Let me start by asking students of history what year Ojukwu died. 2011 right? 44 years from the beginning of the war. Good.
Yakubu Gowon is still alive. But over 3 million people who never travelled to Aburi to sign any accord died during the pogrom as far back as 1967. Just cause or not, the elite are mostly protected during wars while the masses are led to slaughter. First point made.
I agree that there is war already. The Nigerian State is fighting the masses through all means including ethnic-religious crises. I’m not an activist who does not understand the pulse of the society. But the resultant effect of the Igboho concept is a full blown civil war that will not produce anything good for the masses. Organizing defence committees against criminals (all tribes are ably represented) is very good but criminalizing a whole ethnic group is wrong. There is no thin line between these two actually. It is the nepotistic stature of Buhari that has made it so. He and his allies in government have made secession look very attractive, like it’s a solution.
Let this also be noted that wars are festivals of the oppressors. A critical look at that human concept-in-history would make you understand that it is an event of one side of an oppressive class trying to dominate, fight over ascendancy and impose ideas rather than debate them. Second point made.
Revolution on the other hand, is the festival of the oppressed. A grey area to it is revolutionary warfare which has been described as an element of revolution. Many revolutionaries especially pan-africanists have explained it as the war that involves the people taking arms against the ruling class. They have opined that it is not possible to be free without this warfare. And I am also of the thought that freedom will not be “debated” in one of the air-conditioned halls of Transcorp Hilton.
Revolution in its entirety is against the elite and their links locally and internationally.
In a revolution, the ruling class and their interests are not protected.
We are still “jogging” here in Nigeria, that’s why the US and international community are treating the arrests and brutality during #RevolutionNow protests as human rights cases. Climb the ladder, add oxygen to the fire, pose more radically and the legion of enemies will be unmasked immediately. Put this somewhere too.
I have read about the plan of the FG to arrest Sunday Igboho. There are many under the illusion that he can’t be arrested. Arresting him is not a difficult task for the state, forget any attire decorated with medals of science. Except he can boast of having a higher firepower than the state, the state still has the monopoly of violence. In fact, they love and thrive in violence. It means more money for the Buratais in the Army, Police and DSS. But is arresting him the solution? No. But we have a dull President who thinks force is the solution to anything. No wonder the economy is where it is. As a retired General, he thinks he can command the economy to blossom.
To those blaming Sunday Igboho for his reactions, an understanding of social upheaval/uprising should make them have a rethink. You can’t blame him totally. To the average Ibarapa indigene who wants to be safe on his farmland, the Sunday Igboho concept of present is an assurance of his safety, no matter how fluke it may be. The government lacks the moral authority to call such action of defense a declaration of a state of anarchy. What do we call its own gross failure to protect citizens against killings over the years? I guess state of stupidarchy and irresponsiblarchy. A failed state!
To know the level of hopelessness in this society, just buy beer where people are seated and say “Ha...this country”. Don’t say anything again. Leave the rest to the people around. You will hear a lot of issues and “solutions”. It is then sheer hooliganism to throw those ideas and methods away because they are not yours. What any revolutionary should do at any time is to accommodate these ideas, debate them, refine them where possible and give direction.
It is the hopelessness in this society (I keep repeating this) that have given birth to several Sundays. Don’t be surprised that there are Monday to Saturday Igbohos who have only been shaking their heads while watching an ethnic irredentist association like Miyetti Allah threaten fire and brimstone on national TV on issues and allegations of domination. Yet none of them has been arrested or questioned. It is normal to react this way they are reacting. It’s a reality no one including revolutionaries, should shy away from. The first way out of any problem is accepting that there is a problem and not speaking about the problem in euphemisms.
The way out of our myriad of problems remains organizing ourselves to take over power and determine what political and economic systems are good for us. Is it the system that positions resources to the few or the one wherein we all have access to the resources? The answer lies with us all. It is a marathon. Let no one claim easy pathway or victory.
In conclusion, it is understandable to be confused in times like this. Just sit back, drink water and think. It is then you will embrace revolution not war.
- Adeyeye Olorunfemi