PEOPLE’S POWER! – Adewale Sobowale

There’s no other current evidence of what people’s power could do in a democracy than the recent happenings in Lagos State.

We are all aware of the fact that the state of aquatic splendour recently increased its land use charges and vehicle registration fees. However, most of the citizens didn’t find it funny.

They felt with the cost of living which is increasing on a daily basis, there is no way they could pay such rates. Some even threatened to do their vehicle registration in nearby states. Country hard, as the saying goes in local parlance.

This isn’t helped by the fact that people do not see any meaningful developments in terms of basic amenities. They still sink boreholes to get water, the whole state is like a public display of dirt, etc. They, therefore, decided they were going to have no more.

With the help of social media and other means of communication, some of the citizens’ organised protests and actually handed in protest letters to the government.

The government, aware of the fact that it would come pleading for votes next year, had no choice but to listen to the people. It has persuaded itself to reduce the charges. Even though people are saying it’s still not enough.

However, the notable thing is that once people come together, governments would find it difficult to ride roughshod over them.

The Yoruba saying is therefore true that it’s because snakes have chosen to fend for themselves alone that is making them mincemeat for humans. If we have snakes moving together, of course, people will think twice before attacking them. Let’s imagine a scene whereby snakes move together and the viper is in the front, followed by the adder, and so on!

What we actually need is cooperation. But we can’t cooperate without having the ability to tolerate each other. So, wherever we may come from, whatever our beliefs might be, we must tolerate each other. This is more so when we realise the fact that the ruling class, no matter their party leanings, is always united.

Power to the people!!!


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