On Peace: Hope as an Essential Ingredient for Nation-building

Amb. Tolulope Abimbola

Ed. 164/ 08.04.2021

How do we revive hope amidst a fight for good gone wrong?

When the peaceful #EndSars protests started in October 2020, it revived a wave of hope that maybe for once, we could change the narrative. Then the Lekki massacre happened; I won’t forget that night, 20/10/2020. I cried, I screamed, I prayed, I had a migraine, but I didn’t believe that was the end of our revolution. So great was the despair for Nigerians; it felt as though the wind had been taken out of our sails, as though to put it in more precise terms, we didn’t have a country anymore.

What’s more, about four months after the incident, the court hearings to investigate the Lekki toll-gate massacre ruled in favor of the toll-gate being re-opened. Again peaceful protesters took to the toll-gate to demand justice for the innocent lives and that the toll-gate should not be re-opened. Yet again, innocent citizens in a peaceful protest were maltreated and arrested. Maybe the war is not a social media war. Perhaps it’s not a Twitter war.

Yet again, hope has to be kept alive if we want this war to be won. If we do not want our revolution to go down into the dust. In a transcribed thread on Twitter sampling the opinion of a dear friend, he had noted that it was time to engage the grassroots, and here again is a plea to engage the mindsets of those at the grassroots before 2023 comes. Now is the time to:

· Build quietly,

· Carry out the necessary research,

· Align with parties that are visionary and give credible values,

· Engage other youths in your sphere of influence and fan the flames of hope for a better motherland.

Because this hope and dream for a better nation that we have must never die, for if we do not see it in our lifetime, then we would have fought the war and left the legacy for our unborn generations, we are the sustainable generation; we are not the ones who will leave the rot as it is, we are not the ones who consume all the resources and bring the future generation into the effects and outcome of our mess, NO! We change the narrative. Again I say this hope we have, must never die.

I leave you with this quote by Cornell West: “Hope and optimism are different. Optimism tends to be based on the notion that there’s enough evidence out there to believe things are gonna be better, much more rational, deeply secular, whereas hope looks at the evidence and says, “It doesn’t look good at all. Gonna go beyond the evidence to create new possibilities based on visions that become contagious to allow people to engage in heroic actions always against the odds, no guarantee whatsoever.” That’s hope…”

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