For children of anger, like this writer, we grew up the thick of June 12 saga and the fight for democracy. We were too young to contribute but we read magazines and newspapers, we heard rumours and half-truths, witnessed phantom coup(s); the closing decade of the 20th century was quite eventful for us.
The likes of Gani Fawehinmi, Beko Ransome-Kuti, Olisa Agbakoba and all the June 12 activists were ‘the voices‘. Both within the shores of Nigeria and outside, we knew folks who were constantly being thorns in the flesh of the government. Being an activist then was sacrificial: the government of the day could decide to lock you up or you’d just go missing!Fast forward to today. The advent of social media has taken activism to new undiscovered heights: all you need is a social media account, start ‘attacking‘ the government or supposed enemies and gbam, you’re labelled an activist. I won’t go into the long standing battle of the true definition of activism, you have Google, Wikipedia and dictionaries to do that for you. All I want to concern myself and by extension you, about are the various classes of activists we have today in Nigeria. Their means of activism notwithstanding, the bottom line is; all activists have their paymaster. For ease of writing, I’ve classified them into four:Government/Wadata House ActivistThis activist, like the name implies, is tied to the apron strings of the PDP. All that the government does, is best. They can do no wrong. If you’re not on his side, then you’re an enemy of the state.The Bourdillon ActivistThis is the Jagaban activist, also known as ‘the opposition’, ‘APC supporter’, etc. His duty is to constantly criticise the government and call them names. This group is quite vocal and are all over the place with their ‘progressive’ outlook. Quite a swelling rank.The Western ActivistThis particular activist likes to flaunt his western connections: Embassies, High Commissions, International NGOs, just name it, as long as it has an oyimbo colouring, he’s there. It may not necessarily be a direct link to the oyimbos, there could be a middleman, all the same, he won’t let you hear word.The rabblerouserThe last category are the noisemakers. They are all over the place, making noise and jumping on every issue, all the noise is for one goal: to get noticed and enter into any of the aforementioned category.There you have it people. Mind you, your activist may belong to two or more categories.Lest I forget, there are also Social Commentators, who only speak when the issue touches them or they just feel concerned and then go silent.*Children of anger refers to youths born in the 80s- first used by Dr. Reuben Abati in a derogatory article, but now we wear it like a badge. You can also call us the ‘Up NEPA‘ Generation.
Written by HOUNGE
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