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Who needs traditional protests when we have social media!

Who needs traditional protests when we have social media!

By: Chuks Chinyere (jj)

It’s 2019 fam. We are bringing tech into every aspect of our lives — or is it taking every aspect of our lives and putting it into tech? I’m not sure though, but whatever it is, trust Nigerians to overdo it.

If there is one thing we know how to do as Nigerians, it’s knowing and doing better than our teachers. In most cases, we’re actually doing before knowing, or doing without knowing whilst we act like we know it all. I might sound like I don’t really know what I’m talking about o, but I can assure you that I do. I have been Nigerian for a long time.

In all honesty, I’m proud to be Nigerian — we whooped South Africa at the quarterfinals and we are one step closer to winning another AFCON. But that’s not the main. The main reason my national pride has soared is the rate at which we have managed to affect issues that affect us; as a collective unit we seem to have got the hang of this “protest for change thing”.

I am proud of how we’ve managed to master the art of protesting, social media style! Remember 2017? Early that year, TuBaba called for a protest march, Davido seconded, we were ready to march the whole of Lagos down to prove a point… well, until TuBaba discovered that a Street Protest March was actually overrated, unsafe, and he pulled out — no one would have guessed, by the way, that TuBaba knew how to “pull out”.

Recall that Comrade Deji Adeyanju got a penthouse suite in Keffi prison for python dancing in front of the Police headquarters in Abuja. So with this little evidence at hand, the Nigerian people reached a consensus that no cause is worth occupying the streets for, except its the streets of Twitter.

We discovered Social Media Protesting, tried it out on a few causes, hit progress, now its time to go international. Besides, what is better than protesting “The Primary School Feeding Programme” with one hand and tearing on a lip-smacking chicken lap with another?

In the last month, we have recorded enormous success, starting with Pastor Biodun stepping down from his position as Head of COZA. Nigerians took it from the streets of Social Media to the streets of Abuja, right in front of his church building, dragged not only the image of this “Man Of God” but also took it a step further by shaming his churchgoers as well since they must have had a hand in his promiscuity and alleged sexual predation. Shaming Sunday churchgoers was just the right thing to do. Anyway, Pastor Biodun stepped down. Nigerians won.

Next up, RUGA. They proposed to give our lands to cows and other farm animals like it was a story written by George Orwell. We shouted, refused, raised our voices, disagreed with one loud accord… tweet after tweet, this time it all happened on social media. Without stepping a foot out of our home, we raised enough dust. The government, for the first time in a long time, budged to the people’s demand and suspended the damn RUGA installations. We won again.

Ruguyz were not very happy about the development o; they issued threats — threats that could make a Crocodile smile or a Python dance, but Bubu said we should ignore. Of course, we ignored because we had a more pressing matter to deal with: the rise of a kickboxing Senator.

Credit: Mustapha Bulama

If I were the leader of the Nigerian Senate, I too would have been unable to find a person better than Senator Remi Tinubu, to actively partake in the disciplinary committee on Senator Abbo’s assault case. I mean, who has better experience in such cases, than one who is a serial assaulter. Senator Obanikoro can tell you stories of how fingers were dancing in his eyes on the Senate floor. Did I hear you say cases of physical assault in the premises of the National Assembly are not uncommon? Yes, you are very correct, as far back as the First Republic, the floor of our legislative has been a ground for kicking, fighting and all kinds of gbas and gbos.

However, our record-breaking Senator Elisha Abbo, unsatisfied with breaking the record of the youngest Nigerian Senator, took his record-breaking skills a notch further, this time kicking and fighting a nursing mother in a sex shop. Unbeatable! 

Armed with the new shiny skills of Social Media Protesting, Nigerians scored another progress, by forcing a half-baked apology out of Senator Abbo, rejecting the nonsensical apology, and clamouring loud enough till we got a court hearing the matter. I’m so proud of us.

However, it turns out that I’m not as proud as the esteemed members of the Arewa Twitter Community.

These guys, having holistically looked through developing stories and all other unfolding events inside of the Nigerian space, decided that there were no more causes to fight for and protest over at home; it was time to take our Social Media Protesting trade to the shores of the abroad. 

When you’re as rich as MBS, there will always be something to celebrate, there will always be a reason to have Nicki Minaj over for some entertaining performance. When news broke about one of such performances, Arewa Twitter was not having it. Tweets started flying all over about how wrong it was to have Nicki Minaj perform in Saudi Arabia. It was unholy, amongst other things.

I was beyond elated when I learnt that NICKI MINAJ and Mohammed Bin Salam — the Crown Prince Of Saudi Arabia — held an emergency meeting, to deliberate on the concerns of Arewa Twitter, and a way forward. The result of their meeting as communicated to the entire Twitter population by Bashir Ahmed, Media Aide to President Buhari, was to cancel Nicki Minaj’s performance in the kingdom, solely due to the concerns raised by members of Awera Twitter living in Nigeria.

Celebration by Arewa Twitter over this news was more than what it would be if the Super Eagles won AFCON 2019. Arewa Twitter forced the hand of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, one of 21st Centuries’ most brutal, by the power of Social Media Protesting. Issa lie, adonbilivit.

Don’t you just love how much influence we have today, thanks to Social Media Protesting, and Arewa Twitter for scored one big one for the whole team.

Let’s keep it up and hope, soon, we might be able to find genuine and progressive causes to fight for, collectively beneficial issues to protest about, apply reason before concluding, and most importantly eschew bandwagonism.

You can follow Chuks on Twitter @juuicedaddy, if are open to disappointments as his tweets are nowhere close to what you’d expect from a half-baked writer.

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4 years ago

Testing the comment section

4 years ago

This is really great.

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