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CHARLEY BOYISM-FORMULA FOR TRUE CHANGE

HUMANITY SAW THE WEAKNESSES inherent in monarchy/totalitarianism and conceived the idea of a more popular arrangement,  which  empowers  the  citizenry to  participate  in  the  process  of  governance. Tagged democracy, a government of the people, by the people, for the people, it subjugates  all  persons  to  the  rules  of society and make government accountable to the people.

The African leadership problem can be seen from the failure/refusal to, fully, have a grasp of the concepts, process and essence of democratic governance-this is the basis of irresponsive and irresponsible governance, holding Africans in life-threatening poverty (poverty that precludes man from food, water and shelter as we have in more than three-quarters of our population) while gangster-leaders regale in satanic opulence.

Such a crude system is created and sustained by greed on the part of the ruling elite with the ignorance and docility of the citizenry. Almost everywhere in the world, at every stage of human history, rarely, do we find a ruling class, sufficiently magnanimous to give to the populace, what it deserves-freedom had, always being attained after struggle. It, usually takes a resistive action, powered by courage of the citizenry, to ask that the right be done. The Americans had to fight a war, to liberate themselves from the hold of the British monarchy just as series of protests by the NAACP led to the abolition of institutionalized racial discrimination, in the United States. Mahatma Ghandi-led nonviolent protest led to the ultimate dethronement of colonialism in India. Olufunmilayo Kuti-led Egba Women Riots, a series of nonviolent mass protests, against an unpopular tax regime, led to the eventual dethronement of the then Alake, in 1949. The Aba women riots, an organized massive revolt against the policies, imposed by British colonial administrators in the SE, posed a serious challenge to British rule, in the history of the colony-The Women's War (as it was called) took months, became a historic example of feminist and anti-colonial protest. The humongous artillery power, deployed by the Jonathan administration, to quell the Pastor Tunde Bakare-led Occupy Nigeria movement, quaked in the face of mass support in which ethno-religious differences were put aside. Similar successes, recorded through protests abound everywhere, in our history.

The foregoing corroborates the saying of James. A Baldwin:

Freedom is not something that anybody can be given. Freedom is something people take, and people are as free as they want to be.

That Nigeria, so generously God-endowed, harbour the poorest and most deprived nationals, on earth (people lacking access to food, water and shelter), and the most dangerous communities to live in, on earth, is, majorly, a result of the failure of the citizenry. Not only do the people negotiate away their freedoms at the polling booth, by voting undesirables, they look the other way while these undesirables vandalize the communities and convert all the resources to their own, only for the citizens to groan, later. Nigerians, logically, embraced the promise of change by voting the Buhari/APC, in place of a Jonathan administration that was steering the ship of  the  nation  into  wreckage. Recent events have, however, shown that (i) politicians are  of the same colour, regardless of their partisan leaning (ii) politicians won't, in magnanimity play the game according to the rules of fairness, unless/until they are aware of the peoples' vigilance.

A few events, in my life, have persuaded me that, though, Nigerians are docile, they know what is right- all they require is someone to lead/mobilize and, off they go. Queueing up and weary, at the petrol station, one day, a person in military uniform (with the insignia of an army major) surfaced, right at the time sales was to commence, driving straight to the pump (it was during the military days). Even as I understand the associated risks, I summoned courage to move to the pump and challenged him and the petrol attendants. To my surprise, taxi drivers on the que joined me to ward off the officers lawless-braggadocio. During the 1999 elections, I started a one-man vigilante activity to frustrate ballot snatching/related activities, by paid youths, in my polling booth. To my surprise, a retired army officer took a lot of interests, in my activism, joined me and a few more people joined too. Though the ruffians came, they dared not mess around with our polling boxes-they left frustrated. Arriving the Murtala Muhammed International airport, from abroad, one day, we were, as usual, unnecessarily being delayed (this was before Oshinbajo's cleaning exercise). While standing, one senior immigration official came to announce a name, seeking to know if he/she was with us. In a mixture of frustration and annoyance, I said, officer, if he/she was on the aircraft, he 'd be here, but you can't single out someone out of here without incurring our wrath-he felt offended but, to my surprise, met with a crowd, ready to support me and have to cave in.

Now that it is apparent that Nigerian politicians lack the wherewithal to get us to overcome the enormous inertia on our way to civilization, only, because of long term lawlessness, we might have no choice, outside of a well-coordinated mass movement.

It is on this premise that I salute the courage of those who have played heroic roles in our nation's history of activism, and, the recent activities of Charley Boy are most commendable-he, eminently, deserves our support.

-WILLIAM ABORISADE

oosha53@rocketmail.com

 


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