Evolution or Revolution? No, Nigeria has shuddered through cold nights in a lonely atmosphere to bride evolution as the cornerstone of her socio-economic grit. She has stumped through storms to appraise evolution at this critical phase of her nightmares. Though one may argue that we are not standing still: we are making some progress, but when the pace of advancement around the world is dissected, then we might stand to the stance that holds true – Nigeria need a very urgent revolution if it must survive.
John F. Kennedy pointed out that “a revolution is coming – a revolution which will be peaceful if we are wise enough; successful if we are fortunate enough – but a revolution is coming whether will want it or not. We can affect its character; we cannot alter its inevitability”. Not only did he imply a paradigm shift but also a movement which if down to earth could effect fundamental changes in the socio-economic situation of a country.
Like John Kennedy posited: whether it appeals to our likings or scratches the pores. It is inevitable. It could enthrone development if we are “wise”. Over the months, the term “revolution” has broken barriers and become a national question in the immediate aftermath of the call by Mr Omoyele Sowore, for a nationwide protest tagged “RevolutionNow” for sanity, accountability, and transparency that has precluded the Nigeria polity. As a result, he was arrested and accused of “conspiracy to commit treasonable felony” amidst the most satirical and ironic twist of all; “insulting the person of the president”. However, it must be firmly established that Sowore’s call for a nationwide protest is simply a revelation of the orgy of impunities the country is deeply buried.
Looking beyond the political spins, a revolution in Nigeria is non-negotiable. This is not talking about a violent revolution. Nigeria cannot afford to shed the blood of her kiths and kins. More importantly, the world has moved from embracing violence to a revolution of thought to drive needed changes. Thus, no one needs to be ensnared for slapping the ‘gods’ with the bitter pills of truth.
It is obvious Nigeria is grappling with a colossal of failure in the system. Nigeria is undergoing a serious socio-economic crisis and it is likely to get worse, in the course of time. The climate is not only enthroning fear but repressive. The fourth estate is being pressed, the last hope of the common man – the judicial system -runs on a “cash and carry” radar with the education system turned an ivory tower with neither ivory nor tower; The healthcare system is a big joke that medical doctors move out in droves in search of greener pastures while the security of lives and properties of the people hangs in between the red sea and Pharaoh’s chariot that we’ve had enough to shed. That is not to talk of the ethnic tensions and communal clashes that have crippled the soul of the country and the pathetic insincerity the government wallows.
The war against Boko Haram has remained technically defeated or literally won for years just like they have said, but the point is, the sect needs to be defeated and totally eliminated by walking the talks. The biggest drawback to the war is the thread of lies and sugar-coated propaganda woven around it by the government. While BokoHaram is wreaking havoc in the red zone – North East – Banditry, kidnapping amongst others prowl the country like unnoticed worms. It is the same as the level of mismanagement and corruption in the country even in the face of the flirting blade of anti-corruption.
The institutions of the state have never become a thorn in the flesh of the ordinary Nigerians with her repressive laws ever. Take the social media bill introduced in the “honoured-horrible” Senate, aimed at purging the internet off misinformation, is another stunt to silence the constitutionally-guaranteed rights to freedom of expression and speeches of Nigerians who are critical of government moves, policies, and corruption at the corridor of power. For once since the return to civil rule, democratic principles have never been so threatened, raped and shattered. Which country that truly aspires for growth stifle public opinion and aspirations?
The Coalition for Whistleblower and Press Freedom (CWPPF) chronicled seventy-one attacks on the media including harassment, intimidation, detention, and death in 2019. The mass media which is tooled to “uphold the responsibility and accountability of government to the people”, imbued with the freedom to publish the truth without fear or favor is now whining in pains due in part to the intolerance of the power-that-be to critical views.
Despite that the country’s rank in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2020 index moved 15th place up from its 2019 spot after securing the 131st position, the country still has anti-business policies. The fact is, Nigeria is far from attaining the grand mark. Referencing the closure of the country’s land borders which have made living a hard nut for the people especially those at the lowest rung of the economic ladder, the closure is a big step at the wrong time. Backhanded!
Echoing the poetic lines of W.B.Yeats in his poem “the second coming,” -read thus: “Turning and turning in the widening gyre. The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things Fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.” The Nigerian state is “falling apart” and the centre may not likely hold any longer — The point is, Nigeria needs not a bloody revolution. Nigeria needs not a rebirth, built upon the gory pictures of her fallen innocent countrymen to drive a genuine national plan and development: a gallery of scars that may never heal. The revolution the country needs to pilot her to the promised land is that based on the tripartite principles of thought, Ideas, and Vision.
Taking a clue from this simple analogy — the popular Ukrainian “orange revolution” of late November 2004 to January 2005 emblemed the power of civic engagements to sustain national plans. The revolution was a nationwide civil resistance against plots to rape Ukrainians of their conscience and mandate in the run-off vote of the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election which was alleged to be marred by electoral fraud. Consequently, the results of the original run-off were annulled, and a re-vote was ordered by Ukraine’s Supreme Court. Like Ukraine, genuine national development could be attainable in Nigeria through a revolution of thought and idea.
The revolution Nigeria truly needs at this phase of her nightmares is an overhaul of the system where no persons are above the law. A government and citizens that are visionary: patriotic and committed to national objectives. What Nigeria needs for her to achieve sustainable development is a government that respects constitutional provisions and democratic principles that it inspired people to believe in the project’ Nigeria’. Only then can the world believe in Nigeria, only then can she be humanly and economically friendly. A country that is honest with itself, that is the revolution urgently needed to midwife genuine national development.
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