NIGERIA DOES NOT NEED REVOLUTION:
1. So much noise have been made by social critic and rabble rousing by losers of the political game of 15 & 19,while counter threats have been issued by the winners of the game. For social change to take place, the intellectual community have vital roles to play as the brainbox of the movement.
2. The media has a role to play as the voice of the movement; organised labour has a role to play as the mobiliser of the movement; civil society has a critical role as the defender of the movement and importantly, student unionism has a crucial role as the lifewire force of the movement.
3. No social change can succeed without student unionism. We have left our Universities & polytechnics students unions to rot in authority take over, while the intellectual community have become ingrained in the political system of self-survival.
4. Hence, we are in state of comatose, where we wonder and asked, how did we get here? I can’t imagine, if Fela, Gani, Esko Toyo, Tai Solarin, Prof Awojobi ,Bala Usman, and others were to be alive today, how would they think of us as a people and nation they laid their lives for?
5. For us to have a complete social change, we need to make investment in our youths. We need to go back to schools& invest intellect, time & resources on our student about the values of patriotism, service, nation building, and not materialism of individualism and self-survival that has eaten deep into every fabric of our society
6. We need intellectual community that are fearless, patriotic & not partisan,we need organised civil society that are not partisan,we need a labour that is indeed a Union and not a stooge of the ruling class, we need a media that is fair and not partisan press, because media independence is a mirage
7. We need University council and Senate that does not stifle student unionism and students that are committed to public good and not self-survival. Above all we need clergy that will defend the sanctity of human life and stand by the truth always .Protest will not change the status quo
8. In 1999 and 2015 we witnessed political changes but there were no societal changes. The actors still remain the same. The likes of Ameachi, Akpabio, Aregbesola, ElRufai, Okowa, Wike, Fashola, Akume, Abdullahi Adamu, Goje, SP Lawan, Speaker Gbajabiamila, Gandujaje, Folarin, Adedeye and many more have been in govt at State & Federal level since 1999
9. Some were in PDP’s 16yrs,but now in APC 4yrs & still counting. The more things seems to change, the more they look the same. So anyone expecting any change through political means is under an illusion. The political class are good surfers, they understand political waves.
10. They have learnt how to ride with the tides and navigate the storms. That is why people Ameachi,Akume,El Rufai,Goje, Adamu Abdullahi Adamu, Amosun, Kingibe were all relevant & major actors in PDP then, and are now also in APC.
11. Like chameleons, the political class in Nigeria have mastered the trick and act of changing the colouration of their political leaning to go with the tide, exploiting the innocence of the public, silence of the intellectual community, complicity of the media, docility of civil society and apathy of tertiary institution students, who we have been systematically annihilated to be disinterested in public governance.
12. There is no society that revolution has changed, rather it supplants one political class with a new oppressor. What we need is social change. A society, where every part of the system understands and plays its roles.
13. A society that allows dissenting voices, where access to power is through free and fair elections, a nation built on equality & justice, where state of origin and indigeneship is jettisoned for nationality. Federal character is replaced by merit, equality and competence
14. A nation, where the media is committed to national interest and not parochial, sectional and individual interest of its masters, like we had under colonialist and military era. Protest will not change the status quo. It is the investment we make on our youths and students, who are the future that will bring about a meaningful enduring social change .Marching on the street won’t solve the problem, social change initiated through deconstruction and reconstruction of the mind of our people towards nationhood, patriotism and communalism is the answer. Social change based on ideas of thinkers and not rabble rouser.
15. The weapon for social change are not man made, they are thoughts and ideas that destroy strongholds, casting down imaginations and every delimiting and decapitating thoughts that have people captives like the elephant in a circus and the monkeys in a cage with hot water experience and banana.
By Dr. Jide Johnson
Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Ogba, Lagos State, Nigeria.