We are about to enter a delicate stage of the Nigerian revolution and it calls for serious preparation to overcome all the negative tactics of the opposition. I didn’t say they are the enemy, but opposition because we all are going to the same destination. Even the opposition will marvel at the gains and success the new will offer them had they the capacity to seen it in advance. However, everywhere, to some is given the strength to drag others along even against their best judgments particularly in those things that are for later understanding.
You must have read about the seven days ultimatum given to Vice President Good luck Jonathan to assume power in Nigeria in line with constitutional provisions or face legal action from the Save Nigeria Group, organizers of the last protest marches in Abuja and Lagos. The Save Nigeria Group has proven to be the rallying point of the revolution. It is time to strengthen the group to stand in the gap for all of us. There must be a clear structure headed by Prof. Wole Soyinka, and guided by a board of all those prominent Nigerians who are already working on this project. Every volunteer will have some thing to contribute and a perhaps a section to manage. Only merit will get you there not the sound of your name.
This structure will be invaluable because the opposition has perfected plans to test the strength of purpose of the revolution by the use of diabolical means such as discrediting the leaders. The idea is to prove they are no saints. Already billions of tax payers Naira has been pushed out for this purpose. The international community is being fed with fear pills about the security implication of a revolution in Nigeria and as you saw last week internationally this work is already producing allies and joint statements whose gaze is only war and how they may align, who buys their weapons, who holds on to the oil, and who should they trust. It is important that Soyinka should do more .He must begin a world tour to explain the Nigerian revolution as distinct from the classical Karl Marx and that it is not intended to balkanize Nigeria ; that no war will result from it but rather that a great peace will break out.
Nationally, you have started to witness these plots and more will come. Talking about joint statements, you saw the South Eastern governors hurriedly brought together to express their satisfaction with the President for keeping away. For them he broke no law. Common, these people manage the most cash trapped group of states in the Federation and I believe they can do with extra cash. I look forward to when they will meet on a joint economic commission to develop their States but this may be the hardest expectation. The hatchet idea is to begin to give a coloration of tribe, to show that those kinsmen whose voices resonate are not speaking for their people.
While the Governors with executive powers can afford to be wrong, the legislators at the National Assembly will have to be more careful not to offend those they must pretend to represent even if their reelection does not depend on their votes. Their duty is to ward off any tangible resolution on any matter of National importance unless they are pushed along with lots of cash to do so. This time they have to buy time with so much movement without motion until the President ‘returns’. While the House of Representatives can afford to defer debates on the issue, the Senate under so much pressure can at least ask the President to send them a letter authorizing them to do their work of oversight. The said letter doesn’t forget can miss in transit or may not be read be because of lack of quorum or many other legal excuses. It is understandable for those who know how they get elected as candidates of one godfather or another whom they actually represent here. The reason being that no one can afford the money needed to run a race into the senate or House of Representatives in Nigeria, considering that you have to bribe everybody from party hierarchy to ward delegates and the police only to be told that you are not Oga’s choice and you can do nothing about it. So you need to await Oga’s direction before you move and this is how the game is played in Nigeria including in the National Assembly. Please let us stop expecting action from this people but only sympathize with them over their predicament.
The other diversion is the Anambra State ‘election’ which has occupied a portion of out energy. We are here struggling for the crumbs out of bad system instead of concentrating all our energy in changing the system. You cannot change a bad system by participating in it. If you extend your hands to the devil it will overwhelm you with a force you never imagined existed because it would be acting with your own force as well. It is not the good people that throws up a good system but a good system that throws up a good people. Remember this always. We have to put forward changes first before we can begin to contest elections so that we do not end up losing our humanity and good values which the wrong system throws up on its adherent. In 1999 our warnings about the emergent Obasanjo era was drowned by the great rush to get elected or appointed into positions and I believe Bola Ige comes to mind about hat can happen to a good man in a bad system. Shaping the revolution is far more important than the Anambra election or positions in the Goodluck era, but how can I explain it?
As for the PDP a ruling party with divisive strategies of mobilization particularly the infamous North/South rotation which is contrary to the provisions of the 1999 constitution, you cannot be surprised with their judgment about the President being in perfect health to continue to rule Nigeria. I sympathize with them because they did not foresee this period during their sixty year rule permutation. As far as they are concerned Nigeria can go to hell as long as they are ruling it. Don’t worry about what they say or not say because they themselves do not take their own utterances serious. They will soon forget they ever held such a position as things unfold.
It is very good that the Vice President receives conditions for support of the Revolution when he assumes power. H must not be left with a blank Cheque like Obasanjo when he left jail to become President. Each condition must have a target attached to it. You see because of the bad system, Nigerians cannot perform until they must. You can see it in our National teams. It is only when they are a goal down and the game is about to end that they bring forth extraordinary efforts because they know that 90 minutes cannot be extended. It is the same with the government. It reacts slowly And surely to deadlines. Consider the most recent example when the Soyinka led Save Nigeria march on Abuja and Lagos insisted on going ahead with its protest despite intimidation and police threats, everything began to happen in Nigeria. Even the ailing President spoke on BBC. That is how things work under this system until we can change it for the better, don’t expect otherwise because these public officers are so busy doing everything else except what they are ‘elected’ to do.
The Vice President must work to further the tenets of the Nigerian revolution. He must be given all the parameters as well as targets. We cannot afford another Obasanjo/Enahoro melodrama whereby the former agreed to run a National Government that would summon a National Conference. But when he got there he appointed Bola Ige from this pressure group into his cabinet ostensibly to help deal with the ‘impossible’ demands of his compatriots. You know the rest of this story
The Goodluck era can serve as a transitional government to lay the foundation for an open, inclusive and merit driven society already proposed. First he has to start a credible process to align the constitution to reflect the Nigerian National vision at independence. Then we can push appropriate bills through the National Assembly in an atmosphere of openness and guided with the purpose that had been lacking for so long because we disconnected with our past and therefore cannot find the future. We cannot have another Nigeria established midstream from the one our founding fathers gave us.A constitution must have a past to create a lasting future from the present, so we have to find this document. You cannot just pick out the word unity out of many others formed by our forefathers at independence as the Nigerian vision and you forget about others like service, progress, justice, love and faith. Then you beat your chest that you preserved unity in war and then you become our heroes past thereby relegating the founding fathers to the background as if you have founded another country midstream. These are some of the innocent mistakes made in the new national anthem that distorted the purpose of t6he Nigerian Nation there leaving us rudderless, leading to sustained calls for separation, disintegration because the spirit of our founding fathers have abandoned us.
It now falls to the lot of the Vice President to utilize his emergent era to reconnect Nigeria back to the proper foundation so that a lasting up building can commence. A tall order if the Save Nigeria Group cannot be equipped for its delicate role of constantly focusing itself and Nigeria to the goal for which it is permitted to arise.