The good trouble

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By Ms Chiemeke Ekene

The system has always told us what to do. I recall as a child how everyone told me to stay out of trouble. “Stay out the way, don’t question your elders or their way of doing things. Just listen! Don’t give your opinion! We don’t need it! Just follow the system!” Well I learnt as a teenager that sometimes the only way to bring change was by getting in trouble;-,by speaking up!

Throughout history, our fathers, uncles, mothers, aunties, grandparents, stood up for equality and justice, the journey of finding our true identity as Nigerians. They marched and spoke up yet 99.9% of their problems are still present in our current time. We’re still fighting for justice, marching on for peace and to find the true nature of being Nigeria; to be able to call home” home” and live freely.

If the End-SARS protest didn’t inspire you to stand up, to speak up and speak out then, it should inspire you to get in some “Good Trouble”. John Lewis (may his soul rest in peace) once said, “Get in some good trouble, necessary trouble and redeem the soul of America”. And so I push this to us all, my generation, the ones before me and the ones after me. Let us get in some good trouble and redeem the soul of Nigeria.

The true nature of Nigeria isn’t the supremacy of one tribe/religion against the other. It isn’t the corruption, the lack of accountability, the poverty, the rule of godfathers, the discrimination, the anger etc.
We need to find our true nature, and that is by identifying as one nation united by diversity. We are already a nation of several misfits who don’t belong, several tribes, Ijaw, Igbo, Hausa, Efik, Yoruba and more. That is what makes us Nigerian. Our diversity, the beauty of diversity!

As the catch phrase of the End SARSs movement says: – Speak up and speak out. Get in the way! If you see something that isn’t right, just and fair, do something. We have gotten to the point where we cannot afford to be quiet. Have that difficult conversation, attend to that difficult situation you see in front of you. Get your voter card ready! Be present and be involved. Your vote matters and your voice too. If you think it doesn’t matter then why do politicians rig the election for more votes?

Let us identify the unacceptable as what it is: the unacceptable. Truth is no one can do it alone. We all need each other! We need to unite in a way that perhaps has never been done before in the history of Nigeria

If Soro Soke involves an act of civil disobedience such as holding rallies, marches, social media advocacy, using our voices, standing up etc so be it.
Pardon us sir but we longer want to stay in line! We no longer want to stay silent!

We understand we are differently similar, for so many years we have let our differences divide us. It is now time to own our differences. The question now is what good can we make from our differences? What good can we make from our diversity?

But in all, we must be civil in maintaining good trouble, free from harm to anyone or anything. Let us make our leaders stop,Listen and take action! Let every individual, family, couple, organization take the first step and be the change you want to see. The time has come when we can’t go away. We shouldn’t go away until justice is realized.

Nigeria isn’t as broken as some play it out to be.
Start! Start from within, have a greater understanding of what unites us, find our nation’s beauty and potential in our diversity, then show up and show out! Be present and involved!

But it is not going to be easy. I for one know that even if God has a plan, it does not always guarantee it’s ease.

So put on your risk-taking armor and let us go cause some Good Trouble!

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