Nigeria’s Generation Z

Amid the global protests of 2020, a generation of young Nigerians took to the streets out of frustration with the country’s leadership. In August, tens of thousands of protesters called for #RevolutionNow and in October to #EndSARS, referring to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) police unit notorious for extrajudicial killings. President Muhammadu Buhari responded with a violent crackdown, deploying the military against the #EndSARS movement. At least 56 people were killed, and the authorities jailed protesters and froze activist leaders’ bank accounts.

The mass protests pitted Nigeria’s Generation Z against its aging political elite. In August, a presidential aide dismissed the activists for their supposed youthful inexperience. “A revolution is always a mass thing, not a sprinkle of young boys and girls,” he said. The comments led some people to label the aide an agbaya, a Yoruba word that means “bad elder”—or an older person who acts like a child—and has come to describe an educated but selfish adult wielding power.

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Author(s): Nosmot Gbadamosi

Full Title: Age and the Agbayas

Publisher or Journal: Foreign Policy

Year of Publication: 2021

Document Type: Article


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