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Nyerere Mildred: The Anti-Buhari Protesters in the UK – How Their Ignorance May Reflect Yours



anti buhari

We won’t be forgetting the videos of the Nigerian UK-based youths protesting in front of Chatham House against the candidature of APC presidential aspirant, Muhammadu Buhari anytime soon.

Many are still debating about the controversial footage. How come most of them seemed to be clueless as to why they were actually protesting? Were they paid by some PDP members to protest against Buhari? If so, why would they engage in such a corrupt act?

In case you missed the videos, here they are:

As you can see from this video, many of the protesters didn’t seem to know exactly why they were protesting. The interviewer, said to be Rose P. Graham who co-presents #PolitricksWithKO on BEN-TV UK, subsequently expresses disappointment at their level of ignorance, and goes on to allege that they may have been paid by the PDP camp.

Even more shocking is the second video in which the main organizer of the protest admits that she specializes in organizing such protests. She can be heard saying “today we can organize to support Jonathan, then tomorrow, Buhari.”

People weighing in on the debate so far have condemned the students for their ignorance and heaped tons of insults on them because of the alleged bribe they received to stage the protests.

I think it is about time we stopped the vitriol and started asking the more pressing questions. For instance, What is the reason for their ignorance? If it is indeed true that they were paid to do so, what is a plausible reason for this?

The answer to these questions may reveal that to a certain extent, that many of us are just as ignorant as the Chatham House protesters.

Plausible reasons for their ignorance

The Media has trivialized the 2015 elections, framing it as merely a “Survival of the Fittest” Match between Buhari and President Goodluck Jonathan. As a result, may have become jaded and ignorant about what the actual real issues are. Many have become ignorant of the bigger picture.

For instance, you will recall the Economist‘s controversial article titled Nigeria’s Election: The Least Awful, in which the 2015 elections were framed as a competition between President Goodluck Jonathan, whom they called ‘a failed president’ and Muhammadu Buhari – ‘a former dictator with blood on his hands.’ The New York Times‘ ‘Nigeria’s Miserable Choices’ also trivialized discourse about the elections.

To a large extent, both candidates are guilty of causing the media to frame the discourse in such a fluffy manner. As Ex-CBN governor Charles Soludo said: Both candidates have not given Nigerians a candid explanation of what exactly it will take to implement the reforms they have promised to make – this is the bigger picture. And many of us have become ignorant of this.

From my perspective, this is why the anti-Buhari Chatham protesters had absolutely no idea why they were even protesting because in their minds, the 2015 elections are just a “Buhari vs. Jonathan” thing. This is why they can have the conscience to support Buhari today, and Jonathan tomorrow. They probably thought, “Hey! Why not just pick whatever side we feel like picking today and make some extra pocket money? After all no one even knows what they are talking about.”

In this regard, many of us are just as ignorant as they are. Do we have an accurate understanding of how these candidates intend to implement the changes they are promising? Do we really care? Or are we just “picking a side” in order to just pick the best of the worst? or just vote and get it over with?

Editor’s note*
Opinion pieces on BellaNaija are representative of the writers and are not indicative of the opinion of the BellaNaija team.