Human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore, has told the Nigerian government that his generation may be the last set of people who are going to carry placards to solve the problems of the country.
He warned that if the government failed to address the myriads of problems confronting the country, the younger generation of Nigerians might not subscribe to carrying placards and protesting on the streets but rather choose any means of achieving their aims.
The activist made the call on Tuesday at a symposium titled, “Omoyele Sowore and The Struggle For Social Justice In Nigeria,” organised by his supporters to mark his 50th birthday in Abuja.
Sowore said he would not subscribe to carrying arms in the struggle for a better Nigeria, and that he would rather opt for civil protest against bad leadership.
He said, “I say all the time that those of us who are pushing through peaceful means of rebelling against the system, we are being told by several others who are running out of options that our system will soon become archaic. And the next set of people may not be carrying placards. We might be the last set of people who are going to carry placards to solve Nigeria’s problems.
“I am not subscribed to arms struggle but sometimes it is the state which pushes its citizens to engage in other means of achieving liberation because of its irresponsibility.
“But we have a moral upper hand and these people are not worth the force of arms. We can kick them out using intelligence which we know is the easiest way and I don’t want to spill anybody’s blood to achieve this. It just takes some two million young people to say, enough is enough.”
The former presidential candidate of the African Action Congress added that Nigerians could not witness social justice because of economic, political, and social injustice that had ravaged all facets of life.
He called on Nigerian youths to channel their potential towards productive ventures and take the bull by the horns in their fight for the future of the country.
He reiterated his belief in civil disobedience through constant protests to demand justice and equity.
He said, “I am more on the side of civil disobedience. Civil disobedience brought an end to the regime that was unpopular. It happened in Egypt, Tunisia, and Belarus. In the last 10 years, there have been more revolutions around the world.
“You heard about Sudan? Their struggle was started by women and professionals. How I understand best is putting feet on the ground and engaging in constant protests. How I understand best is uprising and revolution that will turn things around for us in this country for good.”
The activist told his supporters that his age was immaterial in the fight against irresponsible government, adding that he would not give up the struggle and would rather continue to protest until he died.
Sowore, while thanking his supporters for the surprise birthday symposium, said he would have loved to celebrate his birthday with a protest.
Some of the panelists at the event included Tope Fasua, Deji Adeyanju, Ademola Babatunde, Deji Kolawole, Vivian Bellow, Thomas-Wilson Ikubese, and Katchy Gerald.
Encomiums were showered on the celebrant as his supporters extolled his virtues in the fight against bad governance, oppression and injustice.