If Peter Obi ends up winning the presidential elections in Nigeria, you could argue that it would represent the most significant political impact of the George Floyd protests anywhere in the world — including the US.
Some background: Nigeria is the largest democracy in Africa and one of the largest multi-party democracies in the world. Peter Obi is a surprising insurgent third party candidate currently leading in the polls ahead of Nigeria’s February 23rd elections.
Obi’s surging poll numbers is largely due to his support among young people (under the age of 34) who have registered to vote in record numbers in recent months. So what does this have to do with the George Floyd and BLM?
In 2020 many thousands of Nigerian youth took to the streets in historic protests against police brutality. The movement was called #EndSARS and very much drew inspiration from BLM.
(At the time, I interviewed a key player in the #EndSARS movement @SavvyRinu who explained its origins and purpose) globaldispatchespodcast.com/police-brutali…
It turns out that this 2020 movement against police brutality inspired a massive political awakening among Nigerian youth, who are now getting registered to vote in record numbers.
According to official stats ~85% of over 9 million newly registered voters are under 34. These young voters are flocking to Peter Obi who is actively and deliberately courting them in a dynamic discussed at length in my podcast episode today with @DCynthiaM
In other words: the leading presidential candidate in one of the largest democracies in the world may owe his election to newly engaged young voters whose entry to politics was a protest movement directly inspired by BLM. I’d be interested to see if @hofrench @SavvyRinu and others agree or disagree!
The protests were not “directly inspired by BLM” please. Nigerians are no stranger to police brutality. The protests happened as a results of years of built up anger.There was no “direct” inspiration from BLM.
#EndSARS inspired a massive political awakening. Yes. It was directly inspired by BLM. No. Just to add that #EndSARS in 2020 was inspired not by one, but many factors. Bad governance in Nigeria etc.
BLM/George Floyd, too reminded us Nigerians, that despite being the largest black nation on earth, we still have to tell our own black government that our lives matter.
The enters Garba Adamu
Peter Obi can be your President in your county in the U.S, but in Nigeria? Never! We can only do the grace of inviting him to Bola Tinubu’s swearing in on 29 May 2023, Insha Allah