by Farouk Martins Aresa
Revolution is smoldering already, the question right now is how bloody it is going to get before we rescue ourselves from even more disaster. Youths are rising up across the world demanding not only an end to greed and corruption as the root of all evil but a say in governing their lives. Our youths cannot be hooked on gadgets and toys forever because of their short novelty span. If youths do not rise up, their illiterate cohorts will continue to rule them as militia and thugs.
Boko Haram, MEND, OPC and MASSOB militias are going to seek greater power as the fruit of corruption from cowards that cannot stand up to them get sweeter or bloodier. The more they spin out of control, the greater chaos they create in every community trying to forge a nation. It is disingenuous to claim that they did not grow out of a cause that went awry. It could be worse.
Little did original funders of Boko Haram know how hard it was going to haunt their community when they promised that if Jonathan came to power, they would make Nigeria ungovernable. As ruffians never learn, Asari Dokubo is promising the same about another candidate. We know neither Ciroma nor Dokubo & Co. would dare Obasanjo and Babangida without consequences. Violence with impunity that turned own communities into hell must be cut ab inito or it spreads.
If the Saudi had to do it all over again, al Qaeda would not have been funded at its initial stages. It has not only overgrown the Saudis but engulfed the whole area spreading to Africa and Asia. As Europe and America tried to spread their form of democracy and freedom they encountered much more than a can of worms under the leaderships they supported or overthrew in these countries. Adventurism and the quest to spread Christianity or Islam have hit ideology wall.
Sacred cows must consider their investment lost. No Vice-President by the back door. We want Igbo, Hausa or Yoruba, as bold leader that has a vision as long as the Country strives and moves forward regardless of whose ox is gored. Criminals must pay if the law is blind. We also know, depending on whom or where, there are discretional punishments clouding justice that must be guided against. Youths and people of goodwill will revolt against unfair decisions or favoritism.
But which pain for what gain? We have to weigh how much liberty or censorship we are willing to pay, just as western democracies are giving up some rights. Before terrorists attacked, it could have been unthinkable that United States and Europe would be willing to subject one and another to the present scrutiny. It is even worse for foreigners amongst them. Since when did Europe start demanding spot checks on “foreigners”, those who look like and their citizens?
The hope of Africa still lies in how well Nigerians conduct themselves since every fifth African is a Nigerian. The influence in trade and commerce from Nigeria pervade throughout the African Continent. This is even more important since there is need for African countries to trade with one another for more commodities and price stability. Teachers, lawyers and doctors demands then, can be replaced by goods and services; creating opportunities, jobs and travels in Africa.
If not by Oshiomole as Labor Leader or Mimiko as Labor Party Governor it must be you or me. In retrospect, Gani Fawehinmi in 2007 urged Oshiomole to run for President since Labor was more cohesive and less corrupt than the heavyweights of special interest in our political parties. What many people, including Oshiomole thought was not feasible politically, was accomplished in Ondo State by Mimiko. He then squandered it and regressed into parties of business as usual.
We witness the roforofo fight between Obasajo and Atiku only some years ago. In the process they exposed how money was diverted from the Government to parastatals, which in turn went to the banks and channeled to party members. The rigmarole was a cover for privatization. Just to loot more institutions and resources they claimed could be better run by looters. Who paid?
The one between Obasanjo and Danjuma shed light about how oil blocks were allocated and shared amongst the highly connected, who in turn sold them to the highest bidders. Danjuma was ready to sell one of his to a foreign company prompting Obasanjo to take it away from one of his best friends. The bad blood created between them has not been settled until today.
Professor Soludo and Okonjo Iweala were the latest show in town. Of course those that depend on milking the cow dry do not enjoy these fights, especially in the high places. The fights expose their inner secrets to common people like us that could and cannot do anything about them but watch in horror how billions are mismanaged just for the sake of picking winners and losers at expense of the hard working folks. Yet, claim poor do not work hard enough. No consequences.
Austerity is their choice of weapon against the old, the children and the poor. Salaries are not paid, pension owed for years while schools deteriorated. Inflated contracts on roads, bridges and housings are for the rich. Any project that is not heavily dependent on foreign materials and services are non-starters. Then congratulated themselves after. Who is going to STOP them?
There is nothing wrong with the Constitution, there is a great deal wrong with implementations. We have bastardized every constitution and every form of government introduced into Nigeria. Many claimed the fault is in security vote and immunity for chief executives. Without those, we have not prosecuted to the letter of the law. We pardoned them or ask for foreign exchange of prisoners. They walk majestically and used looted money to fund their own political parties.
We are not freed as long as hot communities North and South kill their own. Until the rescuers, not promises made by every government when assuming power, STOP business as usual, the ongoing revolution will be bloodier. We will pay and make some sacrifices with our right so that we can enjoy a prosperous freedom later; if the people’s wish is fulfilled. Which pain what gain?