Friday, October 19, 2012
Shehu Sani Friday, 28 September 2012 - Nigeria Tribune Online
EVERY rational being thrives well in an orderly society, hence the necessity to ensure stability in the polity. Good governance equally thrives in an orderly society, hence the necessity to sustain orderliness. As orderliness thrives, leaders however continue to abuse the system through corruption, intolerance, dictatorship and human right abuses. When corruption, maladministration, human rights abuses and dictatorship prevail, they sometimes trigger revolts and resistance from the greater percentage of the populace, hence, the series of revolutions world wide.
Revolutions can be non-violent as in the case of Philippines or violent as in the case of Russia or China. It can be against a monarchy as in the case of France or against dictators as in the case of Cuba or Nicaragua. It can be religion as in Iran or secular as in Egypt. It can be a struggle for independence as in the case of America against the British or Algeria against France or Guinea Bissau against the Portuguese. Revolution can be by communists as in China or Cuba.
Revolution can be by mass uprising, armed insurrections, student actions, labour strikes or by coup d’états as exemplified by Muammar Gadhafi and Thomas Sankara. There can also be revolutions via democratic elections as in the case of Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, which brought the emergence of radical leaders like Hugo Chavez, Eva Morales and others. Revolutions can also have such connotations as spring, red, velvet, orange, cider. In the past century, revolutions have reared its head, underlying the important fact that in each every man and women lies the critical levels to which they can endure pain, oppression and repression. From many past cases, what triggers revolutions are not always obvious but when it happens, it can sometimes be sudden and decisive.
There have been several revolutions in world history. There was the Haitian revolution in 1791, sparked by unpredicted slave revolts of Saint Dominguez who plunged the colony into a civil war. The slaves killed 4,000 whites, burnt and destroyed 180 sugar plantations and a hundred coffee plantation. There was the Islamic revolution, which refers to events involving the overthrow of Iran’s monarchy under Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, and its replacement with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Khomeini, the leader of the revolution. The strikes and demonstrations in the process paralyzed the country and forced the Shah unto exile, resulting in power vacuum which was filled by Khomeini two weeks later. The revolution was unusual and it created a lot of surprises throughout the world, as it overthrew a regime heavily protected by a lavishly financed army and security service. There was the Cuban revolution of 1953 which led to the overthrow of General Fulgencio Batista by the young Fidel Castro and his comrades, Che Guevara, Raul Castro and others after a long and bloody guerrilla insurgency.
There was the Chinese revolution of 1949 which brought the communist party to power and ended the capitalist and brutal regime of Chiange Kai Shek Kuomintang party. There was the Young Turk Revolution in the Ottoman Empire, just as we read of the Taiping Revolution of 1851 against the authority of the Quing Empire in China. There was the October socialist revolution in Russia in 1917 by an armed revolt which overthrew the Russian provisional government and gave power to some socialist revolutionaries.
There was also the glorious revolution of 1688 in England under King James, and then, there was the American, French and Indian revolutions.
The reality of history and the ongoing Arab spring are a clear signal and warning that a revolution is inevitable in a society with an entrenched social injustice and inequality. The reality of a revolution and its consequence may be too difficult for Nigeria to handle, considering the fragile state of the polity arising from the passion of its diverse regions and the religious and ethnic obsessions of some elements in those enclaves.
Yet, prominent Nigerians have been warning that a revolution may be imminent in Nigeria.
General Alani Akinrinade, a veteran of Nigerian civil war had warned the nation and its rudderless leadership back to a line of reasoning, trust and service delivery to empower the people and give them hope and reason to live; Alhaji Balarabe Musa, former Civilian Governor of the old Kaduna state had severely warned that the polity may be heading for a revolution unless drastic measures are taken to address it. General Muhamadu Buhari, also a veteran of Nigerian civil war, recently said that the revolution in Nigeria was a matter of time.
We have become a nation that neglects the aspiration of the majority populace for the minority and exploitative elites, with their selfish and unpatriotic interest.
We have witnessed the regrettable dissent of Nigeria to the lowest ebb of regional leadership in Africa, without any effort to address the issue.
There are sad and regrettable scenarios that had sparked up or watered previous revolutions, without showing any remorse to prevent its extension to our territory.
Oppression remains high and demeaning between the rich and the poor. Human rights violation is at all time high, fostering deeper hatred and resentment between the security agents/agencies and victims, shortchanging of rightful political candidates with unqualified favorites of political god father had produced pools of thousands of aggrieved and disenchanted Nigerians looking for slight outlets to vent their resentments against the state and the system. Million of very bright Nigerian graduates roam the labour market for elusive jobs and without the hope of securing any. The frustration has become all time high because among these graduates, you will find those whose parents sold all their valuables to ensure their education. Amongst them are those whose parents sold their previous land or borrowed money from village cooperative societies with the hope and belief that the money will be paid back immediately when their wards graduate and secured a better job.
It is high time for a drastic and selfless policy intervention to ensure the goodness of our land. The race to acquire and amass wealth between the nation’s elites is suffocating. We must change our values. We must be more conscious of the hereafter than the present, so as to prevent the “real revolution” that will certainly be unforgiving to many Nigerians perceived to have benefited from the system.
The future of Nigeria can only be assured if the progressive forces would take to the path of revolution by either seizing power through the democratic popular channel or by consistently mobilizing the masses to stand up and challenge any policy that undermines or that is detrimental to the interest of the masses of our great country.
Young people have an important role to play in freeing our country from the shackles of neo-colonial exploitations and plunder. The masses in the Northern part of Nigeria, must stand up against religious extremism and feudal bondage, the masses in southern part of Nigeria, must free themselves from ethnic chauvinism and ultra-nationalistic agenda. Nigerian ruling class is united in its desire to divide and divert our attention in order to sustain the existing socioeconomic system that enables it to plunder our natural resources and share them within itself. We must collectively stand up to free our country and to rapidly advance it to the level of emerging nations like China, Brazil, and South Korea.
We cannot afford to remain behind while the rest of humanity move forward.