We are Nigerian citizens reporting commentaries and analysis on the state of affairs in Nigeria, to hold our political elites to account for the injustice done to the Nigerian people.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Nigeria Revolution: Change We Can Believe In

Over the past week, there has been a discussion onSolomonsydelle's blog about the Nigeria Revolution question? I have made my views known by commenting succinctly on this subject.

But there are so many of us who doubt Nigeria’s desire for something new - who are saying a revolution is a fluke and should never be thought of; or like the Nigerian civil war experience, never be repeated again. I beg to differ. However, I do not believe in a bloody revolution, I believe a drastic and far-reaching change in ways of our thinking and behavior is urgently needed. That is a revolution in itself.

A change from the status quo; a change from the old political brigands and a change from the corrupt establishment in Nigeria. A fundamental change in political organization; a change of paradigm; a change of ideas; and of articulating a new vision and a new hope to move our nation forward in this generation!

We do believe that this change is possible. And this revolution message should resonate loud and clear to all of us. Nigerians alike, from the four corners of our nation and in the diaspora; young and old, Hausa or Yoruba, Igbo or Ijaw, the rich and the poor, we have to remember that this is a fight to salvage our nation, and that all of us share an abiding desire to end the disastrous policies and actions of our past administration.

Well today, this revolution had already beganin Nigeria's court rooms and in theoffices of the anti-graft agency - EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) , but the cynics are at work and they will stop at nothing to make us believe that this is just an illusion; and they will do anything and everything to stop this revolution, but all of us Nigerians need to stand up and tell a different story that change is what we believe in.

But there are real differences between those of us who believe in change in Nigeria and those cynics who wants to maintain the status quo. We are looking for more than just a change of government. We’re looking to fundamentally change the status quo in the Nigerian political, economic and social landscape - a status quo that extends beyond any particular individual or political affiliations. And right now, that status quo is fighting back with everything it’s got; with the same old tactics that divide and distract us from solving the problems people face in Nigeria everyday, whether those problems are poverty; that people can’t afford three square meals a day or homelessness; that ordinary Nigerians can’t afford to pay their rent.

So this revolution will not be easy. Make no mistake about what we’re up against in Nigeria.

We are up against the belief that it’s ok for corrupt politicians to dominate our government - that they are just part of the system in Nigeria. But we know that the undue influence of corrupt leaders is part of the problem, and this change is our chance to say that we’re not going to let them stand in our way anymore.

We are up against the conventional thinking that says your ability to become thePresident of Nigeria comes from longevity in our corrupt political system or proximity to those who have the influence of power or powers that be. But we know that real leadership is about candor, and judgment, and the ability to move Nigerians from all walks of life around a common purpose - a higher purpose. Change!

We are up against decades of bitter partisanship and politics that cause politicians to demonize and kill their opponents instead of coming together to make food items affordable or fuel prices cheaper; it’s the kind of politics where you’re not even allowed to say that you have a different idea – by not conforming with the status quo. That kind of politics is bad for Nigerians, it’s bad for our country, and this revolution will be our chance to end it once and for all.

We are up against the idea that it’s acceptableto say anything and do anything to win an election . We know that this is exactly what’s wrong with our politics; this is why people don’t believe what their leaders say anymore; this is why they tune out. And this revolution is our chance to give the Nigerian people a reason to believe again.

And what we’ve seen in these last years is that we’re also up against political forces that are not the fault of any one individual, but wrong ideological establishments that feed the habits that prevent us from being who we want to be as a nation. It’s the politics that uses tribalism as a wedge, and corruption as a bludgeon . A politics that tells us that we don’t have to think, act, and even vote within the confines that define us in exercising our human rights. The assumption that Nigerians are apathetic to who is going to govern them. The assumption that Nigerians are not ready for change. The assumption that Igbo’s can’t support Yoruba’s; Hausa’s can’t support the Ijaws and the north and south cannot come together.

But this revolution is to say that this is not the Nigeria we believe in. This change is not about tribalism nor the actualization of ethnic nationalities, but a fight for all Nigerians from all walks of life; men and women of every tribes and gender who want to serve together, and fight together, and bleed together under the same proud Nigerian flag. We know what Nigeria is, and we believe in what Nigeria can be.

It’s about the past versus the future.

It’s about whether we settle for the same divisions and distractions and drama that passes for politics today, or whether we reach for a politics of common sense, and innovation - a shared sacrifice and shared prosperity.

That is the Nigeria we see. That is the country we want to see. But now it is up to us to help the entire nation embrace this vision; this revolution. Because in the end, we are not just up against the ingrained and destructive habits of politicians in Nigerian, we are also struggling against our own doubts, our own fears, and our own cynicism. The change we seek has always required great struggle and sacrifice. And so this is a battle in our own hearts and minds about what kind of country we want and how hard we’re willing to work for it.

So let us remind every Nigerian that change will not be easy. That change will take time. There will be setbacks, and false starts, and sometimes we will make mistakes. But as hard as it may seem, we cannot lose hope. Because there are people all across Nigeria and in the diaspora who are demanding for change; who can’t afford another four years of misrule because our past leaders couldn’t come together, articulate this vision and get it done.

This post is an inspiration from Barack Obama’s South Carolina Victory Speech; a great and inspirational speech indeed and we can draw a lot of parallels from the change Obama is advocating for and the revolution that is urgently needed in Nigeria.


Blogger For the love of me said...

Very well written piece.

Thu Jan 31, 03:06:00 PM EST  
Blogger SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

But this revolution is to say that this is not the Nigeria we believe in. This change is not about tribalism nor the actualization of ethnic nationalities, but a fight for all Nigerians from all walks of life; men and women of every tribes and gender who want to serve together, and fight together, and bleed together under the same proud Nigerian flag. We know what Nigeria is, and we believe in what Nigeria can be."

That was absolutely powerful to read. Thank you so much for this. I have been in a little bit of a mood this week regarding Nigeria, but reading this has re-inspired me. Thank you so much, you have no idea!

Fri Feb 01, 03:47:00 PM EST  
Blogger TheAfroBeat said...

Great post! Well-articulated and inspiring indeed. I've always known it won't be easy, and that it would take time, but i just want to know when it starts across the board. I know it's started in me (albeit it pretty slow and intermittent), but i want to know when it begins proper, and just how gradual is gradual? I don't expect concrete answers but i muse nonetheless. Thanks once again for sharing your thoughts. THis is definitely a first step in this revolution we crave.

Thu Feb 07, 12:03:00 AM EST  
Blogger autores said...

commerce, life, money is only partisanship.All with what you have written is I ARE BREED OF MY FRIEND AND I WANT TO LIVE IN RESPECT OF ALL free trade AND TOTAL PEACE AS THE CHURCH THAT Paroc herself A GOD, but with the children, his wife THAT FOR ME I WANT PEACE! you are right but this policy does not arrive at the end of the station than that with the single word while the people and 'slave of the company and can not' make the decision life,for your problem is not 'mere individual but of the people, and I hope very much that you have the right but all that and' the reality full what do you not in your word people.should become the government, the rule of reality not the obstructionism practiced as opposition that puts the death penalty the whole people.The people serving the party and supporting arms for the defense to get the coup, because dies.Company of nigeria wants everything.

Thu Feb 19, 11:42:00 AM EST  

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