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Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria: Are Nigerians Watching? By Chiechefulam Ikebuiro

Tarek-el-Tayyib Mohammed Ben Bouazizi, a Tunisian street trader who was in debt and tried to keep his small business afloat, set himself alight on December 17 2010, in protest at the repeated confiscation of his goods.

Tarek-el-Tayyib Mohammed Ben Bouazizi, a Tunisian street trader who was in debt and tried to keep his small business afloat, set himself alight on December 17 2010, in protest at the repeated confiscation of his goods.

This singular act by this frustrated lad was the catalyst that sparked street demonstrations which saw the Tunisian people turn out to protest against President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Tunisians rallied against unemployment, corruption and lack of freedom of speech and they remained on the streets protesting. This is despite clashes with the police and military. Boy did they win!...Well on the 14th of January, Tunisians proved right the saying, Vox Populi, Vox Dei, when president Ben Ali resigned after 23 years in power.

He is now wanted by Interpol.

On January 25th 2011, it was the turn of the Egyptians. These people demanded the outright resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. This particular protest was largely peaceful as thousands gathered at Tahir square in Cairo and remained there through attempts by the Government to move them.

The people of Egypt wanted freedom,elections as well as jobs, and on February 11, President Hosni Mubarak resigned after 30 year of running (or is it ruining?) his country.

Today it's Algeria. You know this is a country with a history of civil unrest.

In January this year,there were protest on the streets against high food prices and high unemployment. The government moved against this protest by lowering food prices.
Poverty is still a major problem as corruption as well as poor living conditions in Algeria. Know how Algerians took to the streets in protest?

Algerians defied the law against public demonstrations which is in place due to the country continually being in state of emergency and gathered in May 1 square in Algiers. There is no disputing what the outcome would be. They would not rest until they win. Wonderful, never say die spirit!

There is an uprising in North Africa! They have awoken!

When will we? You know i just sit and wonder why exactly these people have decided to revolt. What suffering they are going through that we have not gone through here in Nigeria a hundred times. They have now realized that they can shape their destiny..and they grabbed it!

Are we ever going to wake up to this reality in Nigeria?

Recently on my Facebook status I asked how many people would come out if there was to be a protest today, and I was amazed at the responses. Most people said they would not move an inch out of their houses.

The truth is Nigerians have really had it up to 'here'.This is a country where much abound and we live in penury. Nothing (in the real sense of it) works .

We have seen it all. In fact we are the best-best at taking shit,and of course shoving it down out throats. Plus,you know what? Our leaders do not even care what we feel or think. After all we all enjoy the way they treat us, or don't we?

Over one hundred and fifty million Nigerians being molested by less than a hundred thousand few and we do not even have the nerve to say NO MORE? chaaaaii! We are actually double the population of Egypt.

A country that has been languishing for decades. A country where thousands die by the day via road accidents and one man smiles to the bank with money meant for road repairs.

Ask a Nigerian and he tells you "leave them, na God go judge them"...hmmm.

A country that makes so much via crude oil, and her people wallow in abject povery. Housing is a mess. Joblessness grow by the day!

Should a country like ours still be talking about lack of power at this time when it is just a normal thing to most of our neighbours? Ask an average Nigerian and he tells you"e go better"..funny!

Even if the whole of Africa protests and revolt over the injustice meted out on them by their leaders, Nigerians,the citizens of the so called giant of Africa would not! Any time a few start to protest over, say workers' salary, most of the people start to beg the protesters to back down. Can you beat that? You get to hear disgusting words like "e don do now, no be ordinary salary? "Salary? Ordinary?..We need healing!" leave them, na only God go punish them"..Ever heard the voice of the people being the voice of God?

You know Fela was spot on when he sang that song about nobody wanting to die (for their rights). Is this how we intend to leave Nigeria ?Would our generations to come live this same way? Egypt, Tunisia and recently Algeria have all moved drastically to secure the future of their generations to come. Against all odds. Do you know that it's a taboo to protest in the Arab world? Well, these people did, because they could not take the injustice anymore.

For how long are we going to remain like this? These guys (our leaders) are actually living in paradise at our expense. Their children do not school here. They do not use the hospitals here, neither do they use our roads frequently.

How long more are our graduates going to roam the streets for jobs?

The three hundred or so people that died during this course in Egypt did not die in vain. They are heroes. Something's got to give!

Do you, yes you, want to (or think you can) live forever? How could we be so self centered and not think about our unborn generation?

As a child I shouted 'up Nepa". I still do after 29 years! Haba! E neva do???

I hope we all come to realize that we actually can change our country. We can make masquerades posing as leaders do our wish. We can have constant power supply, potable water, good roads, education, as well as employment and all the good things of life, IF we want.

I just hope we do not wake up late.

Chiechefulam Ikebuiro
[email protected]

This piece was first published on  02/21/2011.Today Egypt just decided Morsi has not met their expectations.He is gone(after 1 year).


The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

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