On March 16, 2010, a coalition of prominent Nigerian youth leaders and about two thousand Nigerian youths rallied at the Nigerian National Assembly in Abuja. Among others, they demanded for the resignation/removal of ailing Nigerian President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. They also protested against the general lack of security in the country as well as the poor state of power supply.
The March 16 rally received broad media coverage locally and internationally, including a prominent feature on CNN. But the march organizers insist that the March 16 rally is only the beginning of a succession of subsequent youth rallies leading up to Nigeria’s 2011 elections.
cp-africa catches up with Chude Jideonwo, Creative Director, The Future Nigeria Project (one of the Organizers of the Enough is Enough Nigeria Rally)
cp-africa: The March 16 Enough is Enough Nigeria rally can in many ways be regarded as historic, at least for one, given the collective anger of Nigerian youths and the general unity in their resolve. What inspired you to organize the rally? Do you think it was a success?
Chude Jideonwo: What didn’t inspire us? Anger. Frustration. A new sense of purpose. Look, this is our country. If we don’t rise up to the challenge, nothing will change. No change ever comes because the people of the old order thought it was their time to leave. Change will always come because those on the other side rise up and say enough. For five months, there was a fuel scarcity because we kept silent, for months we were without a president because we kept quiet. Nigerians are resilient but even resilience must have a threshold lest it becomes pure and simply complacence. The June 12 rallies, the post-Abacha death activism, Ali Must go, the Save Nigeria rally, the famous NLC rallies and strikes that humbled Obasanjo, Nigeria’s history shows that change only happens when people are ready to sacrifice and stand for something.
Was it a success? By every and all indices, yes. Read more about Interview with Chude Jideonwo, Organizer, Enough is Enough Nigeria Rally & Creative Director, The Future Nigeria Project …