Nigerians, Let Mali Teach You About Getting Your Government To Work.

September 9, 2019

There is nothing Nigerians haven’t tried in order to gain the government’s attention on just how ⁠— for lack of a better word ⁠— displeased, we are with their leadership.

We’ve held church crusades.

We tried nationwide strikes.

We’ve attempted and succeeded at coups. We’ve held protests and tested the occasional name-calling. But nothing, nothing at all looks like it’s going to get the government to pay university workers their due, disburse a livable minimum wage, fix up the health sector, repair all the terrible roads and get children off the streets and into schools etc., etc., anytime soon.

With these trial and error methods gone out of the way, it might be time for Nigerians to look in another direction; it might be time for us to try “The Mali Approach”.

Now you might wonder, what is the ‘Mali Approach’? To explain, let’s examine the country’s state capital, Bamako.

Bamako, Mali.

Mali has a largely agricultural economy — 70% of its workforce engage in the trade. The most productive agricultural areas of the country lay along the Niger River, which is between Bamako and Mopti. The north of Bamako is home to the largest concentration of cattle in the country. 

Bamako is also the nerve centre of Mali; local and international trading in the country’s agricultural produce, livestock and fish take place here. It is a major link to a principal port of trade with Dakar. What this means is that Bamako is quite integral to the existence of Mali. It is so important that, without the state capital, Mali would lose about 36% of its GDP.

That’s why what you’re about to read is shocking: You know what a group of people in Mali did to the roads leading up to Bamako in August 2019?

They blocked it.

Now, why would they do a thing like that?

Two words: bad roads.

Mali is a country plagued with close to impassable roads. Multiple directives on the internet warn travellers and visitors to be careful of its roadways. Having had enough of the government’s nonchalance to fixing the roads, a group called Sirako (which translates to “about the roads” in the country’s Bambara language), joined residents in blocking the main way leading up to the country’s capital. This blockade went on for about four days, gravely disrupting trading activities in the country.

The blockades.

The blockades started on August 23 in the western city of Kayes. Hundreds of residents blocked the main bridge over the Senegal River.

By day four, the protests had spread to other regions: over 1000 trucks loaded with merchandise for trade were stuck outside of the city’s capital – Bamako.

Attempts by the government to have the blockades removed proved abortive — the Prime Minister couldn’t get representatives of the people to budge.

Within the time the blockades stood, dealers in fruit feared for their produce, which were stuck in trucks unable to access the city capital. Bus passengers had to walk kilometres to make it into Bamako.

The country was in a standstill, because a few citizens decided, enough was enough.

The aftermath of the blockades.

By August 28th, less than a week after the blockades started, the government released an ’emergency’ 5.0 billion CFA francs, for the resumption of a major highway project to fix the roads leading up to the city capital.

See where a little strong head can get you?

Now, this might not work in the Nigerian context because well, you don’t need to do much before tear gas makes an appearance during protests. But, it does make you think. Hitting the government where it hurts just might be the way to go.

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

November 16, 2022

On 15 November 2022, a war began between eight local domestic airlines and stakeholders of a brand new airline, Nigeria Air.  The war came in the form of a court order from the domestic airlines which demanded that Nigeria Air stakeholders halt their launch and withdraw its Air Transport License.  The stakeholders in question are […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

November 25, 2022

Just three months to the start of the 2023 elections, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Abdullahi Adamu, started a beef with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). It wasn’t about electoral violence or vote buying but rather a new feature of the 2023 elections. The APC national chairman believes Nigeria […]

Recommended Quizzes

December 3, 2019

Are you a professional Yoruba demon? Are you walking around in search of whose life you can wreck at any given time? Well, this quiz knows exactly how many hearts you’ve shattered to date, and before you lie that your result is inaccurate, just remember that Zikoko is never wrong. Now, take it and be […]

April 14, 2020

Every friend group consists of very different and specific characters — from the parent to the fun one — and it can be a little tough figuring out where you fall. So, we’ve created a quiz that lets you know exactly what kind of friend you are. Take to find out:

how much of an ajebutter
February 12, 2020

Are you an ajebutter or not? Well, if you’ve gone through life blissfully unaware of its harshness, then you probably are. Now, we want to know just how high you rank on that ajebutter scale, using your food preferences as a (very accurate) measure. Take to find out:

October 30, 2019

2010 was a game-changing one for Nollywood, with our movies making serious cash and getting international acclaim. So, which of these hits released between 2010 and 2019 — from the pace-setting The Wedding Party to the divisive Trip To Jamaica — best suits your personality? Well, that’s what this quiz is here to answer:

November 11, 2019

Today, we are going to be using your taste in music to determine how good you actually are in bed. All you need to do is create the ultimate Nigerian hit — from the lead artist to the producer — and we’ll tell you if all your partners leave satisfied, or if you are just […]

More from Citizen

November 25, 2022

Just three months to the start of the 2023 elections, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Abdullahi Adamu, started a beef with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). It wasn’t about electoral violence or vote buying but rather a new feature of the 2023 elections. The APC national chairman believes Nigeria […]

November 24, 2022

If we asked you to describe the 2023 presidential election campaigns, what word would you use?  Whichever word just ran through your mind, we know it doesn’t rhyme with “boring” or “dry”, because the campaign season has been entertaining.  Millions of Nigerian voters have picked their candidates for the 2023 presidential election, but we won’t […]

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

September 13, 2022
Vs The World is a Zikoko original video series that follows best friends Astor and Hassan as they take on the world.
August 23, 2022
Zikoko Ships is a Zikoko Original series where we invite two people who share a relationship to play the Zikoko card games
December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X