The revolution Nigerians fear…
Sir: The events of the Arab Spring started in Tunisia on December 17, 2010. A 26-year-old Tunisian, Mohamed Bouazizi, set himself on fire in front of a municipal building in Sidi Bouzid, a rural town 200 miles south of Tunis, the capital. His action was best understood by many as a protest against the confiscation of his cart, which he used to sell fruits and vegetables and the dismissal of his complaint. This is just one example of many revolutionists in the world that either killed themselves or mobilised people against injustice and bad governance.
Most of the countries that had experienced revolution especially in Arabs didn’t get to where they are expected to reach, instead of achieving their core mandate, they ended up in a more serious situation. Take the case of Libya for instance, where hundreds of thousands of lives were lost and millions were displaced from their homes.
To make it worse, the country has two power centers—an internationally recognised government based in Tripoli and an internationally recognised parliament based in the eastern city of Tobruk. Sudan fought their own war, overthrown the three decades of Omar Al-Bashir regime but their sweat ended in the hand of the military who seems not to return the system to the people. This also left so many Sudanists killed through continues protest in the country.
Coming down to Nigeria, a country of diversity and with over 190 million people from the different geographical background, faith, and belief the plan revolution being proposed by Sowore and his supporters will not produce the desired result.
The country is not united by a common goal, people have different voices for different purposes and conscious. Some people will endure and turn their faces against bad governances so long their kinsmen are in charge of the administration. Only a few Nigerians think otherwise or set aside their ethnic and religious differences.
You will agree with me that, if there is any country that needs a revolution now is Nigeria. The reasons are: almost everything in the country is upside down; there is injustice, bad governance, massive corruption, unemployment, killing everywhere, abuse of public office and many more problems that require a radical approach to bring the desired change. However, the timing and mode to carry out it are wrong especially now that the country is facing serious security challenges.
The behaviour of the Nigerian political elite made the country seems ungovernable because they have succeeded in dividing the country along the ethnoreligious fault line. From independence to date, the country has been battling with fragmenting unity and peaceful coexistence among the diverse ethnic composition. Corruption, abuse of power and impunity have become the order of the day. People are no longer interested in merit or integrity when it comes to election or appointment. They are more preoccupied with where one comes from and the religion he/she practices. This has also compounded the problems.
Sowore may come up with good intentions but is a partisan politician who contested and failed the last presidential election, his motive should be scrutinised. It might be some dark forces were directing him to organize a revolution in order to take over the government as being speculated by the Presidency.
Nigeria is a funny country. Sometimes, people could organise a protest and recruit an unemployed youth for peanut monetary gains. Before you realise, the fire they set could consume the whole country. By apprehending Sowore and charged him with treason, the Federal Government should urgently present him before the competent court of law. Sowore should not be held as a political prisoner. Already, his arrest has continued to receive mixed reactions among the legal experts and civil society organisations.
Nigerians do not want a replica of what happened to Shiite leader, El-Zakzaky who was detained and granted bail by court order but refuse to be released by the government. This has led to unnecessary confrontation and bloodshed between the government and the Shiite members.
The thwarted revolution should serve as a lesson to the government that all is not well in the country. There are frustration, hunger and mutual mistrust in the country. The swathe of refugees or internally displaced people in the length and breadth indicated that the government has not won the war against insecurity in the country. The government should continue to promote and implement people-centered policies geared towards accelerating socio-economy development.