Jan 16,2024.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
As last year was ending, the youth of Nigeria began adopting for the coming new year, a slogan: “No gree for anybody!”
The slogan represented their aspirations for a new Nigeria that progressive, accountable and responsive to the demands and needs of modern nationhood.
They had apparently surveyed the past few years and come to the conclusion that citizen docility is at the root of the myriad and seemingly intractable challenges that chronically beset our nation.
They reckoned that it was time they as youth began to do and contribute their part to the evolution of good governance in our beloved country. Hence the slogan.
To them it meant many things such as “no gree for contractors to come to your village and do shoddy work.” It included no gree for anyone to embezzle public money. It also included, no gree for bandits and terrorists to over run your village. This to my mind and to the mind of many represents a positive move by the youth of Nigeria.
Surprising to many however, Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO) ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi while speaking recently in Abuja felt it was an opportunity to warn the youths about the new slogan, they had invented for Year 2024. “No gree for anybody” which the PRO described as a very dangerous slogan that could trigger crisis across the country. Indeed, wonders why he sees the slogan in the negative subversive light!
Armed Forces See Slogan Differently
ACP Adejobi said, “Let me say again that the new slogan for 2024 for our young ones is ‘no dey gree for anybody’. No dey agree for anybody is being seen as just a normal talk but in security business, in security community we are seeing it as a very very dangerous slogan that can trigger crisis. Don’t forget in as much as you are entitled to enjoy your fundamental human rights, no fundamental human right is absolute. No de gree for anybody will not work when security operatives want to apprehend you for committing an offence. Once you have committed an offence, security operatives will come, apprehend you and take you to face the wrath of the law. Don’t say no de gree for anybody, ‘E no go work, when you commit offence.”
While the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) see only danger in the slogan and would obviously like to have it banned, the Armed Forces of Nigeria thought it was a great opportunity to engage with the youths of Nigeria in the ongoing efforts to combat banditry, insurgency and all kinds of criminalities across the country which are being perpetrated in large part by the youths. Let’s face the fact. Most of the bandits, cattle rustlers, terrorists, separatists, cultists, and rapists are the young people. It was apparently because of this knowledge that the Director Defence Media Operations Major General Edward Buba found the youth invented slogan useful.
Speaking on behalf of the defence headquarters on various operations of the Armed Forces he took advantage of the slogan to mobilize the youths against all kinds of criminalities. He said, “This year 2024, I urge citizens of this country to see security as a collective responsibility of all, therefore ‘no gree for terrorists, no gree for perpetrators of insecurity.’”
Sociological Underpinnings Of The Slogan
First off, it will be wrong for the authorities to misunderstand the sociological underpinnings of this cry of “self help” by a large swath of citizens who have been marginalised, abused, exploited and ripped off with no help whatsoever coming from the authorities. This cry is a legitimate reaction to a society whose rulers have no room for empathy for those who bear the brunt of failed policies. Unfortunately, the ruling elite are barely literate, on top of that, most of them find reading a bore and an unwelcome chore.
As a longtime newspaper columnist and an avid TV commentator, I know for sure that the elite read only headlines, if at all. Therefore, they tend to miss major turning points in the evolution of the Nigerian mind. Just as they missed #EndSARS! “No gree for anybody” is another turning point where the people have come to terms that nobody, no one is looking out for their interests.
“No de gree for anybody” is actually a term that translates simply to “do not accept exploitation anymore.” Only the exploiter will be concerned when those whom he exploits learn to stand up to him. Peter Tosh came up with ” Get Up, Stand Up,” a slogan in the wake of Apartheid which was used to rally the world against systemic slavery of the black race in South Africa. And it succeeded brilliantly. In this case, the facts are that an oppressed people will always come to a point of revolt. That is what history teaches us. That was what led to the French Revolution. Unfortunately, as I said earlier, the elite do not read, so they do not know that oppression is a time bomb that will sooner or later go off.
My advice is that authorities change gear. My advice is that a panel be raised to study the sociological situation and implement measures to reduce the anomy and anger of the lower classes in which 95% of the youth belong as at today. To seek to drive that “no de gree for anybody” tendency underground as the police is trying to do is to make it even more popular and appealing to the youth.
On the other hand, the Military understands that “no de gree for anybody” as a mindset can help communities under siege of terrorists or bandits defend themselves. Unfortunately, even the palliatives and empowerment policies of government have failed over the years because much of those items were diverted from the needy into the pockets of the elite as recent events at Humanitarian Ministry have so clearly shown.
Simply put, “no de gree for anybody” translates to a positive cry by the citizenry for a good and better Nigeria. It means, no gree for corruption, it means, no gree for nepotism, it means no gree for injustice and all the various ills that bedevil our beloved nation. In the final analysis, good governance is the ultimate answer.
Opportunity For Good Governance
A crucial aspect of addressing the youth’s outcry lies in rebuilding trust between the government and its citizens. The youth demand accountability and transparency in governance. The slogan signifies a refusal to accept a status quo where promises are made but not fulfilled, and where the aspirations of the youth are consistently overlooked. To bridge this trust deficit, the government must prioritize effective communication, demonstrate a commitment to fulfilling promises, and establish mechanisms for accountability. By doing so, it can win back the confidence of the youth and foster a sense of collective responsibility for the nation’s well-being.
“No de gree with anybody” is more than a slogan; it is a profound expression of the youth’s yearning for a better Nigeria. The government should heed this call, recognizing it as an opportunity for transformative change. By addressing the root causes of youth frustration and providing economic opportunities, fostering inclusion, promoting social justice, as well as by rebuilding trust. That way, the government can set the nation on a path toward progress and prosperity. The urgency of this matter cannot be overstated. The youth are the backbone of Nigeria’s future, and their resilience, creativity, and aspirations should be harnessed for the collective good. It is time for the government to listen, engage, and collaborate with the youth to build a nation where every citizen can proudly say, “I gree with everybody” in a Nigeria that works for all.(www.naija247news.com)