If We Care Now, Who Gets The Credit?


In the past two years, I’ve followed Nigeria’s politics as avidly as I might a serial drama on primetime TV. It’s had it all, too, complete with winding plots, unforgettable characters and mind-wrenching twists.

More intriguing, though, is the audience demographic. It’s widely acknowledged that Nigerian young people have not shown this much interest in political goings-on since maybe 1993. And I think that’s amazing. I mean, I actually run into friends, on the street or online, and the conversation turns to politics. What’s happening in government is becoming as important as what’s happening in entertainment or the Champions’ League. Like never before, we care.

But I wonder: where did this interest come from? Can our parents take the credit? Did we see them take on the responsibility for making things right, even when it might put them at risk? Did they model for us anything like patriotism? Did they, at the very least, actively attempt to cultivate in us any sense of our personal power, any faith in our ability to make a difference?

Or did they only warn us (as my father is wont, bless his cautious soul), to be careful not to “get into trouble”?

And we: will we train our children to care?

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7 thoughts on “If We Care Now, Who Gets The Credit?

  1. they definitely told us to be careful. understandable, that they love us and don’t wanna lose us or any such thing. looking at history, and the various points where things were changed for the better, someone stood up for what was right. question is, “if everyone is ‘careful’, who will stand for that right thing and induce change”. gotta start taking responsibility.

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    • That’s it! “If everyone is ‘careful’, who will stand for that right thing…?” It’s scary, but then I wonder how I’d live with myself, knowing I let things continue when I could have done something about it. Thanks for the thought.

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  2. On the contrary, my Father showed me what it means to stand up for people who can’t defend their rights. He’s an ASUU Chairman and he had several confirmed threats to his life and career for going against the System. I think i’m game any time you guys are ready to take on the Government! Just point me in the right direction.

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    • Lucky you! Mine believed in fighting for what was right, too, only he thought it foolhardy to be anything less than discreet about it. There’s a point there, of course, but some problems really don’t take a hint: one has to be direct, right?

      Thanks for sharing!

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  3. well i’m thinking the reason so many young people r avidly interested now is that we’re fed up! almost everyone is ready for a change- a change that won’t come with folded arms! we’ve realized we must do something about it! our children will learn from our lives- i’ve seen my dad stand up for what is right n at other times cautioned us to be careful- the secret lies in knowin when to act!

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  4. Pingback: 7 Lessons from Nigeria’s 2011 Polls « Tambaya!

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