Against the backdrop of renewed plan for protest starting from Lekki Toll gate in Lagos, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba SAN has advised Nigerian youths who think protest and revolution are the only way to take control of the affairs of the nation, to rethink and rather have a deliberate plan to penetrate the political parties.
Speaking in his Calabar residence where he was visiting for the first time since October 2020 when it was vandalized by hoodlums who hijacked the #ENDSARS protest, the Former Senate leader said,” Let me say that I have my worries that any protest again will still be hijacked by hoodlums and at the end of the day they would lose the whole essence of the protest.”
His words, “Let me say this for historical purposes, the leadership of this country has always been by youths. For instance the first republic, who were the leaders? Who were those who fought our Independence? The Nnamdi Azikiwe’s who was in his 40’s, Awolowo was in his 30’s, Enhanero was in his 20’s. Then if you check the first generation of military Leaders, there were governors who were 32. Those who do the civil war, the Adekunle’s and the obasanjo’s and the rest, they were all in their 20’s and 30’s, so the leadership of this country has always been youths.
“So I think that they need to revisit the argument, yes. There are a lot of failed expectations from government, we’ve had a lots of missed points as a nation but will this protest address this miss points? I think rather it is a deliberate policy by the youths of this country to participate in the means of acquiring power. And the means of acquiring power today is through election. Let them have a deliberate plan to penetrate the political parties and take over, they have the numbers. But to begin to demonstrate demonstration you know that hoodlums will hijack, I mean see the losses, I thought we were very few that were affected during the #EndSars riot, only for me to see the report from the commissioner for culture, 166 or there about building, the international conference center completely looted, even NIMC and WAEC completely looted, who benefits from all this losses?”
He noted that his vandalized residence in Calabar was started in 1991 and “only finished in 2008 and January 2009, it took me eighteen whole years. I wasn’t in the public sphere and you just think that somebody’s effort just because he spent 12years in the senate he acquired everything from the senate. There are unwittingly criminalizing hard work.”
Asked of his views and advise to the youths who read history and argue that revolution is the way out for Nigeria, he said, “We have heard of the Arab spring, what difference have the Arab spring brought to the Arab world? Where you didn’t have the Arab spring, there are nations that are prospering, UAE, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait but take a look at all the countries were you have the Arab spring were you have the revolution. So my advice is that they should take a second look at the history that had read.”
“The lessons from the last #EndSars protest are still too fresh, people lost businesses, economies were shut down, and nobody benefitted from that. I think that the argument should be revisited. I am talking about the argument of making a point through protest which is susceptible to be hijacked by hoodlums.”
On his vandalized Calabar residence Ndoma-Egba said, “I feel very sad that we have people of a mind set to carry out this kind of very extensive damage to another person’s property. As you can see, they came very prepare with all sorts of craftsmen. You have carpenters, electricians to motor mechanics and all in one person.
“It couldn’t have been spontaneous, it was something very deliberate, something pre-determined but like I said in my statement I issued immediately after, I have forgiven them but that’s without prejudice to the law taking its course because I cannot influence the course of the law. For me as a person I have forgiven them. I hope what they did here benefits them; if doesn’t benefit them in any way, then it was a total waste of effort and energy.”
He maintained that what has been lost in his vandalized residence are “priceless. There are collections that predates me, there are books in my library that is my father’s practice book for instance; all gone- Momentums that were passed from one generation to another gone; All destroyed or taken. But I want to say that I will rebuild the place because I cannot be chased out of my home by hoodlums.”