Guys, how are you feeling?
The past weeks have been..sigh, long sigh. Honestly, at this point, words fail me to express exactly how I feel. I feel drained. Emotionally drained over the events of the past weeks, #EndSars.
If you have been following what has been happening so far in Nigeria, you should be acquainted with the #EndSars protest; how a peaceful demonstration against police brutality swiftly degenerated into a bloody massacre.
10/20/20 A day we will never forget. We had to watch the horror of Nigerian lives wasted as bullets rained down on protestors by security operatives.
A change has taken place. Something profound has been stirred in all of us, and we know it.
Right now, we may be traumatized, mentally exhausted, physically battered. But I think I speak for all youths saying we are not giving up. We are not quitting. We are not backing down till we build the Nigeria we want.
I hit it up with some hard-working, exceptional, courageous, determined, headstrong Nigerian youths – believe it, to be headstrong in Nigeria could be a lifesaver. It takes a generous amount of courage and perseverance to get up, dust off, and keep pushing every time you hit a wall.
We talked about the #endsars movement, the possibilities we now see, and what next.
We have gotten to the point where we have decided we no longer want to be the leaders of tomorrow, but now, and that change is happening as you read this.
How has the past week been for you so far with the #EndSars protest and all that happened?
I almost had a mental shutdown. Thank God for the President’s speech. It kinda revived me( I had a good laugh). I couldn’t feel worse than I was already feeling, so I had to flip it for myself. Rather than feeling sad, I became relieved. Which is strange tho.
Let’s just say the past week has been overwhelming. At a point, I started feeling anxious that war was going to happen in our country. And we all know that war is not a beautiful thing.
One major takeaway from the whole thing is the undeniable truth that the Nigerian youths could achieve a lot if only they unite and speak in one voice.
Not been easy. For days I woke up angry. I resumed work today but for the past two weeks. My family has been my support system.
Do you feel the beginning of change has come?
Absolutely. We’re maturing as a democracy. However, democracy is largely utopian. It almost does not exist anywhere. We cannot wait for the government anymore we need to take responsibility.
What are you looking forward to in the coming days?
We are all watching. Like I told someone, my aim is still 2023 senatorial seat. I’m running under the bill of #NotTooYoungTo Run. I want to be based in my community. Stay there for as long as I hold that office. So my people can be close to me, and I’ll be able to feel what they feel. This year is gone.
I just know we have fought a good fight. I don’t think the protests should continue. The killings don’t have to go on.
It was a good fight with a vision without a leader. It scared the government. But they knew that the uninformed ones were more than the informed, and they used that to our disadvantage. It was a chess game with little or not enough planning. We’ve not lost, but in the end, we have to put it on ourselves to inform and educate people before 2023.
This new week I am hopeful and strongly believe a new Nigeria will happen someday. And I seriously can’t wait for 2023 to come already because now that we know better, we will vote better.
What are your hopes for Y D P?
It’s not concrete yet. We don’t know if it’s going to materialize, but if it does, then we will go for it. My fear is that we should not be divided. YDP pops up and then they bribe another faction to bring YPP or something to cause chaos.
I will be following the YDP progress to see if they really register it as a party for the 2023 elections and if they do, I’ll register as a member and declare my intentions. But if they don’t, I’ll join a registered party and let my community know of my intentions to run for the senate.
We need youths well represented in the coming elections, but how can we make this happen? And how can we make our votes count?
We will be at every polling unit. We will escort the votes down to where they want to count it. Any strange transaction, an alarm will be raised. Just like the Edo election, everyone will be shocked at the new things that will happen in our favor.
Fliers are going round. They all can’t read, but we who can, any opportunity should be used in sensitization. Let us make sure we all get P V Cs. I love it that the youths know what they want and are going for it. If we can get people to come out and vote, then the elections will be difficult to rig; for example, the Edo state elections.
It has been a very trying time. How do you take care of your health – mental health?
My mental health is unshaken. I have resumed work now.
Taking a break off the media. I had a lot of emotions bottled up during the week. Maybe I’ll find a way to express myself one day. For now, I am sure it’s a continuous struggle, and I hope we win.
Surrounding myself with loved ones and positive people helps a lot at times like this.
Featured image: Victor Odiba @shoeboxphotography
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