Date Published: 11/11/09
Mobilising towards 2011 By Okwe Ogah
A trip through the Nigerian roads usually offer one the opportunity to
take a retrospect journey on things especially the failed nature of the
I remembered in the eve of the 2007 (s)election polls where a journey from
Lagos to Benin which even at snail speed rate will not take up to 5 hours
took us nearly 10 hours due to the intolerable bad nature of the road.
In that trip, I remembered particularly how we have to take way (driving
against the traffic), travel several kilometers on that one lane only to
turn back because the road is impassable. It was like a cirrus exercise,
something akin to ajayi's work where there is neither gain nor profit in
sight at the end of the day; since it was all motion and no movement.
I can still vividly remember some of the invectives, insults and curses
heaped on the government of the government of the day - People Deceiving
Party; sorry, PDP.
One would have thought that it was going to be a walk over for opposition
political parties. But the contrary was the case when the supposedly
election results were turned in by that extended arm of PDP - (Innate
nauseating electoral corruption) INEC a body whose name never have been
associated with independent because its activities nothing near the
meaning of that word; as it was the exact opposite of independent and
As a matter of fact, the then Government was so confident of victory that
it went taking and embarking on policies that a party looking forward to
the vote of the electorate would never have contemplated; like the upward
review of petroleum product for instance; an action that would have been
an abomination and suicidal act in a political parlance especially in an
election year; if we were to operate in a climes where peoples votes
The same scenario is playing out in the current dispensation. Amidst total
collapse of all sectors of our national and without an inkling regarding
the way forward by the undertakers at various levels of governance and
under the supervision of people destructive party (PDP), we are hearing of
boastful proclamation of the godfathers and those who crippled the nation
and hold the people in perpetual subjugation that they will be in the
rein power for the next 60 years.
We are also hearing of schemes and permutations that, inspite of total
ineptitude of the one that has the final say on the way forward for the
most populous black nation of the world, plans are on to present him again
to be the overseer of the nation's affair come 2011.
This to me, is an indication of extent of disdain they have for the
opposition's ability to mobilize and oust them from the corridors of
And come to think of it, why won't they have such complete disdain for the
opposition (the opposition here is inclusive of activists, organised
labour unions, and all stakeholders currently campaigning for the
emancipation of our nation from the vampires masquerading as politicians)
when they (our oppressors) are aware that all we can do is shout, cry or
at most protest on the streets for a few hours and/or days and then
retreat to carry on with life as usual as if nothing happened.
The truth of the matter is that nobody with honey in his or her lips will
want another person to take it away from their mouth not to talk of that
person crying for help for some one to do so; not even it suffocating him.
What I am trying to say is that no oppressor will willingly surrender his
oppressive powers. He has to be coaxed into doing so.
A cousin of mine rightly or wrongly depending on which you are, put it
this way the other day that we were talking about the maneuvering,
shenanigans and schemes of people in government to retain in power
perpetually that 'nobody wants to surrender power'
That is the crust of the matter. The men in various position of authority
today sees themselves only in relation to power available to them to
mortgage our national heritage and collective future. They are not power
to serve and better the lot of the people. Therefore, the only way out or
the only road to our freedom from the oppressed is to place a demand on
it by fighting for it.
In our own case, because our oppressors are ruthlessly entrenched and
hopelessly brutal as well heartlessly crooked in the sense that they have
lost their souls and are incapable of responding to the
chastisement/discipline of their conscience; we will have to result to
more than relying on orthodox method to wrest freedom from them. We must
be able to device a strategy that can shock them to reality and probably
force them give us back our freedom which they have appropriated without
The groups that have mobilisational tools and power should start to think
of combining as many strategies as possible beside dialogue to combat
You may not agree with force as an effective strategy but these people
only understand the language of force. Until the emergence of the
militants on the scene, the Niger Delta agitation was treated as a non -
The same was the case with other areas of lives. Lagos/Ibadan expressway
was a haven of armed robbers until the robbers mistakenly touched the wife
of Col Raji Raszak the then Military Governor of Lagos State before the
authorities realised that those bad boys can be dislodged from the
Thus, we must be prepared and let the authority know beyond mere threats
that we shall employ the the Malcom X method of ballot or bullet instead
of relying solely on Martins Luther's concept of civil disobedience come
Really, if you will ask me, I will opt for or suggest that we lean more
towards Malcom's strategy of taking it by force if they are not willing to
relinquish it willingly. This is because those in power through years of
usurpation, have succeeded in tying down or is it reducing an
overwhelming majority of Nigerians to mere subsistence existence where
they must go out of theirs homes on a daily basis before they can put
food on the table for their families.
Therefore, those in authority are aware that a call for civil disobedience
will not do much of a harm to them since in the first place the money with
which they sustained themselves is not so much from sweat of the brain or
a product of any ingenuity on their part; but pure provident of abundant
endowments by God on us (Remember when IBB openly wondered how the economy
has not collapsed despite the numerous policy summer-salts in those days
of his voodoo economics?)
Thus we must device and let them that we can actually carry it out a
strategy that can exact/cause a collateral damage to them and their source
of earnings. I am talking about an action akin to anti SAP riot of 1988
that shook the government of the day to it marrows.
Go through the history, freedom has a price that must paid before it be
earned. We must never forget 'freedom is earned not given'. Sometimes the
supreme price which is life must be sacrificed before it be earned; like
Christ paying the cost of our freedom from Satan before we can be freed
from the hands of devil
For this to be effective and possible, some or all the steps beside one
listed above should be given a serious consideration
1. No room for sid - down look. This means everyone of us should be
mobilised to be active participants in the political scene. We should
overlook the often blackmail of apolitical status of workers, students,
religious organisatins, etc. Remember you can't influence from the
outside. It is when you are inside that you can effectively neutralise any
scheme that they may device. Our have a saying that the presence of man
blunt the edges of cutlass that would have been used to decide his case.
Know also that the rat can only play when the mouse is away.
2. Socio - cultural organisations and ethnic groups should be galvanised.
We have to go beyond the officers of those organisations because in most
of those associations, the process that brougth them into lime light is as
fraudulent as those who preside over the political groupings in the nation
We have to go to real leaders of those communities. We know those who are
leaders in our rural communities. They have to mobilize to be involved.
There is no sitting on the fence.
3. The media has a crucial role to perform in this regard as well. They
should go beyond the cities to rural communities. There has to be public
forums, town hall meetings, etc. Their duty as agenda setters ought to
compel them to organise meetings. The meetings must be conducted beyond
state capitals and political regional/zonal headquarters to the really
rural setting with people). They should go beyond profit motive to seeing
this duty as their contributions to the goals of social responsibility
4. The political class especially the opposition who seemed to have lost
steam as the way forward have an active part to play as well. We can joint
hands with some of them that seemed to have a glimpsed of the way to go.
Let begin to project those that have the national zeal and craft an agenda
with a clearly identifiable option to the ruling buccaneers.
That is why the recent call by the Arewa Consultative Assembly on Alhaji
Abubakar Atiku, General Muhammadu Buhari and Alhaji Attahiru Bafawara to
step down by identifying a young man to support should encouraged and
We need to hear more voices like that. We have an Obama in our midst. All
that is required is to identify him and provide him with the needed
ambience to emerge and succeed.
The truth of the matter is that falsehood like darkness will only
last/continue for as long as it remained unchallenged. The moment truth
comes into the scene it vanguishes falsehood as fast, comprehensively and
effectively as light does the darkness.
The vital question to ask is ?
''can we earnestly continue with the current undertakers in corridors of
power for another four years and not obliterate/eclipse the future of our
The answer is definately no! To do so and still expect anything good for
our tomorrow is like carrying fire in our bosom and expect not to be
You and me know that it is absolutely impossible to cuddle fire and not
get burn. The absolute reality is that we are indeed mad if we hope to get
different set of results using and applying the same method/strategy over
and over again