By Frank Pukon
It was because of policy inconsistencies from the apartheid government’s administration in South Africa, which led to institutionalised racial prejudice that made the the likes of Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu, and host of others in reawakening South Africa’s rebirth to national unity and multiracial justice.
Indeed, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” —Martin Luther King Jr.
A 2020, article by History.com posits how the Great Depression and World War II, brought increasing economic challenges to South Africa, by convincing the government to strengthen its policies of racial segregation, but Madiba after a long walk to freedom, advocated for National reconciliation, unity and peace.
The late Mandela today is an icon globally and a legacy to Africa, but Prime Minister Thatcher who called him a terrorist: I don’t know what she is to the European continent or the world, today.
I believe for project Nigeria to live to its prospect of hope, dignity and peaceful coexistence, President Buhari ought to emulate Mandela’s footprints.
President Buhari has two options, implement the confab report of 2014, or make his own National Conference centred amongst the youths.
The reason being that Mandela after he was viciously victimised became President at age 75, whilst, President Buhari is age 77, in the last of his 2nd term as a Nigerian President.
However, the latter owes a record as a former Nigerian military strongman (officer) who toppled a democratically elected government; while the former fought for multiracial democracy.
Just like #Blackslivesmatter, #Metoo movements, the #Endsars movement is a genuine and legitimate cause of a young generation subjected to police brutality, bad governance and divisive rhetorics.
Let me at this junction commiserate with my fellow young Nigerians and the families of those who died fighting for a better country. It hurts, but the indelible sacrifice they have made is the journey to a new national rebirth.
Protest in democracy is a fundamental doctrine, and in our case it is a constitutional obligation for good governance, accountability and transparency, as Atiku Abubakar posits in his Independence Day message: “We must promote freedom of speech and freedom after the speech.”
I don’t want to believe our leaders know the grave consequences to the physical brutality and governance improvishment that have spread across the nation.
Nigeria can be restructured for a better policing and accountable governance.
Pukon is the Secretary-General of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide