By Jaye Gaskia
“Every generation must out of relative obscurity, discover its mission; fulfill it, or betray it”…….Frantz Fanon
“There is one Army stronger than all Armies in the world; that is an Idea whose time has come”……Victor Hugo
How do we begin? Where do we start from? Rupture! There idea, and materiality, that is, tangible reality of Rupture; by which we mean the historically intense process of radical break [with certain essentially detrimental parts], as well as radical continuity [with certain other equally essential enhancing parts] with our historical march as a people and nation.
Since I do not intend to be dense, let me explain. Rupture in the context in which it is being used here, describes the very essence and core character of a revolutionary moment, occurrence and process. It is used in the sense by which a revolution entails a very radical break in and with certain processes that have come to previously define the life of a nation and people. So the old society, or more appropriately the old way of running the society is overthrown and supplanted by new ways of organising society.
But it also connotes and includes the process, equally intense of continuity with certain traditions, in particular traditions of resistance, from the old society, and the old ways of organising society.
In our specific national, that is Nigeria context, Rupture will connote on the one hand, the very intense and urgent process of radical and apparently sudden break with the unwholesome traditions of leadership and governance by our failed thieving, treasury looting ruling class [all its factions inclusive].
These areas of national life with which we shall need to break with radically include the culture of sleaze, fraud, and corruption; the culture of inept and incompetent governance; the culture of the perpetration and perpetuation of impoverisation of the people and underdevelopment of the nation [in particular underdevelopment and underutilization of its human and material resources]; and the culture of exclusion, marginalization and exploitation of the immense majority of citizens, the subordinate classes of our society.
Rupture will also connote on the other hand, the process of radical, intensified, and modified continuity with the humanizing traditions and culture of struggle and resistance against injustice and oppression; and for social justice and equity; for an inclusive experience of citizenship; for the building of an inclusive, and socially just and equitable nation; for the radical redistribution of national wealth etc.
Rupture 2015, is thus the political and revolutionary project to build up the momentum as we approach the 2015 general elections, that will enable us to set the stage for achieving this dialectical, that is inter connected and mutually reinforcing processes of radical break and continuity.
Rupture 2015 is a project to ginger, awaken, and actively mobilise ourselves to ensure that we build up sufficient social momentum to influence decisively the processes leading to, and culminating in the 2015 general elections, in a manner that allows us through the 2015 general elections to challenge, shake, demystify, and eventually bring down and supplant the summit of unaccountable, opaque, lootocratic, and increasingly unrepresentative power of the nation’s corrupt treasury looting and dependent ruling class.
It is in this sense that elections [that is very intensely class contested elections] and the electoral process can assume the character of an incipient and emergent revolutionary process; ‘election as revolution’.
Is there a potential for this kind of phenomenon to happen in our country? Yes there is. The crisis engendered by the annulment of the June 12 presidential elections of 1993, and the struggle for the qualified restoration of that mandate was one such historical instance.
A more recent, and far more historically significant and potentially decisive such process was the January Uprising of 2012, the Ten Days that shook Nigeria, and the entrenched establishment to its very foundations.
The good thing is that the radicalizing experience of the January Uprising is still fresh, and the generation radicalized by it is still an emergent political force.
But if we are to achieve the political and socio-economic objective of Rupture 2015; then we will have to undertake the following processes:
· First, we shall need to continue to deepen, and enhance our daily resistance against the injustices in our society, and the trends towards as well as the deleterious consequences of the governance ineptitude, administrative incompetence, and greed driven light fingeredness of our treasury looting ruling class. Every act of theirs that threaten our existence, and tends to further impoverish us and make us insecure, we must continue to resist and mobilise against.
· Second, we must build explicitly political platforms [#DPSR]that we must utilize in converting our anguish into anger; and our anger into political action; which politically challenges the claim to power of the ruling elites. This political platforms and formations must be independent of the political parties and formations of the ruling elites; as well as being autonomous of the crippling domination of individual political heavyweights [alias ‘Godfathers and Godmothers’] of the ruling elites.
· Third, it is incumbent on us to ensure that we consciously mobilise as many Nigerians as are qualified to vote to register to vote, that is to be on the electoral roll/voters register. We must particularly target the millions of Nigerians who have never bothered with the electoral process in the past, inclusive of the many millions who have just come of age. We must target the demographics of youth and women; majority of those radicalized by the January Uprising. In this sense an integral part of this quest must be to reach every Occupy Nigeria activist, and seek to convince them to become activists and organisers for the Great Historic Political Challenge of Rupture 2015.
· Fourth, it is one thing to get registered as a voter, it is quite another, to come out to vote. It will therefore be equally important and incumbent on us to get as many registered voters to come out to actually vote as possible.
Fifth, we must reach out to Nigerians, organise and mobilise them with a new vision of inclusive and shared national prosperity; inclusive citizenship; and uplifting national greatness. We shall then need to support and accompany this vision, with an alternative and radical program for social emancipation of our people, and the national liberation of our country. Such a program will be built essentially around a massive project of ensuring equity and access to basic social infrastructures and services.
A project that will require massive investment in social capital, in the provision and rebuilding of infrastructure, and services; focused on overcoming the ingrained deficits in energy supply and access, affordable and accessible housing, affordable and accessible roads and transportation, affordable and accessible functional education and quality healthcare, achieving food security and food sovereignty, industrial revival and rejuvenation of economic processes and activities, the diversification of the fundamental basis of the economy, and the prudent, transparent and accountable utilisation of the nation’s resources, necessarily including the vigorous and exemplary tackling, through severe punishment of corruption [past and present], waste and leakage.
For example there is no reason why with a cumulative solid minerals development fund of over N800bn we have not been able to achieve a viable and commercially profitable solid minerals sector of the economy. Nor is there any reason why with a cumulative N400bn ecological fund, we have not been able to put processes in place to tackle and reverse ecological and environmental devastation.
There is equally no reason why any government which has available to it in one year alone, and external reserve of $48bn should not be able to undertake, with just this amount, and without spending new savings; a massive transformation of the national economy through massive investment in basic infrastructure and services [including safety nets and social protection/security]; while simultaneously creating millions of sustainable jobs, and therefore tackling the joblessness, hopelessness, poverty, and alienation that fuels insecurity and crime.
If we want to make the 2015 general elections qualitatively different; if we want that election to make a qualitative difference in our personal and collective lives; then we must be prepared ourselves to make a difference on the road towards 2015; we must be prepared and ready to become political activists and politically active in the search for, and building of the alternative platform, party, program, and social emancipatory and national libratory vision to TAKE BACK NIGERIA.
We are in the era of global crisis and global resistance, we must take advantage of the globally altering balance of social [class] forces; we must take urgent, immediate and active steps to Seize The Time, Seize The Moment, and Take a Giant Leap Forward.
The greatest obstacles to our realization of our self emancipation; to our realization of the goal and objective of Rupture 2015 however will not only be the frantic and deadly opposition and backlash from the ruinous thieving elites we seek to unseat and dethrone; it will also be our ingrained lack of self confidence, and the large dose of self doubt. They say to us that we lack the capacity to build the necessary organisation and momentum to achieve such historic tasks and duties. And we believe them and internalize these resulting in self doubt. So we go ahead and say to ourselves that we actually lack the capacity.
Well guess what? We made the January Uprising! How can we lack the capacity to set ourselves free and by so doing liberate our nation? How can we doubt our own abilities so much that we are prepared to rely on elements of the ruling class, and their organisations, as the vehicles for our liberation; The same elements that have occupied the political space, and used their occupation to mine our national treasury to the point of exhaustion over the last three decades? How can those who have played decisive roles in our national decline be expected to be the ones to lead us out of this hell?
We can make the 2015 general elections a decisive one for our nation, and the trajectory of our national history. We can build up the momentum of popular mobilisation such that we change and transform the dynamics of that election in our favour. We can build a mass and popular political movement, which can transform the electoral process into a revolutionary contestation; and an electoral victory into the inauguration of a popular democratic revolution. We can get people out to register to vote, and get them out to vote; we can provide them with a real alternative; and we can then truly make our votes count.
This is a viable path to popular victory, a possible road to popular democratic power, it is a road whose abandonment maybe to our own peril.
Rupture 2015? Yes we can rupture the vice grip of this inept and corrupt thieving ruling elites on power, and consequently on our socio-economic life as a nation and people.
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