What has happened to the Nigerian revolution? Hamilton Odunze of the African Analyst raised this salient question recently. Hear him out: “The Nigerian media published many articles that suggested that Nigeria was at the verge of a revolution. Such headlines as “The Nigerian Revolution Has Begun”, “What the Nigerian Revolution is Not About” adorned Nigerian newspapers. Although this was just a few months back it feels as if it were ages ago. Those of us who believed then that Nigeria had turned the corner onto a revolutionary highway are now wondering what happened to the revolution that we were cheering on so recently. It seems as if the Nigerian revolution was dead on arrival. The relative ease with which those who control the status quo kill the desire for change makes me contemplate the possibility that Nigerians are experiencing a case of collective Stockholm syndrome”. Similar queries have made round within and outside Nigeria as the despondency about what some described as “a botched dream” take its toll on Nigerians.
Since this topic is close to my heart, permit me to clarify some general misconceptions. As far as I am concerned, nothing has gone wrong with the Nigerian revolution. The revolution has followed so faithfully the pathway prescribed for it. It has been a huge success in part but it continues and we must patiently wait for it to play out. What is happening is that the revolution has moved into other stages of manifestation. It may not look like what we see on the pages of newspapers but it is the same effect, just more practical. Much has changed but the framework for change as we have always pointed out has remained unchanged thereby making peaceful change difficult indeed. But change will come as envisaged maybe not the way we envisage were restructuring was not forced. We have made a choice to approach change by changing persons. We would be proved wrong eventually and we await the time. But be rest assured that the pendulum will swing back maybe forcefully because we would not have it otherwise.
To that level of analysis I do not entirely disagree with Hamilton’s Stockholm syndrome but I doubt if it has become the dominant case here considering the different contexts. The Nigerian situation is different in terms of minimal beneficent information flow. For this reason misunderstanding is often sustained. Wrong expectation brings disappointments. Here it is really our definition of the Revolution that may differ widely. In my article, “Nigeria Needs A Revolution “, I tried to distinguish the Nigerian revolution from the classical Marxist model we are all familiar with and I pointed out that “we need a bloodless revolution”. I predicted that it would come in a whimper instead of a bang. It is unfair for the revolution to be bloody because ignorance here is the prison warden not conscious action. Nigerians are held hostage by a leadership that is so mediocre that it cannot even help itself. Even the leaders who led us astray were not acting consciously but ignorantly for why would they want to shoot themselves in the foot? Why would a sane leadership prefer to do its banking and medical treatment abroad for instance? Now you must not judge anyone until you have allowed the extension of knowledge. When the prisoners know that they are being held then we can blame them for not seeking a way out. It is knowledge that judges people and make them worthy of a chosen punishment. This is the process we are undergoing in Nigeria today.
Owing to the peculiarity of the Nigerian situation we recommended a peaceful revolution which is anchored on the removal of the blanket of ignorance to accelerate restructuring and reforms of permanent nature as a means of avoiding damaging and progress retarding bloodshed and disintegration. We didn’t want Nigeria to disintegrate as a solution because we know that Nigeria has not been allowed to integrate properly not to talk of its failure in this regard. To raise this bar of education and creative information we needed an outside lever to help us reposition the playing field so as lift the seemingly intractable burden off our shoulders. We proposed the involvement of the Diasporas Nigerians who retain the true patriotic spirit untainted by years of leadership abuse. Unfortunately these upward striving values were threatened by an unexpected rush of negative value system that had gained strength during the lost years of military abuse. To curb its disruptive tendencies we asked for the guarantee of a benevolent super power to help formalize the change process. To get them to be interested we had to showcase the two Nigeria’s so as to drastically reduce global misconception as well as the unfair burden being born by innocent law abiding Nigerians who belonged to the true Nigeria while the destructive,419 infested, religious fundamentalist Nigeria squandered our political capital in the international arena.
It all worked as we planned it until we got to the stage of choices when an interim leader was designated and given what to do and how to do it. Then all the warning of the Article “WHAT THE NIGERIANREVOLUTION IS NOT ABOUT” came to play out and we thought we have arrived .No we are far from home. We made the wrong choice thinking that what we need are men not a good system. We shall suffer for this choice but also it will further the evolution in its own ways even if it delays the outcome. At home our role is being limited by the day because of the caustic influence of a system that destroys all good. We hope for more drive of the Diaspora now. There should be an independent realization of the ideals of the Nigerian revolution for it was not designed as you pointed out to be realized by politicians. They are only the last vessels for the implementation of an idea that has already taken some concrete form somewhere else.
Mr. Nworisara aspired to be President of Nigeria in 1992