to becoming the decision-makers, and crucial to these will be youthful social influencers and celebrity figures.

The presence of Runtown and Falz was crucial to the spread of the #EndSARS protest in Lagos which eventually spread to other parts of the country. Other celebrities, alongside their devoted fanbase, joined the cause afterwards. In the UK, many testified to the assuring presence of Wizkid in having a successfully organised protest while Adekunle Gold was hugely influential in Houston, USA. The likes of Davido, Mr Macaroni, Small doctor, among many others, were hugely involved in sustaining the momentum of protests in Nigeria.

It is because of the influence they wield over legions of fans that brands line up to engage them and this will prove instrumental in convincing youths to get actively involved in politics as they intend to move from the edge to the helm.

Afrobeats star, Davido, has already called on Nigerian youth to get their Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) ahead of the next general elections.

Similarly, another popular singer, Simi, expressed the need to have grassroots enlightenment and the possible need for a political association made up of young minds.
To be candid, when we have influential voices encouraging active political participation, you should probably expect better results than an NGO would. As we bore witness to the massive mobilisation and participation of our media influencers, it is perhaps time for them to metamorphose into political influencers and perhaps drive the new wave of leadership Nigerians seek.

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