Sunday, October 27, 2013


Because I Care #33

The activist hustle is a glorious hustle. As an activist-turned-presidential aspirant, I know this only too well.
I will tell you something about my former colleagues. The activist works on trying to blow breeze so that the fowl’s bottom will be exposed. And trust me, in Nigeria there is no shortage of fowls whose bottoms reveal the most scandalous things. 

An activist, however, is allergic to both breeze and to the display of bottoms. One would think this would be the opposite; that in every home and office of an activist you will find an industrial fan and a bare, well shaved bottom. But many an activist’s bottom is hairy and hides many things like Ferraris with customised plate numbers.

Many times as an activist fighting government, you have dry spells filled with reheated press releases, impotent ultimatums and ineffective whistle blowing. For all of these white people pay money with the baptismal name ‘grants’. For many activists this grants them comfortable lifestyles in Abuja or Lagos and many a flashy car is secured after a juicy project. The people giving these grants are not entirely stupid. What might look like foolishness is actually patience. They wait for the big stuff. Stuff that will make the activist actually earn his grant- not the sterile conferences, and tea breaks. Something serious like threats to your life or massive protests or police arrest and detention.

Especially arrest. I know one activist, who following arrest by a military junta, became a career activist. And oh, how God has blessed his hustle. He was once overheard, standing by his flashy car talking about his houses in Abuja, Kaduna and London. Yes. London. That is how God has met him at the point of his activist need. So it is in order that he prefaces every conversation with 'when I was arrested by Abacha'.

I will talk about the power embedded in a single arrest in a minute.

Just as there are activists-turned-politicians, there are also politicians-turned-activists. Because they have been politicians before, their work is greeted with skepticism and sometimes even disdain. A lot of the time, it also doesn’t help that they still smell like politicians and haven’t shed the weight that ties them to the spoils of politics. Like having ten cars in your garage. It is hard for real activists to take you seriously when you have that. However it is unfair to judge an activist by how many expensive cars he has. 

One activist who has been treated and talked about unfairly is Dino Melaye. It is rumoured that he has a fleet of cars. I just want to say, I don’t believe rumours. Dino has been fighting this government on Twitter and in the streets, but all people see are his cars with Dino01, Dino02, Dino03, Dino04 bla bla bla. Like I said, I don’t believe until I see. This week however came the ultimate blessing of Dino’s activist hustle. God smiled on him by sending an overzealous policeman to arrest and detain him during a protest against our armoured aviation minister. I am not sure how many introductions to grant proposals that arrest will appear in, but I know that Dino, by that act, has been verified. Because as an activist, even if you don’t like his methods, the arrest of an activist or non-violent protester is something unacceptable and you are forced to lend your voice in the call for his release. I even tweeted about it.

God bless Dino’s hustle.

My only grouse is that I feel marginalised. Only last month, on September 26, I joined one of the teams planning the ‘OurNass’ protests in Abuja. I even addressed the crowd on our rules of engagement. You could say that I was at the forefront. We were at the gates of the National Assembly for hours. No one arrested me. In fact, a Deputy Superintendent of Police engaged me in friendly banter, which scandalised me. He actually smiled at me while we protested. That was capable of destroying my street credibility.

All I want to know is, what makes Dino better than me? And what must one do to get arrested in this country. Because I really need it for my CV as I run for President.

Ps. I was at a dinner with a whole bunch of journalists this week. I learnt a lot from being around people who gossip for a living. One of my biggest discoveries though was that with the exception of one or two people, journalists can’t dance. I don’t know if I can trust a person who can’t dance.


  1. Beautiful. The one time president of NANS is currently a gubernatorial candidate. There is really something to be gained from activism. And if you are brave enough to be an activist cum lawyer, you be sure of patronage from both circuses. Yea, Today, Dino is popular than Dimeji and all those minions that beat or say popularized him on the floor of the house.
    And then, that brings me to you John. Be ready to be beaten, battered and tattered before you are arrested. And if indeed you pass through that baptism and remain erect, maybe, you are on your way to stardom.

    Again, good work.

  2. LOL. ElNathan has gone bonkers again. Me too I need to join this activism hustle o. I'm considering floating an activism company (not NGO). Something like THIS IS OUR CHANCE NIGERIA LIMITED or WHAT SHALL IT PROFIT A MAN PLC..... Yea, I know the idea is still rough. I just need brilliant minds with same vision to help polish it up. If you're interested, contact my P.A.


You fit vex, bet abeg no curse me. You hear?