5 Things Nigerians Can Learn From Hong Kong Citizens’ Protests

Reports have it that Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam on Wednesday officially withdrew the extradition bill that has sparked protests from the city’s citizens.

The citizens’ protests have for more than three months persisted over a bill that would have allowed the extradition of suspects to mainland China for trial but Hong Kong citizens objected saying it would be a gateway for the government to witch-hunt ordinary citizens with dissenting voices to the government.

Lam had earlier shelved the bill in June and in July again insisted it was “dead” after weeks of protest but until now refused to withdraw it entirely, a key demand of protesters who argued it could be revived again if not formally withdrawn.

Below are five things Nigerians can learn from the 12 plus weeks standoff with the government:

First is that true power belongs to the people. The Hong Kong protest had initially been a very peaceful move with protesters lining up major streets but subsequently turned violent. Despite this, citizens refused to back down on their agitation, exercising their right until the bill was finally withdrawn by Carrie Lam.

Secondly, is the unity of purpose expressed by the Hong Kong citizens. In their millions, both young and old expressed the power inherent in a unified pursuit as they stayed true to their desire to see to it that the bill is expunged.

Nigerians can learn a huge lesson here, the power of staying put. Many of our struggles in the country are rather short-lived and goes out of steam within a couple of days with everyone back to their daily concerns.

The case of the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians comes to the fore here.

Nigerians can make the president sit-up in his responsibilities.

The number one duty of any president is the safety of the lives of his citizens both in the country and outside. This Nigerians can ensure they get done by demanding of the president, not just by tweeting and social media rampage but by a physical demonstration which can be peaceful.

The third lesson Nigerians can learn from the Hong Kong experience is that nothing good comes easily. In the quest to get some things done, especially from the government of the day, it may most times imply that this has to be fought for, insisted on and consistently stood by. Countless examples of these abound all over the world.

Fourth, Nigerians need to understand the power in resilience. Drawing from the #RevolutionNow campaign, it is interesting to note that since the clamp down on the main initiator and lead, Omoyele Sowore everyone has gone under with the whole campaign almost seemingly dying a natural death.

It would appear the initiators and campaigners didn’t think through their struggle to have lost steam within just a few days of the clampdown.

Lastly, Nigerians must learn the spirit of decisiveness. We are not so decisive as a people and this is very evident in the way we tend to pan out on issues after a short while. We must learn to be decisive on issues and remember that nothing good comes easy.

Ultimately, power belongs to the office of the citizen. Period.

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