Nigerians are Angry, and if Deliberate and Quick steps not Taken to assuage their anger, all Nigerians may become terrorist


Yesterday, President Muhammadu Buhari was expected by many people to be at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium to join in cheering the Super Eagles in their match against the Black Stars of Ghana. The President failed to show up. Many analysts have suggested that the President must have been advised by his security details that he might be booed by those at the stadium, whether Nigerians won or lost the match.

Whoever advised the President against attending that football match was proven right by the reaction of the fans at the end of the game. Fans went berserk, destroying important infrastructure at the stadium and there are even reports that a doctor attached to CAF lost his life in the stampede. I do not think this reaction by a good number of the fans was just in reaction to the failure of their darling Super Eagles to make it to the Qatar World Cup, but an outpouring of their frustration with what is happening in the country. The truth is that Nigeria has never had it so bad, and one would be being silly to argue otherwise.

As condemnable as their reaction was, these fans were mostly Nigerians who might not be sure of where the next meal would be coming from – even though most of them might have good degrees put away in their cupboards as there are no jobs. Many of them who work or are self-employed, might be facing the frustrations we face at filling stations over the last three months, others have their foods in fridges spoilt because of power supply over the past months. There could be others whose businesses have crumbled because of things as simple as; poor electricity, bad road infrastructure, low patronage, and with things as complex as; depreciating value of the Naira, forex scarcity, high excise duties, poor credit facility, bad economic policy, etc.

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There could be people who have lost loved ones to the seemingly inscrutable insecurity ravaging the country, there could be people who recently got out of illegal detention by the Police and there were certainly people who have been direct victims of bad government policies or outright nepotism. What about contractors whose monies are seized merely because they do not come from a particular section of the country? What about those whose means of survival and feeding their dependents have been blocked by the current administration and its operators? What about genuinely hardworking people tagged smugglers by my Party?

There would certainly be frustrated artistes among the mob. Those whose talent haven’t been given a window to be expressed. Those who have been exploited and discarded? Those whose passion has been drained by a drowning ruling class? Those whose patriotism has been thrown right back on their faces and made to understand how stupid they are for believing?

The video showed that there was not a particular age group involved in that disturbance. There were young people, middle aged, women, girls and I even saw a man who couldn’t be anything less than seventy. There could have been civil servants, private businessmen, professionals and even members of the Armed Forces couldn’t do much or were not inspired enough to do much to stop the rampage. We should understand that these security agents are human beings, they are citizens and there are no special protections accorded to them to escape the hardship in the country.

If anyone wants to tell the President the truth, then, he has to understand that the rarest thing to find in Nigeria today is a genuinely happy citizen. Even the President would be lying if he claims to be happy. His wife has not hidden her own disappointment. She had even joined protest marches, and if she were at that stadium yesterday, I doubt if she wouldn’t join in expressing her frustration with what Nigeria has become under our Party. The. President should understand that almost every adult Nigerian is sad. And, very few of them would be able to resist the option of taking up arms against the nation. Yes, majority of Nigerians could become terrorists if they have the access to arms or anything that could make them express their dissatisfaction with how Nigeria is being run.

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One of the problems with our leaders is that they do not pay attention to history and even current trends all over the world. The Arab Spring was ignited by a vegetable hawking young man setting himself on fire in frustration. Many of the world’s revolutionary actions were triggered by a seeming isolated expression of anger by a citizen or a group of citizens. This riot at the national stadium, even with all the efforts made by the government to make the people happy -free tickets, free buses, etc – should tell us that there could be a keg of gunpowder that could explode at anytime. Let us work hard to avert the disaster.

These things are simple. The president can quickly resolve some of the most pressing issues. Make petrol available, liberalize the market, improve the security situation in the country, open up opportunities for jobs for our youths. What is stopping the millions of youths who applied for nirsal loan from getting it, while politicians are packing multiple billions of Naira in their backyards? Why is the EFCC always quick to arrest and get young internet scammers jailed while politicians who didn’t only steal billions but stole the future of our country are prosecuted in eternity? Why are many innocent people languishing in jails, while many criminals are dining in government houses? Why do terrorists who kill thousands and destroy billions worth of public infrastructure granted amnesty and paid by government while those who steal smart phones are put in jail for years?

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Government must become human focused or risk a situation where there could be a mass suicide action by the citizens. Even the best Army in the world cannot stop citizens taken for a ride for too long.


Onwuasoanya is a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress and the immediate past Publicity Secretary of the Party in Imo State.

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