Africa

NLC, Mass Revolt and The Coming Revolution

The Nigerian Labour Congress-NLC has successfully conducted several protests in major states capitals in Nigeria. The process is ongoing and it is worth commending on the leadership and commitments of the NLC.

NLC is taking a message round Nigeria and this cannot be ignored at this critical moment of our history. Nigeria is at a point when extreme hopelessness pervades the land. We live at a time when absolute dictators and heartless rulers occupy government houses across the country. We bear the problems that have arisen due to lack of accountability, lack of probity and the dominance of authoritarianism.

In Nigeria today the problems are so enormous that the masses are at their own mercy. More than 90m Nigerians live hopelessly, dejectedly, aimlessly and miserably. It doesn’t seem that there is any silver lining behind the dark cloud and from what we know today there is still darkness at the end of the tunnel as well. I mean real darkness.

NLC has continued to sensitive the nation on the need for good governance, on the need to alleviate/ eradicate poverty, on the need for transparency in politics and also on the need to empower the Nigerian worker among other demands. NLC has not failed to join in the call for the full implementation of the recommendation of the Electoral Committee.

One remarkable feature of the nationwide peaceful demonstration of the NLC is that each time they reach the government house in PDP controlled states, the governors are never on hand to receive the message. No one should be surprise because PDP have no regards for the people’s opinion. The PDP government at the federal and state levels are agents of destructions and for as long as they can use the power of incumbent at the federal level (and because they are in control of INEC) they think that every election for the next 60 years will be rigging business as usual.

The burden is on NLC to use this machinery of people power to drive home some sane points. What the NLC is doing now is taking the march/protest from one state to another. Excellent! As we approach 2011 all pro-democracy and pressure groups in Nigeria have the responsibilities to ensure that the machinery that will conduct and supervise the next elections are made transparent and that they are genuine.

That the 2011 elections have been sealed and delivered is a dilemma that must be crushed and dismantled. Those who have been guaranteed victory when we don’t even have voters’ registration in place must be told that they are joking. This is a strong message and no one should take this lightly. For example before 2011 a political prostitutes who kept shifting from one party to another must be taught two lessons using the appropriate media/means.

First is that after dumping the party with which they rode to power (legitimately or illegitimately) they ought to relinquish the mandates so that it remains with the parties that won them whichever way. Secondly is that fact that it behoves on the people of the affected states to read the handwriting on the wall that men who would display consistency with flirting and cross carpeting have their own selfish interests as paramount and the interest of the masses, if any, as secondary,. Individuals who criss-cross every now and then have no place in nation building and the message must be taken across all states where mis-governance and looting of treasury are the order of the day.

In the absence of democratic structures that will show readiness for the conduct of peaceful, fair and transparent elections in 2011 it behoves on the civil society to resist the conduct of another sham selection that will retain the corrupt practices and shameful acts perpetrated by Iwu, Obasanjo, retired pot-bellied generals and the PDP machinery in 1999, 2003 and 2007. This time around we must resist any do-or-die process.

Every major party to the next election in Nigeria must be able to express satisfaction with the level of preparedness of the (awaiting-to-be-formed) Independent Electoral Commission of Nigeria (IECN). No Nigerian party should accept the presence of Maurice Iwu or any other person of shady character in such an independent body. For this moment, Iwu should be ignored and anything that he says should be discarded. Iwu should be ignored into oblivion if his PDP mentors do not understand the simple message that Iwu cannot be in the picture come 2011.

Mr. Maurice Iwu is a man of dubious character and we need no reminder that his supervision of the conduct of the 2007 elections remains an everlasting negative stigma is the annals of human history. He will go down in record as the worst political umpire the world has seen before and after Christ. He must be ignored and remove and “his” INEC disbanded and thrown into the dustbin. Even recent elections in western Nigerian depicted that Mr. Iwu is extremely incompetent.

NLC has a moral obligation to continue with his nationwide peaceful protests. But as the time approach other organisations and individuals must not allow NLC to remain alone in the wilderness of the struggle for the emancipation of Nigeria and Nigerians. The reign of evil must stop and it requires all the good men and women that it can garner along the way. This struggle is not for NLC alone. It is our fight for freedom, for justice and for the good of all.

As the time approach NLC must be able to organise the demonstrations simultaneously in all the states of the federation including Abuja. The process must be sustained and it must be consistent. This process of mass revolt when it becomes necessary must transform to the people power that this country lack since independence or that have been crushed by wicked military and civilian governments in the past. The brutal killings in the aftermath of the 1993 elections come to mind. We have reached a time in our history when the voice of the people must the overriding factor in how we move this country forward if we really want to move it forward.

I see tanks being rolled out and I see the police/military using force and brutality though these agents of the states are major sufferers and perpetrators of the injustices in this failed country called Nigeria. Their absence on the streets when NLC demonstrated in Ibadan is probably a good indicator. They are probably tired and sick of the failed government. This struggle is a collective one and it can lead to the emancipation and eventual uprightness of all.

Regardless of the instruments of force that the dictators in Nigeria are ready to use to continue to keep us as slaves, I don’t see how they will succeed if the mass revolt is transformed to a national revolution with the ultimate goals of ushering the long awaited goals-true democracy, respect for human rights, common good, spread of prosperity and good governance.

There is time between now and 2011 to let the message get through or sink in. The ruling government and other parties have the moral and civil obligations to let the institutions of democracy begin to function independently and putting them on solid foundations before 2011. Any attempt to force ready-made election results on the Nigerian people like what we saw in 2007 will result to violence of unimaginable magnitude.

According to reports emanating from Nigeria, the violence and chaos reported from Somalia, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Congo will be child’s play if the lazy government in Nigeria continue to toy with the future and sovereignty of Nigeria. The time is now to begin to allow politics to play itself out without bitterness. The PDP-led government has not been able to successfully prosecute any group or individuals for all the political assassinations of the last decade. The implication is that the PDP became known as the nest of killers and all the guilt rest in that party.

I do not think that Nigerians will tolerate any further killing of such nation that we saw under Abacha and then Obasanjo. I see a situation where one more state-sponsored killing might trigger the necessary agents of change more rapidly than the sensitization of the NLC can offer. Nigeria is on a precipice and further attempts to infuriate the people might result to unexpected outcomes.

Words are never going to be strong enough to qualify the volatility of the pulse of the Nigerian nation. A failed state in total blackout occupied by frustrated and angry people cannot be expected to remain resilient forever. History teaches us otherwise. This message is clear: there is a need to sustain pro-democratic struggles that will lead to the fall of dictatorship, bad governance and the tendency towards one-party state in Nigeria.

In the days ahead the NLC must ensure that it uses its strategic position as the main rallying point of the people to inculcate other pro-democracy groups (and where necessary the opposition) to sustain its demonstrations, to possibly initiate a mass revolt and probably to start the much awaited (Nigerian People Power) Revolution that will do nothing but bring positive CHANGES to Nigeria.

This type of people power must not succumb to the witchcraft, juju and sorcery that are common practices of Nigerian politics. This might be the only way to rescue Nigeria which is already classified as a failed country and one that might disintegrate violently by 2015. The future of Nigeria is in the hands of Nigerians and whatever we decide to do or not do.

Thy Glory O’ Nigeria…!

aderounmu@gmail.com

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