Nigeria is in dire need of fundamental changes in all her systems (political, economic, social, etc). Therefore vacant positions have arisen in all parts of Nigeria and in all sections/sectors of our lives for positions of revolutionaries. These positions exist in our families, villages, communities, ward levels, all local government areas, all ministries (state and federal), and all government agencies and in all private sector concerns etc. The entire Nigerian system needs a complete overhauling. Therefore, the Nigerian would be revolutionaries should start with him or herself. Firstly he or she needs to change, then change the families and change his/her immediate environment. Charity begins at home.
Revolutions need not be bloody, but bloody revolutions are preferable. However since the demise of communism, and the collapse of Soviet Union, the prevalence or the rate of occurrence of bloody revolutions have been on the decline. Most revolutions were inspired by Marxist ideologies. Previously former Soviet Union was seen as beacon of hope for people with revolutionary’s ideas. Many revolutionaries at some point or the other had some kind of backing, contacts, training or indoctrinations from the former Soviet Union. Examples are as follows; Late Chairman Mao of China, Fidel Castrol of Cuba, Raul Castro (present Cuban leader following the ill health of his elder brother Fidel Castrol) late Che Guevara, late Salvador Allende (former socialist president of Chile) etc.
Other countries like Libya, Cuba etc have sponsored revolutions at different stages, in different countries of the world. These revolutionary supports took place mainly during the 1970’s and 1980’s. Libya supported Charles Taylor of Liberia and was deeply involved with shipping arms to the Irish Republican Army (IRA). The Irish Americans also supported the Irish Republican Army in Ireland. Cuba had their forces in Angola to support the MPLA.
Other forms of revolution have taken places around the world. Here I will comment briefly about the Islamic revolution in Iran and the Orange revolution in Ukraine. In 1979 Ayatollah Khomeni led an Islamic revolution to topple the Iranian monarchy. Through the revolution led by Khomeni, Iran became an Islamic Republic and introduced theocratic constitution. The Orange revolution took place in Ukraine from November 2004 to early 2005 when the people of Ukraine resisted the attempt by Russia to install a puppet as the leader of Ukraine. The people of Ukraine overwhelmingly voted a pro western government.
Previously colonization, neocolonialism, the struggle for independence, cold war, Apartheid in South Africa, and capitalism (greed and exploitation) were among the motivating factors for revolution in most countries. Ironically these factors do no longer exist, except capitalism and neocolonialism. In Africa, greed, corruption and bad governance exists in greater proportion. However some revolutionaries have emerged in Africa to clean up their societies. People like Jerry Rawlings of Ghana who was nick named Junior Jesus because of his initials J.J. (Jerry John) Rawlings. He cleansed the Ghana politics and retrieved all stolen government monies from corrupt Ghanaian politicians. He laid down the foundation of the present democratic system of government in Ghana. He preached to Ghanaians to demand accountability from their leaders. The Libyan leader (Col. Gadaffi) once said that it was the Rawlings revolution that saved Ghana.
In Nigeria we have had people like late General Murtala Mohammed, General Buhari (both military ex heads of state) and General Tunde Idiagbon. They tried to clean up the Nigerian system but their administrations were short lived. Many Nigerians are revolutionaries in their own rights, and revolution can take place in any sector or start from any segment of our society. Here I will mention Chief Gani Fawehinmi (Senior Advocate of the masses), Gani’s efforts have changed the Nigerian landscape. Many other Nigerians too, have brought outstanding changes in various spheres of Nigerian society. Internationally we have people like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King etc. I consider these people revolutionaries in their own rights.
Many of us, who are praying for change to happen in our motherland, are advised to start the change process wherever they are. Let’s change for good. I will agree with late Michael Jackson when he sang in one of his songs (Man in the mirror) that if you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change. In the same way, Nigerians should first take a look at themselves and start the change. We have role models to copy or follow their ideas. If a small percentage of us start this change process wherever they are and be consistent, then there could be hope to revive Nigeria. We have to remember that we have a choice to either save Nigeria or sink Nigeria. To save Nigeria we have a duty to start the change process immediately. Every little positive effort will matter a lot. Failure to save Nigeria will be disastrous.
But I must caution people that, there will be no quick fix to Nigeria’s problem. Changing the entire Nigerian system will be a difficult project; therefore we should be prepared for a tough project. Many of us will resist changes. Change itself is difficult. Many of Nigerians who are below 40 years have known no other system except the present day Nigerian system. Therefore changing more than half of the population will be tough and challenging. This is the more reason why any person that desires change should start changing his/her environment in any small way that is possible.
The grassroots will be a good starting point for changes. Change comes not from the top down but from the ground up. Management of people at the grassroots is very essential for any successful change. Revolutionaries all over the world have high sense of patriotism and have introduced positive changes to the lives of their people. Same should apply to Nigerians seeking to start quiet revolution or change. Henceforth it will be ideal for Nigerians to be thinking of individual/private sector led change of the Nigerian system. There are a lot of changes that the civil society can spearhead. Also changing Nigeria is burden for all of us, therefore the earlier we start changing our nation the better for all of us. May God bless Nigeria.
Chinedu Vincent Akuta
An activist and leader of “Support Option A4 Group” Leicester-UK