There are so many things I want to say about the past 3 years, but I am contractually prevented from saying them by my publisher, because they’re going to be in my book ‘Breaking Point: A Journalist’s Search For Joy In Times Of Chaos’.
Suffice to say that I personally have paid a much higher price for all the work I do than most people are aware of. I have lived my ideology and walked my talk, but it has come at a massive personal cost, and I’ve had to chest it because what else can I do? I’ve always understood that if you want to be taken serious, you have to demonstrate how much of a bastard you are capable of being. The world has no use for peaceful people.
Polite, inoffensive people who only speak well-conjugated English and do little else are not respected, and will never be. The world only takes any notice of people who DO, not people who SAY. If the world pigeonholes you as a coward who only likes to talk, you will never get anything out of it.
The reason why Neymar and Ronaldo are now playing in the Saudi League and there is some social liberalisation happening across the Gulf today is because our contemporaries at Tahrir Square 12 years ago decided to DO instead of SAY. Their actions changed the Arab world forever. They have something to tell their children.
I personally have done my part, and I have paid a terrible price for it. Just how terrible you really have no idea. The last time I had a fixed address, I was 28. I’m 33 years old now. I have never tried to be a hero. Everything I ever did was because I genuinely believed in walking my talk and acting my beliefs. That’s why I’ve never asked for help or complained about my circumstances.
Wednesday September 6 is the day that Nigerians will demonstrate to the world whether we have come of age and we deserve to be taken seriously, or if we are still polite English speakers who will find ways to merge with the wall when our backs are pushed against it. It sounds like a cliche to say that the world is watching, but the world really is watching this time.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the drug trafficker, document forger and unelected impostor illegally occupying the presidency, expects that he has successfully compromised Nigeria’s judiciary, and will have his ludicrous power grab legitimised by the court. Despite this, he himself is so unsure of how this will play out with the Nigerian people that he has temporarily fled the country as he did during #EndSARS, citing the excuse of the G-20 summit – which actually starts on Saturday the 9th.
I myself am doing media work at the G20 summit and I can tell you for free that nobody shows up this early. He and the rest of the world are simply waiting and watching to see whether Nigeria’s 200 million+ people will by silence and/or cowardice, consent to be mocked in a way no other population of people this size has ever been mocked in recorded human history.
His gamble is that we will. My hope is that we will not.
If we prove him right, then the sacrifices that some of us have made would have been for nothing, and Nigeria, with all of its 200 million people would have agreed to be treated as if it is of no more consequence than Burundi or Equatorial Guinea. If we prove him wrong, then the future is whatever we want it to be.
Whatever happens, the world will be watching all 200 million Nigerians.