Two years ago, I took a road trip from Enugu to Port-Harcout.
The purpose of the trip was a company launch ceremony that I was invited to.
My trip was almost done when I had one of the most traumatic experiences of my life.
The Bus that I was in (ABC Transport) was flagged down by a team of policemen stationed at Choba.
The moment I noticed what was happening, I opened my phone to uninstall the Twitter App.
This was at the height of the Twitter ban.
I had heard stories of people who suffered at the hands of policemen,
because they had Twitter installed on their phone
One of them scanned inside the bus from the window.
Immediately he laid eyes on me, he told me to come down.
I was dressed in Nike flops, black jeans, and a black hoodie.
After searching my pockets and my bag, he was not satisfied.
He told me to open my phone and after much back and forth, I obliged.
He went through my phone and the moment he saw the Binance App on my phone he smiled.
“So you are a crypto boy”
“Didn’t you hear that Crypto is illegal”
I tried to explain to them why crypto wasn’t illegal, but they were not willing to listen.
They told the Bus driver to leave me and continue the journey where I was being detained.
Other bus passengers tried to plead on my behalf but it fell on deaf ears.
They kept threatening the Bus Driver and he had to leave.
They put me at the back of their Sienna van and continued harassing other people they stopped.
One of them later came and told me to settle them so that I could be released
I was told to give them #300,000
I told him that I didn’t have that kind of money.
To cut the long story short.
They drained the #70,000 that I had in my account at a #POS stand and dropped me off to continue my journey.
It was a traumatic experience for me
And one that made it clear that the things you see people complain about online can happen to you at any time.
I watched Black Book by Editi Effiong over the weekend and it brought back a lot of memories.
It also paints a glaring picture of why things are the way they are in our country.
From a solution mindset, there are three major things that the movie gave me more clarity on.
Table of Contents
The Importance of History
We have made a lot of bad decisions over the past few years as a nation.
And some of those bad decisions can be directly linked to our unwillingness to pay attention to history.
There have been a lot of prescribed solutions to this.
During the EndSars protests
Different forms of media houses were formed to address this historical gap.
But after the protest, more than 99.9% of them are no longer functional.
The Substacks, Discord/ Telegram channels that all sprung up during that period
Are now dormant.
As a Nation, we are moved more by emotions than truth.
And one of the truths that we fail to tell ourselves is how hard it is to actually drive change.
Why is this important?
We need to come to that truth because it will help us recognize that not everyone is cut for the work ahead.
Freeing us to give support to those who can actually do it.
One of the projects that is well thought out and thriving is the Archiving Project
They are giving an overview of reported history in an interesting manner.
Learning From The Past
One of our biggest challenges as Nigerians is that we are too forgiving.
And I think that it is the trauma of being seen by the world as corrupt contributes to this.
We project our need for a second story/chance at every opportunity we get.
No matter the amount of history that becomes accessible to us.
If we fail to learn from the past, then we are bound the repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
Learning from the past is not easy.
It requires defeating Ego.
During the climax of the EndSars protest one of the popular mantras was
“We are not our parent’s generation that didn’t fight hard”
But is that true?
Did they fail to stand up to oppression?
A quick conversation with an elderly relative will reveal the truth to you.
The previous generation fought but were subdued.
We have the advantage of the Internet, but we are seeing things we have in hard evidence being denied.
It is important that we humble ourselves and study what the previous generation did to fight for their rights.
That way, we would understand the depth of the obstacles that they faced
And restructure our approach to fight it.
We also need to understand that these bad systems that affect us were built and reinforced over time.
We need to be patient and very strategic in our approach.
The Need For More Builders
One of the most significant groundbreaking events in the history of the Nigerian tech space.
Is the $200 Million acquisition of Paystack.
It opened the door for a new level of trust and belief in the abilities of Nigerians.
Giving the world a new perception of what Nigeria has to offer.
We need more of those.
Builders in every sector are building solutions to the problems that we face as a nation.
The BlackBook movie wouldn’t have been possible without the support of young Nigerian builders who saw it as a worthy project to back.
These builders are also driving significant change in other areas of society.
Let’s all play our part.