At evening, like the sun dipping suddenly in the horizon, an unusual situation has taken Nigeria by storm and complete surprise. Civil protests have been spontaneous and widespread. I am not sure anyone knows who the leaders or the organisers are. The scope and demands have been escalating with every passing day, and there is palpable fear in the air.
Undoubtedly, a chain of uncertain reactions has been set off by Nigerian youths, and, like an avalanche, almost everything in its path is being cleaned or swept by this gale into an unknown abyss. No one knows for sure where the protests will lead, or when they will stop, or even how to stop them.
They remind me of American writer Gore Vidal’s rare interview that he granted Penthouse, a magazine for women, decades ago. In that interview, he predicted that one day a civil revolution against a failing American leadership system would take place in a spontaneous explosion by the public. The revolt, he said, would be without known leaders or organizers to be held responsible by the authorities, and so would not be able to be negotiated or halted, until it destroys the old order of things and ushers in a new era of upright leaders.