Africa is rising and something interesting is brewing up, aggregating like a whirlpool of sandstone, reaching a combustible limit of no return. For the elitist power league, there is something to worry about – the people are growingly discovering their voices and social media reach is exponentially climbing. Validation is on twitter; video and photo evidences are on Instagram and Facebook is passively catching the bug.
A section of the elitist power bloc, the association of the disgruntled ones are beggingly joining the trail – actively engaging to hashtag their way into people’s heart. And more importantly, playing the ‘engaging the youth’ card like they care. But something has to give, their pretense or the elasticity of their hashtag? Until then, the Nigeria’s ‘New Tribe’ know the limit of the mixture of politics and hashtagging.
Whatever the case, the court room of the people has shifted to the media space and the actual execution of people’s judgement is on the street of the internet!
An encounter with men of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), an arm of the Nigerian Police Force that many see as a tormentor-in-chief of rich young Nigerians, has ruptured the bubble. The Police headquarters has ordered the reorganization of SARS – a nightmare that has ended the dreams of some unlucky young people. The outburst erupted like an uncontrollable wildfire, burning down the deified posture of SARS with videos surfacing in scenes showing utter disregard for human dignity by SARS.
Revolution took over the media space. As hard as the authority tried to calm flaming nerves, the more it became highly flammable. The lesson to take away from this is that no political authority has been born who will ban revolutions, just as there will never be a philosopher however gifted who can theorize the trajectory of revolutions. As long as injustice, persecution and oppression remain part of the human condition, the urge to revolt will also remain a primal imperative of the human psyche no matter where it leads or how it pans out. The social media is ever ready to provide the needed fuel.
There is a ‘new tribe’ on the bloc, twittering children of necessity who live on the streets of internet. They are brutally opinionated and sometimes with reckless mercilessness. On these streets, there is no immunity and everyone is equal before the hashtag.
These twittering kids are redefining globalization, defying time and space while finding a confluence to bring ethnic divides into involuntary alignment, once there is any bipartisan cause like #EndSARS. Now, events have shown that the internet has unification borders which allow for adventures in terms of imaginative daring and resourcefulness. Luckily, young people know how to creatively leverage this advantage.
The elitist power bloc is under siege. It is no longer a one-sided game as internet uprising is now at the snap of the finger.
The revolutions of the future may not need to borrow their tropes from the great human uprising of the past dating back to the times of Spartacus. As put lucidly by Prof Adebayo Williams in his classical weekly literary surgery, very likely, the revolution of the future will owe more to mental duels and intellectual battles rather than the physical battering down of Winter Palaces, with the internet being the battlefield.
Jonah writes from Lagos and tweet @Obajeun