Nigeria: January 1st 2012 Fuel Subsidy: The Revolution That We Missed
This country, with its institution, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.
Revolutions are not made; they come. A revolution is as natural a growth as an oak. It comes out of the past. Its foundations are laid far back.
Freedom is never offered on a platter of gold; yet it is not compulsory that blood must be shed or lives lost before the people are freed. I personally dislike hearing the belief that a martyr must sacrifice his or herself as a benchmark for a revolution to take place. There are peaceful revolutions… such is what I stand for. Whoever thinks we are living in a free country must be as blind as the bat. From all angles of life, all facets of the economy and all corners of the working system of Nigeria, we have been oppressed and suppressed. And sadly, despite all they have embezzled, the oppressors are just not willing to let go.
They dominate the entire country and when they are tired, they hand over to their children whom they have sent abroad to learn “winner take all” ideologies; then these children continue from where their fathers stopped and on and on it goes. It’s really so sad in Nigeria! We only grumble in our hearts and scream out our lungs on twitter and Facebook pages; we take to blogging and singing of songs to vent our anger, and there it ends. The oppressors know we are so lily livered and they laugh at us, saying in their hearts, “leave those youths, they can only make noise, they will soon come to realty that life is more than tweeting and facebooking”. They are very correct; we are a bunch of Lilly-livered, weak fellows, not fit to bear even one testicle between our legs. Sadly enough; I’m also weak, shouting on the pages of newspapers and web pages. It’s pathetic!
It’s our weakness that could make the criminals of yesterday who once sat at the Federal Executives Council (FEC) to determine the way the country run, now turn to twitter to preach democracy. It’s our weakness that made political robbers of yesterday to come tweeting and preaching change in another government, when they ought to be put in a gas chambers and left to die. Oh!, it’s truly our weakness as youths that ex-ministers and vice presidents turn to heroes on social media, insulting our collective intelligence while clamoring for political power to return to a party of their choice. But the true answer is that we are not weak; we only do not know where to begin. Or are we?
It’s is our perceived weakness that a bunch of collectives robbers (new PDP) could break away from a ruling party (PDP) all in the name of fighting for democracy. Yet they still hold talks to see how they can reconcile their differences and continue the looting as usual. They truly see us as citizens who were not ripe from our mother’s womb.
Forget Nigerian Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress to bring the desired change we want. They are bunch of labor politicians masquerading as unionist, who live in mansions and drive exotic cars while the true laborers push wheelbarrows. Labor leaders that could give their gubernatorial ticket to a subsidy thief, Ifeanyi Ubah are not fit to call us out for strike actions. We had the opportunity on January 1st 2012 to stage a revolution, but the thieves in labor, whom we trusted, sold us out at a midnight meeting, after unknown promises were made to them and ‘Ghana must go’ exchanged hands. I do not believe in them; it’s every man to his pocket and every Israelite to his tent. Egypt did not need labor unions or labor congress to have a showdown with their government.
Discard National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), student thieves who dine and wine with the powers that be, while the real students suffer. In a serious association; with ASUU on strike, Aso rock should have been ‘on fire’ by now, but these sets of NANS have gotten brief cases of cash as gifts, and thus the strike will continue. Aluta continua, Victoria Acertia, my foot!
We are the oppressed and the down trodden. We are the labor in question. We are the students and we are the government. This is what I see, that even if it doesn’t happen in our generation; our children will cause a quake in the country that the president will rather commit suicide than be caught alive by them. Or will it happen now in this here, our generation?
I see a disenchanted youth forming a group on the social media, mobilizing themselves from the four corners of the country, bounded by the same purpose and united by a cause. These groups as I can see are people in their youth from 16 to 45 years. This is the speech I see them make:
“Dear Friends and Comrades, foes and oppressors alike. I call you today because we have found in each other a common identity; the inflicted signature of the oppressed marked on us all. There are no leaders in this common front for we are all fellow comrades of non violent posture. Let it not be said that we are unpatriotic, for patriotism runs in our veins more than the collective men in the high places, who have sworn an oath with the king of Hades to keep us under their feet. None could be more patriotic than all the men gathered today to take their destinies in their hands. I assure no man that the whips will not fall; I make no vow that the prison walls will not bind us together, but this assurance I make, – that the actions of today will see to the freedom of our seeds tomorrow.
Call this action treason today by any name and bid the court pass treason and felony judgment thereafter, but nothing is more treasonable than the oppression of a majority by the minority. We claim to be free but we are more chained than when we got independence from that great country called Great Britain, but do we go back to Egypt because a selected few have chained us to their evil ways, when we can loosen ourselves from the bonds? I know of no better way to judge the present but by the past and this certainly is one of such moments.
Comrades, have our history books not told us beautiful tales of how the naira was a greater currency than the dollar? Didn’t the school teachers mark us wrong when we ticked an answer that there was never free education by Chief Obafemi Awolowo in the then Western region? Friends, do we not remember our grandparents singing us songs of a once sweet Nigeria? And now I ask; is it a misfortune on our part that we only hear such things but are not beneficiaries? I refuse to believe that our stars hate the goodies of life. I do not subscribe that our collective existence caused the disappearance of such wonderful moments. I reject the assumption that the black race lacks the ability to prosper and excel. It is not our faults that we were born when life in this country chose the hard path. Whose hand then brought this evil upon us? Friends, our current crops of leaders did! Oh yes they did!
Sirs and Ma’s, what then do we do to bring back the Golden Fleece that they took away? Shall we try pleading? No! That we have done for over three decades, but they have cheated us the more. Shall we try dialogue? Certainly yes, but they have refused the sovereign national conference, where we ought to decide our common destiny; if to stay as a united country or part ways as various entities. What then shall we try? Revolution? Friends, I ask, do we try revolution?
The common answer is obvious and that is revolution; the major cause for which we are assembled today, in different places all over the country, and countries where we are in perpetual exile, with different comrades delivering the same liberation speech. Revolution we all agree is the answer to our freedom. We are free from the colonial masters but enslaved by our own people. This is the second era of de-colonization. We either win or we remain slaves to our fellow countrymen, slaves to the lowest among us.
This is no time for ceremony; no moment for oratory, neither is this an hour for sober reflection. The ceremony is ended and the reflections are well thought. This is the call for action. Shut your ears against the blaring siren and shut your eyes against the camouflages and boots that the oppressor are wont to send; race your minds to the future you need to secure for your today and the seeds that will come tomorrow. On my part; I’m willing to stake my all to this burning furnace that we face, from the tyrants and autocrats masquerading as leaders; leaders who got to the throne by the collective votes that we weigh. I’m willing to sing that great man, John F. Kennedy tune to them that “those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable”.
Comrades, we have used everything within us to drive away this hurricane that has stared us in the face. For the corrupt ones have we written petitions against; the unfavorable policies we demonstrated against and the non serious but sensitive issues; we have cried blood pleading. Yet all of these have landed on deaf ears; our pleas have been thrown back at us and our petitions mocked in the silence of their chambers; our demonstration they have misunderstood as weaklings and demonstrations of dying men.
Oh yes Comrades; we are dying men and dying men cling to anything for survival. Revolution is our cling. There is no room any longer for negotiation or common ground for resolution. They have made dictatorship a fact and we have made revolution our right. Friends, we are not the weak they say we are. They have mistaken our being quiet to be foolish and have turned themselves to a government of wolves and jackals. If as we have mustered the uncommon courage and fortitude, making use of the multitude of 150 million people who share a common cause of liberation with us, united by poverty with a collective song of equal opportunities and a must share in our national wealth; we will break their clutch and crush their holds on us. More so, as we have above us a just God who watches over the affairs of men; this God is available to lead us to victory as he has always done and as He promises to always do.
And now comrades, let the revolution song begin. Gather on the social networks and amass a common front so strong that the enemy cannot break. Send out the words on the blackberry messengers and ring the revolution bells on twitter. Spread this message of hope on Facebook and alert the messages to our foreign media friends. Pour it out to the four corners of the earth and let the globe hear of our sufferings and our resolve to be a free people in our land and the cause for it to be a country where truly, no man is oppressed. Preach the message to every being that has a soul and every being that has a heart. Stand it tall that the oppressors get divided and their ranks broken.
Friends, wait for no labor to call industrial actions; rather declare it yourselves, for we are the true laborers. Sit at home and cripple the economy. Boycott their products, their rice and cement. Abandon their airlines. Go all out and share pamphlets; write in magazines and whatever men read, that they may know the disenchantment of the people. We have waited so long and can wait no further. Let the oppressor come and the rulers march forward; for today we shall dine together not in agreement to their cause any longer, but to our bidding. Let them come!
Brethren, this is a battle of the mind and wits, not of bullets and stones. This is a revolution of hearts, brave enough to dare a lion and resilient enough to walk the desert, for to dare is the whole secret of revolution. The die is cast and the moment is reached. What more to do than to agree at a given place, armed not with weapons like their cowardly militia, but a resolute heart to die if need be. March to the oppressors’ zone in the four corners of the nation and demand that which we have collectively agreed– that they relinquish power to the people. We have not demanded much, for it is when a people sneeze and the government sits up that we have democracy, but when a government coughs and the people scamper and die, then we have an autocracy.
I beseech thee friends and comrades; sell not this mission for a morsel of porridge nor allow any Judas in to betray our cause with a kiss, for beyond the skin, we are all kith and kin. What do we truly live for and what is life worth, if we cannot decide our future by ourselves? Do we desire a common entity as a country that we become slaves in our own country? God forbid! I know we choose a common cause to cause a revolution, but should there be any Judas among us, cursed is he and slavery remain in such a fellows household till the sound of the trumpet.
I know not if this revolution yet sweeps you enough to take a stand and dare the oppressor, but as for me; I choose the dripping tears of freedom than slavery wrapped in a flowing ocean. Give us the beautiful country of our dreams or take us on the cross to Golgotha.”
The change we seek truly stares us in the face and we either act or forever remain silent.
These little things matter…
Fejiro Oliver, a Journalist can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org and +2348026797588 (sms only please). Engage him on twitter @fejirooliver86 and Facebook; fejirooliver86. Like our Facebook page- secretsreporters