My Struggle, Our Struggle, The Revolution, By Steven Atogi


by Steven Atogi

You might not know me but you know my struggle, consciously or subconsciously. Somewhere in your mind, with high hope. There might be little or conflicting doubts in your mind, but deep down I know you crave for better living standards in our country. Hoping for a better nation. 

So, you must know my struggle very well. Even if you pretend to have lost hope, your mind is still in suspense… hoping for a miracle. You might think you can’t help the situation, or capitalize on our mundane ruling class who seem not to care about the people; but actually you can help in your own way.

My struggle is that of realizing positive change, national development that would ensure better living conditions for the citizens; where fundamental rights can be respected. The right to life, education etc. would not be made a privilege, only for the elites. 
It is said that “everyday Nigerians deserve as much blame as the politicians for the leadership failure in the country.” Going with what a French historian and political thinker, Alexis de Tocqueville said, “in a democracy, the people get the government they deserve.”

Again, that bad governments thrive in Nigeria, or elsewhere for that matter, because “the leadership does not feel pressure from the people.” For this, I have persevered in the struggle under the platform of Peoples Democratic Voice Movement(PDVM) as lead advocate.

In the struggle, many had labelled me a PDP wing, because of the name PDVM. Others have labelled me an APC wing because of our motto: democratic voice for change. I had consistently refuted those accusations. But many enfeebled minds tend to guise under skepticism. 

I have been advocating for the Nigerian youths to rise up to the demanding task of the Revolution, which suit the time. Many have been shouting “Revolution! Revolution!” but constantly crawled back to their shell after that. Some hold different views about the Revolution and had given the interpretations that suit them.

To some youths from the North, it is all about matching an angry crowd to Aso Rock and disposing Jonathan with smuggled weapons. Sorry, am not a civilian coupist nor does PDVM advocate such. 

To some youths from the South, it is the turn of their brother to do with as he pleases, with the national cake. We are seen by these ones as outright “enemies of progress.”

Some think the Revolution is a social media thing that needs no action. Each and everyone whom had thought of it, had managed to provide an individual mind suiting definition of the Revolution.

All these conflicting comprehensions and deductions of the Revolution is itself a barrier to national progress. In the absence of a consensus understanding of what the real Revolution is, as applicable to the Nigerian socio-political cum economic settings, there is the presence of “lips service approach” to the divergent intrinsic views held by many, which is what they are overtly calling it “Revolution.” 

Some intellectuals had took pains to elucidate their various comprehensions of the much lips glorified Revolution shouting on social media and other platforms. To help curb the ignorance of those who just copied the word from some others’ posts, a young intellect “Presley Akhigbe” put forth a piece titled: My Idea Of A Nigerian Revolution. Subtitled “The Revolution We Need.” 

To quote his words “It will be unwise and indeed foolish for any progressive mind to vote for the crop of elements among the two major political parties in Nigeria. The fact remains that only a handful of persons in APC/PDP have little credibility and morals. Indeed, maybe less than ten people. Yet these are the same recycled no-do-well politicians that have been ruling and ruining the fortune of Nigeria.”

“The point is, these parties APC/PDP/LP/APGA etc and the people there, have shamefully failed Nigerians with less than 2% of them actually trying to live up to expectation. In the light of these and other terrible acts of these parties/individuals not listed here, it is now the time of the youths to prepare themselves and participate in the next coming general election in 2015. The time has come for us to try something new. We mustn’t trust the gang of old politicians again. They are criminals. They are blood sucking vultures and don’t mean well for Nigeria. They are selfish thieves who loot and loot alone. They are inept and lack understanding of contemporary politics.”

“Youths in all parts of the country should start organizing themselves in groups and associations and from amongst them they should get a neutral party and fill all the available positions from councilors up to the governorship level. The youths should mobilize themselves and vote for their fellow youths. No youth should be seen voting for the old folks in APC/PDP anymore. There is a great tendency that even the elderly women and men who vote every now and then will see reasons and vote for the youths.”

To summarize his point, what the above quoted author is saying, is that the Revolution we need is massive youth involvement in the political affairs of our nation which shapes our socio-economic lives. I have cited quotes from his piece because I acquiesce with him. The only slight difference between us is that, like many other youths, he used pronouns such as “them” and “themselves.” 

In order words, as a youth he is, he had only suggested to others but excluded himself in the process. Whereas, am the direct opposite of it. My pronoun is “we.” In essence, am directly involved in the process and even at the forefront of advocacy under PDVM platform, to that end. 

Receiving the painful blows of neglect by the youths, accusations, mockery, contempt, meagre support with mere words from few etc. Despite all the strenuous energetic mental exertions, funds, among other sacrifices I and others have put, in the Revolution struggle. Of course, the sacrifice is all for contributory progress to motherland, due to patriotism. 

On 4th June, 2014. I wrote my piece titled: The Youth Political Renaissance. Subtitled “ele pacificoa revolucoa” translated in Portuguese as “Peaceful Revolution.” To further buttress the Revolution view and as well challenge, charge and call out the youths to join hands with me and others, to solidify action. Just like I have always done in many call outs.

In that piece, I quote “In all, the social class which suffer marginalization the most in the Nigerian polity is the 21st century youths. Statistics has it that the youths makeup 70% of the whole population. Yet, youth reluctancy in demanding good governance from the rulers had led to the consolidation of the woes being perpetrated by the ruling elites.”

“At this juncture of our national life, it is significant to reidentify ourselves with the common cause for change. By forging a solid bond bound in unity and patriotism towards achieving national development.”

“We must express ourselves else our mouth be devalued. We must work in action else we be handicapped. We must claim our place in history else we be written off. We must collectively clean these vulgar ancestral defecate from the Nigerian house, to pave way for hygienic and healthy posterity, else we become a failed generation like the past ones.”

“We must come together wearing the spirit of patriotism and driven by the desire for positive change. This, we must do with perseverance, to overwhelm the long drawn margins of ethnicism, tribalism, regionalism and religionism. Because the common denominator of the people which is hunger and poverty, have no ethno-religious, tribal nor regional identity.”

“Nigerian youths must rise without hesitation and embrace this task in this time which providence has handed us. This paradigm of gerontocratic gluttonous political animals must be barred from distorting and mortgaging our individual future and that of our posterity.” 

“They must not be allowed to impose their offsprings, allies and stooges on us. Their generational conspiracy on us must be duly aborted. We must kick against monopolization of our economy in the hands of their cronies. We must demolish the walls of neocolonialism.”

With people from different circles and misinterpretations of the kind of Revolution Nigeria needs apart from the genuine one held by Presley and I with the exception of a few others, comes confusion and conflict of the Revolution School of Thought. Many are bent on the road of such conflicting mindset and to a large extent, they are “anti-national development” to Nigeria. They can’t be taken to be patriots.

Youths from sundry backgrounds are obligatory to the Revolution struggle. Irrespective of educational level, qualifications or any other thing identified as excuse for a barrier. No youth should exempt him/herself. 

Remember, silence is worse than treason. Contemplation is a disease and tantamount to cowardice and failure. So, if you are sitting, watching, castigating, refusing to join hands and help our country, then you are a failure to this generation and the ones to come. You are no different from that failure ruler(s) you are supporting overtly or covertly between party, ethnic, religious, regional or tribal lines. 

Finally, you might not know me, or PDVM yet, likewise others advocating for change. But you know my struggle, our struggle, the Revolution. As long as you believe or have in mind, even if hold in doubt but want and crave for change, national development, a better Nigeria of equal opportunities, then you know our struggle. 

God bless Nigeria!

Steven Atogi 
(Nat’l President)
Twitter: @StevenAtogi
[email protected]