The ongoing outcry by Nigerians for a change has been a long time coming. It is unfortunate, however ,that most Nigerians have expressed their view on the speech given by the president as a far cry from what was expected. Time will tell if the promise that the voices of the youths have been heard loud and clear will come to fruition. This is because there is a dichotomy between physically hearing the voice of a complaint and understanding and swinging into action. Many Nigerians are disappointed that the presidential speech was just a rehearsal of what we are very conversant with.
The response of the government is sequel to what obtains in most Nigerian homes, organizations, in particular and the society in general. In some homes, children are often times not allowed to air their views on thriving issues in the home and when they summon the courage to bring issues to the table they are hushed. They are seen as not matured and unfit to contribute to major decisions made in the family that will directly or indirectly affect them. This scenario cuts across all strata of the society.
Are children unfit to express themselves? Are they unfit to showcase their grievances? Little wonder the president has handled this issue with a pinch of salt. The day elders, leaders begin to constructively listen to the opinion of the members of the family and implement strategies that will be of benefit to all then the journey to a society where everyone is given equal opportunity will begin.
In the classroom, students are given little or no opportunity to express how they feel or what they think about a concept. The resultant effect is that we raise a generation that is easily indoctrinated to accept the policies of others irrespective of the fact that their horses are being gored.
Various organizations and businesses have the same phenomenon. The plight of workers have always not been the major concern of most business owners as they give the workers what will be enough to keep them strong to continue to work. If one has to become financially free, a jive into different streams of income will be the antidote to financial incapacity. It is uncommon to receive a pay that will guarantee abilities to live a very comfortable life.
From the foregoing it is important that we look within and think of a way to create an enabling environment for people at all levels to communicate without fear of being accused of engaging in hate speech. Freedom of expression as enshrined in Nigerian constitution seems to be an illusion in most cases. It is high time we started to allow people to express themselves without shutting them down.