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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
Nigerian state.

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 impartial umpire.

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 counts.

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 power.

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 our consent.

The groups that have mobilisational tools and power should start to think of combining as many strategies as possible beside dialogue to combat them.

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 - issue.

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 highway.

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 2011.

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 today.

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 function

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 supported.

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 burnt.

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

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