Same Spring, Different Lessons – Ameer Ado Yazid


The Arab spring saw ordinary people stand up to the automatic fire power of brutal dictators often armed with nothing but stones and sticks. Instances where we had/still have all out civil wars (Libya and Syria come to mind) but in places like Egypt it was the unrelenting voices of millions of ordinary citizens that saw the overthrow of unpopular dictators. We saw protesters who were more than willing to risk their lives for freedom defying bullets and tear gases. That I think is as inspiring as it gets.

With things worse than ever in our country, some have wondered if the time is ripe for our own revolution. Some insist it is time we mobilize the millions of impoverished Nigerians, organize massive protests and make our leaders listen or even overthrow them through blood and guts.  While I understand that our people have suffered to the last possible extent you can expect humans to endure, and while we have been failed in every way possible by those who call themselves our leaders, I still believe that a peaceful change is much more desirable. Of course many would disagree with me, with good enough reasons too.

To these people I say; the only revolution we need is in our hearts and minds. Take a look at the post revolution situations of all those countries; do they have peace, freedom and democracy? Are they better off?  I think not. Peace eludes every single one of the post revolution countries. Egypt and Libya are very good examples. The economies are not growing, more people are suffering, and the violence and killings have not stopped. Violence begets more violence and that is why we must conduct our struggle for a better country on the path of peace, patriotism and education.  Let us learn from history rather than ignore it and suffer the consequence.

 That is why I would rather we mobilize for a different cause- educating our people on the need to vote the right people into power come 2015. Educating them to rise above religious or tribal sentiments and make the right choices in voting people into leadership positions. The importance of Meritocracy (choosing people based solely on merit) cannot be overstated. It is a system that has been proven to work all across the world.  There are two forces of change in our world today, the people and the pen.

Hopefully Nigerians have now seen the price that is paid for tribalism and nepotism, we have seen what the man with no shoes has done to our country, and a repeat in 2015 is a scary prospect. The truth is that Nigerians have only one last chance to get it right. Get it right we must because the future of our nation depends on it, may God bless the federal republic of Nigeria.                                                  @Ameer_yZd

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