Since securing political independence from Great Britain in October of 1960, Nigeria has consistently churned out political oppressors armed with the sole objective of raping the nation and its people to a state of nothingness. Nigerians, primary victims of this persistent grand scheme, have been overly malleable to challenge the atrocities of these villainous men and women.
The placid nature of Nigerians toward their political oppressors is not a deliberate choice by the people, it is a result of the defective orientation codified into our bloodstream soon after independence. This, for example, comes to life when a Nigerian looks another in the face and says:
“O boy, NEPA don try today o!”
The above is a typical reaction one elicits from a Nigerian after experiencing two or three hours of uninterrupted power supply. In Nigeria, such a duration of supply is a miracle because the people are used to only five to ten minutes of power supply in an entire week. This questionable commendation as seen above becomes necessary because the oppressors governing our country have told us, and we have gullibly agreed, too, that it is impossible for uninterrupted power supply to exist in our country. With such a damaging orientation embedded in our DNA, it is sometimes a herculean task to make some Nigerians see things differently.
However, the rising privation in the country resulting from the extreme mismanagement and pillaging of public resources by our elected oppressors has recently turned Nigerians into a questioning people. It started with the subsidy scandal in January of 2012. In fact, the public awareness and consciousness about the deceptive conduct of our political office holders is growing well and fast these days. It has acquired a broader shape and size with the woeful and disastrous administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, who rode to power on the back of ‘change’ and a well-publicised campaign against corruption. Curiously, not only has the Buhari government aborted the promise to wage an unrestrained war against corruption, the President and his accomplices have now produced what is obviously one of the most fraudulent government administrations Nigerians have had since 1960.
The recent demonstrations across the country indeed confirm that the expiration date placed on our collective foolishness and docility is approaching its last days. Although the crumbled administration of President Buhari may have arranged a counter-protest through an indoctrinated set of Nigerians who have equally been impoverished by the ineptitude and overly corrupt APC government and the successive ones, what this administration is yet to learn is that there is no force on earth capable of stopping a people who are ready to take charge of their destinies. And when a people have reached such a firm decision, they will move with one strong voice knowing that they have nothing to lose in their fight for justice and self-emancipation.
Now that we have realised that the goats we trusted with our yam barn have depleted and left the barn in a state of obliteration, there is a need for us to change the conversation from peaceful protests to organising a major revolution which should consume the oppressors. What is deducible is that the drums of peaceful protests are too weak to salvage the Nigerian ship from the path of perdition which the calamitous administration of Buhari has chosen to face.
At this time, oppressed Nigerians must begin and continue to mobilise for major mass action with a united mind until the country is fully rescued from the jaws of a vicious group of sharks threatening our collective existence on our own soil.
What invokes more vexation at this time in our grief-stricken history is just how the current administration of Muhammadu Buhari, in a desperate attempt to keep the people in check, has made spirited efforts to shut down unwavering media organisations and outspoken citizens who continue to question the anti-people policies of the administration and its endemic state of corruption. Sadly, President Buhari and members of his battalion are yet to realise that with the acute economic austerity they have imported into the land, the people have suddenly realised that there is dignity in speaking and marching on the streets than dying beneath their beds with sealed lips.
Indeed, the Nigerian revolution is ripe and the time for it is now. The oppressed must rise in their numbers to liberate their nation from the gaping abyss of shame and disaster.
In rounding off this treatise, I shall leave you with the words of American activist and preacher, Martin Luther King Jr. Hear him:
“Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals… Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent.”
Elias Ozikpu is a literary author, thinker, essayist and an activist.