Friday, 25 February 2011

Editorial: The Odds Against Anti-Government Protest In Nigeria

The world of politics seem to be embracing a new method of removing political leaders. The method, though tyrannical, have been hailed by the news media and by some pro-democracy activists. The method is tyranny of the masses, otherwise known as anti-government protest.

The reason for hailing this new method may be that so far, political leaders that have been ousted were despots who instead of making their countries better than they met them, rather made them poorer through  corrupt practices.

Anti-government protests have so far swept leaders off seats of power in Tunisia and Egypt. It is about to remove the Libyan leader, who have been in power since 1969. There is also reports that Cameroon, one of Nigeria's neighbours, would soon experience anti-government protest.

Since the period of the Tunisian protest, commentators have been calling for same in Nigeria. To these commentators, Nigeria is due for an anti-government protest to oust the corrupt political class.

One of the characters of protests is that lawless elements would always seize the occasion to loot. This problem is usually remedied in the course of protests. Another character of protests is that they are usually started by a group operating in a particular location before they spread to other locations with other groups joining. The third character is that protests are usually targeted at current political power holders. These characters are the odds that would work against any anti-government protest in Nigeria.

Going by the experience of Igbos, a majority ethnic nationality, whose main occupation is trading, during the civil war, the Igbo persons whose goods would be looted would see any anti-government protest as targeted at his business, in fact an indirect continuation of the civil war. If the protest starts from the moslem dominated north, the south, dominated by Christians would suspect an Islamization agenda, Christian crusade agenda would be suspected if the protest starts in the south. If for instance, the protest starts during the administration of Goodluck Jonathan, an Ijaw, the Ijaws, the fourth ethnic nationality, would suspect a plot against the Ijaw nation.

These odds, chidi opara reports believes, are serious and would be used by the corrupt Nigerian political class to scuttle any anti-government protest. In our opinion, it is better not to start, than to start and not finish or finish poorly with the attendant huge loses in human and material resources.

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