It is no longer news that the cerebral fragment of the Nigerian middle-class has been furious about the prospect and requisite of a revolution in Nigeria, such that will alter our political condition. Several groups have joined such call, ranging from the human right activists, labour unions, opposition parties to students’ community. It is crystal clear that some of these have neglected a heart of sincerity in their call, as the political-economic interest of the common man is not put into thoughtfulness. Have you ever wondered why the tiny layer of the ‘rich class’ is being concentrated with power in their hands? Have you ever pondered on why the Nigerian political power is being rotated within their circle, irrespective of party affiliations?
Along this line, it is expedient that we engage our intellect before the psychomotor aspect. If not, the other fragment of the oppressors who had lost all hope in the state structures, in their pretense of revolution, will definitely crave for a way to ride on the crest of mass resentment in gaining political power. Their call for revolution is neither for the masses to gain definite independence from the political bondage we have been subjected to, nor for a transmogrification in our socio-economic dome, but for them to reach the vantage position.
The labour unions, which should arouse the consciousness of Nigerians to making the right revolutionary change are becoming douse in corruption, and are simply characterized by a leadership of dummies. It is the same set of people that condemn retrenchment, but are not against privatization and commercialization which are the basis of this retrenchment. To be more precise, it is not to totally condemn everyone making such call for revolution or simply put, they are all doing that for monetary and egocentric reason. After all, there still resides in this ‘insane asylum’, people who are upright in their dealings and call for a revolution. When such hope like our labour unions fails, what do we do? We have to rise up to the task, ourselves.
In this regard, it makes it more interesting that revolution is a tool, but it usefulness lies in the hands of the wielder. If an Abacha wields such tool, he would smash it to work for his licentiousness. If a Gani Fawehinmi brandishes it, he would position it to unfetter the oppressed. Our civic lethargy, witlessness, reticence, and discord had made our political spate a place where the ignominies have their say and the scallywags have their way. With the recent happenings, one may say that Nigeria is the ‘accursed out-backs of hell’ since every noble concepts that functioned somewhere else come to our nation to perish.
And the youths are not helping matter, at all! One may even ask if our intelligence quotient is inferior to that of our nearest evolutionary cousins -the chimpanzees, since we cannot organize a struggle touching our subjugation, and tormentors. We have become predisposed to this kind of gargantuan failure that Nigeria has become, since the very day we became doyens in grasping defeat from the orifices of victory, yet we watch as castrated onlookers. Many Nigerian youths scaffold such defeated state our country is, since it’s the path they have roughshod to an ill-gotten wealth, and many ‘youth-journalists or writers’ have been empowered to run their mouths in defense of their foolishness.
The French revolution of 1789 under the leadership of Napoleon Bonaparte ended up paving the way for the expulsion of feudal despotism, prebendal appropriation and mismanagement of power across Europe. It gave room for the creeks of critical thinking and genius bottled up in the peasants, which have for ages sought expression to no avail. Several political thinkers like Rousseau, Thomas Paine, Pascal’s Penske and Montesquieu.
Such a revolution is needed in Nigeria. An “anti-oppression youth” strategy which will provide a framework to organize radicalizing youths, most especially students into political activity and democratic activist structures, raising students’ level of political consciousness should be initiated. This strategy will help on the need to build alliances with other sections of the society. Various demonstrations, marches, occupations of plazas, non-violent civil resistance, acts of civil disobedience, a closed state, a growing state crisis, elite divisions or tensions – frequently coupled with rapid educational expansion, popular grievances aligned with mobilization networks and strikes will also help.
This conversely does not infer that the road will be suave or that this procedure is a special formula that can be implemented in a day and yield result in a year or two. It is a long-term programme meant to inspire a political discussion and debate among the few intellectual youths and create a stern political plan. There will be setbacks, even rupture within our revolutionary camp (as various styles e.g. left-wing, right-wing, etc. will emerge) while the oppressors will even create moles within the camp. The revolution we need is not the one that will place the power in the hands of another fragment of the capitalist class, but in the ‘working and poor people of Nigeria who create the wealth but are denied the fruit of their labour’.
The Nigerian youths have to lead this course of revolt. We have to rise up to the responsibility of contesting for public offices, making the desired change in our immediate locale, engaging the autocrats in a fierce debate (as there are times, silence is not golden). Some journalists have suggested that for things to be veracious in Nigeria, the current natives of the geographical location called Nigeria should be replaced. Some even opted for the Jerry Rawlings approach, in which those leaders suspected to be responsible for the current mess will be eliminated. To be frank, are the followers in Nigeria better than the leaders?
There are values that should be imbibed by Nigerian youths, such as honesty, helping the needy, punctuality and respect for merit, if a sincere revolution will not be a daydream. These are not values that can be inculcated overnight, we have to imbibe and grow with them. We should grow to become responsible citizens who will be ready to lead themselves and the country, instead of the recycled ‘done-with’ cargoes. It is this new generation that could produce a new society and a new Nigeria that we should all be proud of. While students are a potentially powerful social force, and can act as a catalyst for revolutionary upheaval, the youthful force altogether have the power to make a socialist revolution alone. However, there is a reason to be sanguine about youth conditions in leading a definite, decent and fulfilling revolution. As luck would have it, THE IDEAL REVOLUTION WILL HAPPEN.