Former Secretary-General of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Frank kokori has advised the Nigerian youths who have been on the streets protesting for an end to the dreaded Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), to look for a strong leader so they could achieve some level of success.
This advice is coming on the heels of insinuations from different quarters that the Federal Government wants to break their ranks in order to weigh them down and frustrate their efforts.
Kokori warned the youths against jettisoning the place of the older generation in the struggle probably because they don’t trust anybody as that would not augur well for the struggle. “The way I look at these youths, until they have a strong leadership, they may not achieve much. Some hawks will be telling them that they need only young people but I don’t see any young person that can lead them to negotiate. So, they can’t just write off old people, if they must make any headway,” he cautioned.
He came down hard on the government for believing that since the protest was not conceived by trained revolutionaries, it would amount to nothing. “Government is banking on breaking their ranks and wearing them out because it is not a real revolution planned by trained revolutionaries,” he added.
He commended the resilience of the youths most of whom he said were forced into the fray by frustration. “We must sympathise with them. I am even surprised at the level of their resilience. They have done wonders but I think they need a strong and coherent leadership that can talk on their behalf; a leadership that would encompass all the interest groups and stakeholders in the country,” he stated.
He expressed fears for Nigeria, saying, “The future of this country, to me, looks dim. Nigeria needs some sort of shake-up, and there is no doubt about that. And the shake-up should be done within this period.”
He said some people still feel that he should join the fray believing that what he did in those days could still be done again now, but he would not bulge to such an invitation as he insisted that he had played his part as a young Nigeria.
He charged the country’s leadership to listen to the youths, stand up to its responsibility and electoral promises, even as he warned the youths to be cautious of government’s antics to wear them out. “So, the youths should have sense and approach people who can consult and advise them,” he submitted.