Earlier this year, I was among 25 lawyers nominated for top 5 Influential Young Lawyers in Canada. I did not win, but a friend and colleague, Charles Osuji, emerged among the top 5.
Shortly after, Kelechi Madu, a senior colleague and an alumnus of Unilag, made history as the first black person appointed a minister of justice in Canada (provincial or federal).
Meanwhile, Tomi Adebiyi is the Director of the Business Law Clinic for the prestigious Queens University.
Yet, another Nigerian.
And this is just in the legal field.
We have the likes of Prof. Rita Orji breaking records in STEM in Canada (and being recognised beyond Canada even).
Today, Paystack was acquired for $200m, by Stripe. The largest ever acquisition in tech in Africa till date.
Two young men were the main brains behind it. With their dreadlocks, earrings, and nail polish.
You know what we all have in common that makes us excel beyond the shores of Nigeria??
We do not have the political class or “leaders” stand in the way of our success, through corruption, nepotism, extortion, or plain murdering us in daylight under the guise of SARS.
We watched as they filled CBN and NNPC with their children and wards. Rather than stand around and wait for crumbs which may never fall, we took fate into our own hands, and have struck gold elsewhere.
This is the reason the youths are angry. This is the reason for the peaceful protests. Because there are close to 200 million other people who were not so lucky, and cannot strike gold elsewhere.
Instead, the gold that IS Nigeria is being sat on by a select few, recycled from generation to generation.
You would be extremely naïve to presume that these protests are just about #EndSARS. SARS was the last straw, in a looooooong string of grievances, borne by the ordinary Nigerian.
This round of protests may die down in a couple of days. But best believe, it will never be business as usual anymore. The Nigerian youths are now stirred, as has been long overdue.
So if you have relatives in power in Nigeria, advise them that the time being expended in brainstorming on how to crush peaceful protests should be applied in finding long-term solutions to ensuring the common wealth of the nation rightly cascades to the ordinary citizens.
And if they do shut down the Nigerian internet-sphere as is being pushed for via the social media bill, remember that there are lots of us they scattered across the oceans.
Like Garri… we will keep rising. ✊🏿
Written by Meg Chinelo Egbunonu