Nigeria: Demise of a Dream
By Bolanle Bolawole
Or name it the loss of life of phantasm! The sordid and dastardly occasions of the previous few days introduced my days as an undergrad on the then College of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo College) flooding via my thoughts. We bristled with ideologies and had been known as “ideologues” or “Socialists” by our ideologically-empty, naive or outright reactionary opponents on campus. Sure, we had been proud Socialists, primarily of the Marxist-Leninist hue however we additionally broke into Leninists, Trotskyites, Kautskyites, Stalinists; Mao-ists; and there have been those that idolised Che and Fidel.
I bear in mind Femi Falana, Shenge Rahman (Akanbi), Akin Akingbulu, Mallam Olapeju, Femi Adewunmi (of blessed reminiscence), Femi Fatonade, Owei Lakemfa, Wale Olajire (Ajao), Wale Adekunle, Dapo Olorunyomi, Tai Abiodun, Gbolahan Gbadamosi (GG), Remi Elumoye, to say however just a few. Our employees advisers and older Comrades on the instructing employees embrace Dr. Segun Osoba, Dr. Dipo Fashina (aka Jingo), Professor Toye Olorode, Professor. Idowu Awopetu, Professor. Biodun Jeyifo, and the younger, effervescent Mallam Femi Taiwo. Our organisations had been the Alliance of Progressive College students (ALPS) and the Motion for Nationwide Development (MONA).
We breathed radicalism. “Wrestle” was the blood that flowed in our veins – Aluta! We devoted a lot – if no more – consideration to Marxist literature as we did our course work. We had been on hearth on Marxist ideologies and techniques of the revolution. We took turns to organize seminar papers on matters that broadened our data of the idea in addition to praxis of battle and debated all night time. In these days, the Left was a potent power in campus politics, fielding or supporting candidates for elective workplaces. I contested as chairman of the Adekunle Fajuyi Corridor in my last yr (1981/82) and received. In that capability I used to be additionally a member of the College students’ Consultant Council. We took the campus by storm on delicate nationwide and native points. It was the Leftists or Socialists versus the remainder of them.
Our heroes had been Karl Marx, Engels, Lenin, Chairman Mao, Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, Frantz Fanon, Amilcar Cabral, Joe Slovo, Ruth First, Walter Rodney, Paulo Freire; to say however just a few. Revolutionary quotes crammed our brains and the rhetoric of battle danced menacingly on our lips. We had been merely unstoppable! The rallying cry of Karl Marx’s Communist manifesto: “Employees of all nations, Unite!” was additionally our battle cry. We had been internationalists, seeing past Fela who was quoted as saying “I see no nation, I see no barrier, I see Africa!” We weren’t Africanists however residents of the world selling the formation of a world authorities led by staff as vanguard of the revolution and permitting no room for divisive, sectional, and sectarian sentiments reminiscent of blood relationships, ethnicity, and faith. The world was our stage!
Forty years down the highway, the narrative has modified! I’m sure many people nonetheless carry the concepts in our head and the beliefs nonetheless burn brightly in our coronary heart however many have turn into misplaced within the labyrinth of their actualisation. Now as a professing Christian, I’ve by no means failed to understand the correctness of the Marxist interpretation of the forces at play in social relations and the manufacturing course of. The Marxist postulation of “from every in response to his potential and to every in response to his wants” seems to me essentially the most rational answer to the issue of “useful resource management” – however for man’s (innate?) greed. Unbridled capitalism is oppressive; it breeds inequality and spurns violence. Unjust manufacturing relations breed unjust social and political relations.
The shortcomings in such a system are the absence of justice, truthful play, and fairness. A tiny minority acquires all powers and privileges – social, political, and financial – whereas the overwhelming majority wallow on the receiving finish of deprivation, need, lack, poverty, and oppression. Accentuating the system widens the hole between wealthy and poor, and between haves and haven’t. Such disequilibrium breeds strife and antagonism between social, political, and financial forces or courses, leading to endless class battle. Who says class division says class battle!
Critics accuse Marxism of stifling enterprise and holding down the sturdy for the weak or slothful. All via historical past, it will seem that the human thoughts lacks the capability to actualize or attain the utopia envisaged within the highest stage of Communism. Scripture data that the Church fathers began nicely in Acts 4:32 when “the multitude of them that believed had been of 1 coronary heart and of 1 soul” and the place no one in all them laid any declare to what was theirs “however they’d all issues widespread”. In demonstration of this, a sure Jones Barnabas, “having land, offered it, and introduced the cash, and laid it on the apostles’ ft.” That was communal-ism (or Communism?) at work. Sadly, that was how far the success story went. The subsequent chapter tells the story of husband and spouse, Ananias and Sapphira, who additionally offered land however “introduced a sure half, and laid it on the apostles’ ft” however lied that they’d yielded all the pieces. Greed and dishonesty!
Concepts and beliefs are one factor; implementation within the face of sensible realities is one other. A lot of the radical ideas, concepts, and beliefs that we carried in our hearts as budding Marxists on campus we now have discovered unattainable to stamp on our society. Many older Comrades suffered despair and died of frustration. Many expressed regrets in regards to the traces of motion they trod. There have been revisions and rationalisations. And there have been outright abandonment or renunciation of battle as we knew it. The result’s that the Nigerian Left in the present day is a far cry from what it was. A lot of its main lights who’re nonetheless energetic have been sucked into the vortex of what we used to derisively seek advice from as bourgeois (celebration) politics! Many have even turn into “ethnic jingoists” or champions of the politics of the “Nationwide Query” or “useful resource management”.
I doubt if lots of the youthful generations, in any other case known as the Twitter or digital age era, ever heard or learn Frantz Fanon’s “The Wretched of the Earth” however their affirmative END SARS NOW motion will be taken as a direct response to Fanon’s prodding when he stated: “Every era should, out of relative obscurity, uncover its mission, fulfill it or betray it”. The youths’ motion shook the nation to its very foundations and portrayed the ruthless APC/Muhammadu Buhari civilian junta as extra clueless and ineffective than the PDP/Goodluck Jonathan authorities it changed. Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, spoke of “the wasted era”. It was below the very nostril of my very own era that the center class was viciously and maliciously worn out by a mixture of capricious army adventurers and malevolent, fawning, East-wind politicians that succeeded them.
Seeing these and never glad, our youths determined to chart a brand new course for themselves; they picked up the gauntlet and seized the bull by the horns. They took everybody by storm and left their imprints earlier than these described as “wanton troopers” in Mogwugo Okoye’s “Storms on the Niger: A narrative of Nigeria’s battle” had been unleashed on them final Tuesday. The youths proclaimed their Nigerian-ness, they held the nationwide flag aloft, they sang and danced to the nationwide anthem, they thought they shared the identical patriotic sentiments with our leaders, and trusted that the identical individuals who swore on oath to guard them would by no means ponder mowing them down. How mistaken! However our youths are to not blame for his or her misplaced confidence in a management not deserving of it. This disgrace will without end be that of leaders not deserving of the belief and confidence of these the age of their youngsters and grandchildren.
However for the youths, this disappointment teaches vital classes. It alerts the loss of life of phantasm. Answering a query, Zik as soon as quipped “Why die for Nigeria when you may reside for it?” Merely put, Zik was saying Nigeria shouldn’t be price dying for! This isn’t America or any such saner climes! The youths even have one other lesson to be taught from the older generations who invested their skills and life-long struggles into the service of Nigeria however died forlorn of hope; died heart-broken; died pissed off; and died unfulfilled. Obafemi Awolowo, Anthony Enahoro, Aminu Kano, Ayodele Awojobi, Tai Solarin, Gani Fawehinmi, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Kaduna Nzeogwu – the listing is limitless. One other lesson that should not be ignored is the difficulties that include Nigeria being a conglomeration of countries.
The humanity of the numerous nations making up this nation differs. Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan stated his ambition was not well worth the blood of a single Nigerian however another folks instigated the slaughtering of tons of of his fellow human beings in 2011 due to his failed political ambition. Some people worth cows than they do human beings. They kill, essential, rape, and dispossess at will with out batting an eyelid. Some people are blood-thirsty hounds; they act truculently at no provocation, at all times searching for whom to devour. Some people see nothing unsuitable in participating in bare-face dishonest and theft of others. They shamelessly acceptable what belongs to others however what’s theirs they wouldn›t share with others. After they come to the Frequent Pool, it’s to take what belongs to others with out desirous to deliver something to the pool.
Grandma advised me: Ajoje o dun bi enikan o ni. It’s comprehensible if one particular person doesn’t have and people who have share with him. It’s one thing else, nevertheless, when the one who doesn’t have presides over the sharing, ties the palms of the homeowners, allocates the lion share to himself, and threatens the homeowners with loss of life in the event that they dare protest! That has been the sordid story and unhappy story of Nigeria, accentuated past perception by the APC/Buhari administration. My Mama warned that it’s unhealthy manners when somebody invitations you to eat and also you take away the identical particular person’s hand from the pot.
The basis reason behind what the youths protested in opposition to – and for which they had been so callously mowed down – is brought on by the unequal relationship between the disparate nations making up this nation. Restructuring or outright dissolution of Nigeria might be a neater drawback to unravel than coming to phrases with the belief that the identical harmful mentality that runs in Boko Haram; that runs in murderous Fulani herdsmen; that runs in bandits now dominates the interior sanctuary of political energy in Nigeria.
Sadly, the political management of the South-west can’t be exonerated from culpability within the carnage of final Tuesday. Within the alarmist statements they issued hours earlier than Calamity Day on Tuesday alleging that hoodlums had hijacked the youths’ protests; and within the curfew they hurriedly imposed, they ready the bottom for the army to maneuver in for the kill. Our leaders invited the executioners and, then, ran! If I could ask, the place was Amotekun? Is that this not one of many explanation why we clamoured for a safety outfit of our personal and below our personal management?
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