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#SARSMustEnd: All the Ways Nigerian Youths are Defying Their Parents by Protesting



My father and I were speaking on the phone on Saturday morning when I told him I was going to Alausa to join the #EndSARS protests. He went quiet for a moment, and I knew what was coming: his disapproval.

“Do you have to go?” he said. “There are people there already. You just stay at home and do your work. Let the people protesting protest.”

His sentiment is one shared by so many parents of Nigerians youths. And, when you consider they spent a chunk of their lives under military rule, able to find succour and hope only in religion, birthing the pentecostal fundamentalism and Islamic near-extremism that rules Nigeria today, you begin to understand the fear and why Nigeria is the way it is today.. A very important observation made by Twitter user @teslimalabi_:

My father is afraid for me, like so many other social media users have shown that their parents are afraid for them, too. And they are right to fear: just this Monday afternoon, while President Muhammadu Buhari gave a speech on police reform, the police were opening fire on peaceful protesters in Surulere, killing at least one person. How many died in Ogbomoso? How many were assaulted in Abuja?

But what these parents do not understand is that the fearlessness and gumption we are showing today is necessary so that we will not be on the phone, thirty years from now, dissuading our children from protesting, too, afraid for their lives. That it is necessary, so that we might have a better Nigeria, and become the leaders they long ago told us we’d become in the future.

We are in little ways luckier than they were: our government is not a military one, so they are not quick to submit to impunity. The police, not fearsome and battle-trained soldiers, are the ones on our roads. We have social media, hence the democratisation of information. So we must ride on this luck, refuse to let it go to waste. We must use this little luck of ours, fight for the betterment of, if not our own lives, then the lives coming after us.

See all the ways our generation is defying those that came before us:

Photo Credit: @NoraAwolowo

Niyi Ademoroti is the Features Editor at BellaNaija and an MFA candidate at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. His writing has appeared in AGNI, Hobart and The Republic.

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