By Elvis Iyorngurum
Some friends have sent me private messages expressing the sentiment that since APC’s General Muhammadu Buhari whom I passionately supported and publicly campaigned for has won the presidential election, it is time for me to quit activism and as one of them said, “concentrate on developing my career.” I appreciate their concern and I extend my gratitude to them for taking their time to send me their “expectations” of how I should live my life.
I wish to state categorically that I am NOT giving up my activism simply because a candidate I supported has won elections. GMB’s victory is a means to an end and that end is still to be achieved. The end is to see to the enthronement of social justice and achievement of socio-economic development for Nigeria and indeed Africa. I have made a commitment to channel my energy, resources and abilities to the fight for the protection of the dignity of humanity and the rights of all citizens and it is that commitment that drives my public commentary and activism. I will not give up on it because it holds the essence of my existence.
It was never just about politics or any sentiments other than the general good of humanity that I rejected the leadership direction of President Goodluck Jonathan. To suggest that I give up merely because GMB has won is as grave as asking me to abandon a dream halfway.
My hope for Nigeria is not achieved yet and I will not give up on it. Nigerians who have fought for this change will not limit it to the change in government but will extend it to a complete change in our norms, vision and national culture and this is my creed as well.
Today we have realised our position as citizens in whose hands the sovereignty of the nation lies and we have taken ownership of Nigeria and her public affairs.
If we abandon what we have fought for, it will fall into the hands of those who did not fight for it and so do not appreciate its value. They will mismanage it and we will end up worse off that we have been under PDP. This mistake was made when the people who fought for democracy thought their job was done when we returned to civil rule in 1999.
Their decision left the political process in the hands of opportunists who were either dining with the military or silent and passive in the period of the struggle.
These opportunists are the ones who have thrown us into the messy state of public affairs that we are in today.
They never fought for liberty and so do not appreciate its value and how delicate it is to manage. This history will not repeat itself again. We will monitor the mandate we have given to GMB and all public office holders.
The remover of the present government is not enough punishment for the colossal damage they have inflicted on our collective psyche. They must be held to account for every of their actions or inactions and their consequences; every kobo they administered and every life that has been lost under their watch, especially in the North-East where their acts of criminal and willfulnegligence has led to the death of thousands.
There are lots of questions that we must find answers to. In particular, the unfortunate incidence of the abduction of 276 girls from Federal Government Girls College Chibok and the failure to rescue them must be investigated and the truth of it brought to light.
Every individual or group of persons found culpable in that unfortunate act of inflicting such immeasurable pain and agony on the 276 girls and their families must be tried and punished as prescribed by the law. There are reports that GMB has promised a “soft landing” for the outgoing government. Well, if that is true, whatever it means, it is his decision and not the will of the people who elected him. We want justice and our will supersedes his feeling of pity for the criminals.
The time of letting people get away with their atrocities is long gone with the old order that has just been swept away with a brand new wave of change. Lots of crimes were committed against the Nigerian people by elements within the outgoing government and their associates and the culprits cannot be allowed to get away with them.
This is not just my opinion but the general resolve of the Nigerian people that elected the incoming government.
There can never be peace without justice and so we demand that for the nation to heal from its wounds and move on, justice must be allowed to serve its full course.
We will demand that the nation move back in history and also heal the wounds of events such as the civil war, which from all indications, our brothers and sisters in the East have not had any reprieve from.
The task of building a just, great and prosperous society requires a lifetime of sacrifice by those who are committed to the good of humanity. Indeed it is not an event that passes in a month, but a value that one lives by all their life.
The activism has just began, the advocacy just commenced with this historic victory we have earned over the draconian PDP-led system. We shall keep it on until total victory is achieved on behalf of all Nigerians and our future generations.
GOD BLESS NIGERIA