By Shakirudeen Bankole
Pastor Tunde Bakare has admonished Nigerian youths to further galvanise themselves into powerful and relatable groups, asking the youths to appoint trusted leaders that would represent them in following up on their demands from the government.
The cleric, said the refusal by the youths to appoint leaders as the protest grew thick only sent wrong signals: that they are not as strategic as they claimed, and that they probably lack trust in their own folks.
Speaking on the Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily on Monday, Bakare expressed concerns that there have been economic deprivation, inequitable distribution of wealth, brazing corruption, and official lawlessness that the generational disconnection between the government and the people, has further nurtured.
But he warned that, given how fantastic the Nigerian youths have coordinated themselves for the first 10 days of the anti-Police Brutality protest in Lagos, also known as #EndSARS, it was time to produce credible representation that would be part of the turn-around process.
According to him, “when this protest began, I was happy to see the young men and women in this country waking up from their slumber.
“But the moment the government had accepted your demands, it was time to change from street protest to progressive one.”
The pro-democracy advocate and convener of EnoughisEnough Group, a political pressure group that once staged public protest against power play in the presidency, stressed that given his experience, “the continued leaderless youths must know that no group functions without leadership. There must be good people amongst them who they can trust enough to advance their positions.
“The declaration that the youths had no leaders in the process was a ‘class suicide’. They must know how to translate protest to progress by engaging the leaders,” he added.
The cleric reminisced how his group had protested in Abuja during the time of late President Musa Yar Adua, and how their continuous engagement with the government yielded a positive result that prompted the confirmation of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as Acting President.
“We have done this, without corrupting ourselves, and we got result. June 12 protest was a different protest because it was a rape of democracy.
“But thank God President Buhari has healed up the wounds by recognising June 12 as Democracy Day and honoring people like late Gani Fawehinmi.
“Part of the gains of continuous engagement of government, through credible representation, as we have done in the past, is what forced the senate to adopt what is now known as the Doctrine of Necessity that later allowed former President become Acting President, when powerful cabal were preventing him to act, and the then president had been incapacitated because of terminal sickness.”