By James Ogunjimi
When some people say REVOLUTION cannot happen in Nigeria, to me, that is the first pointer to the fact that it can; it is the first stamp of authority on the possibility and workability of a revolution in Nigeria.
This is because history has taught us that every country that had a revolution had all these ‘doubting Thomases’ and their doubts, they had all the veteran political commentators and their depressingly-brilliant analyses, they had their own share of self-acclaimed change agents who were later revealed to be masquerades only fighting to get their claws into the ‘national cake’.
On Acceptability & Originality of a Peoples Revolution
If our concept of revolution is one that is so appealing that it is embraced by all and sundry at the first mention of it, then what we have on our hands won’t be a People’s revolution that will benefit the people; it will only be a reform aimed at cementing the powers of the status quo while empowering more national frauds.
A revolution that will benefit the People will NEVER be accepted at the first mention of it, because its actualisation will be fraught with so many dangers that it sends the lily-livered scampering to the safety of their comfort zones where they grumble their way into old age. A revolution that will benefit the People won’t be a revolution supported by the Western ‘big brothers’ because they are themselves the agents of repression and IMF-induced servitude.
A People’s revolution won’t be all these ‘T-shirt or jeun-jeun struggle’ where those who are fighting to be given food, housing, jobs and other rights are still expected to buy ‘struggle t-shirts’ before they can join or they shouldn’t bother to join. It will be a revolution that will be fought by all; the poor and impoverished of the society and the rich.
A revolution that will benefit the People won’t be one that will make anti-People concessions, it won’t be a revolution that is ‘being fair to all concerned’ in that it doesn’t want to step on toes. No, it will be a revolution that will leave in its wake countless bruised, broken and bloody toes. It will be a revolution that will not allow itself to be affected by things like age, culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation or tribe; it will be a revolution that will mete out judgement without fear or favour regardless of whose ox is gored – be it friend or family.
Peaceful or otherwise?
To the advocates of a ‘peaceful revolution’, it is an open secret that I’m no advocate of such. That however doesn’t make me a warmonger or advocate of bloodshed. Those who call for a ‘forceful change’ don’t do so because they love bloodshed or because they hate life and crave the ‘allure of martyrdom’; it is because certain events show clearly that the limit to what a peaceful agitation can bring about has been reached and only a recourse to forceful, aye, violent means can bring about the desired change.
Because Nigerians are a religious lot, let me draw a reference from the Bible. In the Bible, there’s a place that asks the question, is it possible to enter a strong man’s house and take away his goods without first binding the strong man hand and foot and then take away his goods? To me, that is the religious answer to the question of peaceful or violent revolution.
People expecting a peaceful revolution are obviously not taking into cognisance the realities on ground in Nigeria and the level of propaganda, deceit, and selfish interventions that exist in world politics. Today, we have leaders who would rather go to war and sacrifice countless innocent lives rather than relinquish power, today we have leaders that will sacrifice their nation’s natural resources just to get ‘support’ from their western ‘big brothers’ to fight perceived ‘political enemies’ and agitators.
The pitfalls most change makers fall into is to follow carefully-crafted designs of imperialism on effecting change. Designs like the “Arab Spring”, “Occupy Nigeria”, etc are designs whose outcomes over time have failed and continue being perpetuated because the designers know it is a pathway to nowhere. It is like asking someone to teach you how to kill him and foolishly expecting him to give you the correct approach to killing him.
We are like Delilah lying on the laps of the western ‘Samsons’ and asking, “Samson, what can be done to rid you of your powers”? Of course no one will point their Achilles heel to you and like Assata Shakur said, “No one will give you the education you need to overthrow them.” So, the very fact that the western ‘big brothers’ propagate the ‘Arab Spring’, ‘Occupy Nigeria’, etc as real designs for change is enough to make me distrust such methods and dismiss them as counter-revolutionary attempts.
Another pitfall that change makers fall into is the pitfall of taking historical occurrences and methods of effecting change and trying to duplicate such methods without taking into consideration the realities they live in. Now, I have no problem with people using the Russian or Cuban revolution as road maps, but I find it disturbing that instead of taking lessons from those experiences and building on them, we want to duplicate them; this is perhaps the surest path to failure. Let us remember that today’s ingredient for success might be tomorrow’s recipe for failure.
As events continue to emerge, we must take lessons where we should and be committed more than ever to effect the desired change BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.
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