Image Credits: SPAR.
Disappointed with Buhari’s address
Filmmaker, Kunle Afolayan, in reaction to Thursday’s nationwide address by the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, has called on the youths to build on the gains of the #EndSARs protest by going into active politics. In a video he posted on social media, he said joining politics was the sure way forward. The full text of his message to the youths is below:
“For me, all I can take away from this is that all of us as Nigerians need to come to one table and let’s leave sentiments aside. It’s so obvious that these people don’t give a hoot about us. Look at what is happening, the looting at the different stores. All the people who own stores in all those malls at Adeniran Ogunsanya, Lekki Phase 1, what becomes of them? It is really pathetic because I was really looking forward to a good address but (in Yoruba) this one has farted in one’s mouth and added sand on top. It is really bad.
So, my own take is 2023 is just around the corner. We’ve all been agitating for change, not the change that these people promised, but real change. And we have a lot of young people around who are advocating for change. People should start coming together, forming groups, pressure groups, political groups. I’m not talking about just venting. A lot of people go on social media and talk. No, I am talking about doers. And there are doers in different fields of endeavour – engineers, doctors, scientists, educationists, those in entertainment – music, visual arts, entrepreneurs who are doing well like Bucknor, and all of these people, I think it is high time we started coming together and everybody will bring their thoughts to the table. Because by 2023, they are going to bring other people and they would impose these people on us, and they would give you no choice. So, you have to say, do we pick this Baba Rugbo who is sixty-something or you pick this guy who is in his 50s but has been part of the racket from the beginning. All of them.
I just would advise that let’s not destroy what we have built. Because we built an amazing country. Some of us would rather live and die in this country. Some of us haven’t stepped out of this country since COVID-19, which is a long time and we are surviving, we are working. But all these things, let’s get involved in getting into the legislature, judiciary, and executive. Let’s find a way to occupy some of these seats.
When the likes of Buhari and Idiagbon did this thing, about 30 years or more ago, some of the people who are there now, were young people in school. Some were in primary and secondary schools, but they got there, they tasted power and money and influence. They have dipped their hands in that mess. So, it’s difficult to come out.
A lot of people will say, why is the VP not talking, and so on. Let’s not even go there. But what I think will bring lasting solution to this is everybody using their voices. But beyond that, also join the movement. And when I say movement, I’m not saying, let’s just shout and get them to put things in place. Let’s become part of the reform. Let’s get there.
Some people are really interested in politics. If you are the type interested in politics, step forward. And some of us will join, will push you. And people of like minds will come around and we’d get you to that position. If we don’t do so, by 2023 they will bring out other people who have been looting, who have been eating, who have been killing this country. And then, we’d have no choice than to pick bad to very bad. Or from very bad to worse.
It really can be better. It is really painful. This presidential address I was looking forward to it because my hope and my joy would be that tomorrow, things are back to normal. All the people whose shops and properties were vandalized, perhaps, there would be some form of concession. Government needs to help provide. Because in Nigeria, when it comes to insurance…vehicles don’t even have comprehensive insurance…and some of the insurance companies, in the details, insurance does not cover riots and looting. So where does this leave us? There is wahala. Serious wahala.
But again, let me plead. Let’s stop killing ourselves. Let’s stop looting. Imagine Yomi Casuals shop. Look at all these shops on Admiralty Way. These are normal people like me and you. Some of them took loans form the bank to set up all of these things. (Yoruba) Where are they going to get the money? What are they going to do? It’s worrisome. But, please let’s do the right thing. And the right thing is if you are interested in politics, start now. Come out. All of us will verify your integrity and we have to be sure you have not been part of those people. And then, we’d support. I think that’s what we need to do. Please. Please. Please. It is our country. It is our Lagos. It is our Nigeria. Let us not become a case of, ‘which way Nigeria?’
I pray this thing clears by tomorrow. I pray that the people who have really ruined the lives of innocent Nigerians…(in Yoruba) the person that does not sell sand market, will not collect stone money. But they have sold sand market and want to collect more than stone money. You can gather billions today and everything will just perish right in front of your eyes. The people who are making the nation cry, that is how their own will be. Whoever has said that child of the poor will not rise…if you go to school, if you study hard, your parents toiled to ensure you get good education, and you finish and then getting a job becomes a struggle, your sweat and all your parents expended, and invested in you becoming somebody will definitely question and bring down all of these people. Our eyes will not see evil, it’s good things we’d see day by day. Please let’s harmonise to be one Nigeria. Let’s move forward. Because that address simply says, What’s next? So that what’s next, is a question for you and me. What is next, is all of us coming together, uniting and then taking this country to a better place.”