Imo & Selfish Political Leaders: Revolution Of Freedom Only Option: Often times, once the mention of revolution surfaces, people tend to view it from the negative perspective. The Holy Bible records that “during the time of John the Baptist, the Kingdom suffered violence; and the violence takes it by force”.
In life, there is always a revolution of freedom, revolution of rescue, revolution of intellectual capacity, revolution of peace and so on. But in this aspect, the writer talks about revolution of peace and freedom from political oppressors and selfish leaders who have held the citizens hostage in the cause of discharging their duties.
It was Mahatma Gandhi who said that in the face of oppression, “I do believe that, where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence; I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honour than she should, in a cowardly manner, become or remain a helpless witness to her own dishonour.”
For Nelson Mandela, “Between the anvil of united mass action and the hammer of thwarted struggle, we shall crush apartheid and white minority racist rule”
For the purpose of clarity, let me stress that there is no peaceful revolution and there is no bloodless revolution, because when you take to the streets, it is your blood or their blood, it is their head or your head; it is their victory or yours.
It is common to hear people chanting the slogans: “Be the change you wish to see in the world, Change will not come if we wait for some other person; we are the change that we seek, everyone thinks of changing the world, no one thinks of changing himself”.
When trying to stress the need for a supposed inward change or inward revolution, before the outer one.
Before I go too far in this article, may I please stress it that this intellectual contribution will stoke no one’s ego, will offer apologies to no one, will be free in the use of languages and slogans and will attack relentlessly, beliefs and established notions that have kept the mass of the people of Imo State continually subjugated and satisfied with living a reserved and horrible lifestyle.
Religions, political institutions, ethnic, greed and tribal beliefs that have over time aided and abetted oppression will not be spared.
Ironically, the concept of change is perhaps one that has been misinterpreted by people whose aims are to continually keep people under perpetual sufferings, political symposium with a view to feeding them with the illusion of change when the state cake meant for everyone is only enjoyed by the elites order than the youths.
Slogans, tags and chants are sponsored by these elements to give people their own dose of the change tablet. But any discerning mind will understand that in the history of social change and overturning of governments, nowhere has it happened that a change that augurs well with people in power has ever been a lasting change or been a change that the mass of the people desire.
We listen as the elites relentlessly tell us that the world has evolved from times of taking to the streets to demand for legitimate rights, we listen as they tell us that we don’t need a violent revolution, that what we need is a peaceful revolution, a bloodless revolution, and we never knew they are deceiving us, the youths.
I then ask, what is your definition of a peaceful revolution in Imo State when these elites who should have retired from active politics are busy gathering political positions for themselves and their generations yet unborn thereby blacklisting the youths from participating actively once elections are over?
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A revolution where you all take to Freedom square and listen to music from morning to evening? A revolution where both the elites and the youths stand under the sun and in the rain singing solidarity songs for the success of the state while the YOUTHS get felled by the oppressors’ bullets masterminded by the elites?
What exactly is your definition of peaceful revolution? The advocates of a bloodless revolution forget that it does not matter whether you are for peace, once you decide to go against their wishes by trouping to the streets, you make yourself an enemy, a target and a potential corpse; it becomes a case of kill or be killed. This happens once elections are over and winners emerged.
According to Julius Malema, a South African Freedom fighter, “when I look around and try to fathom reasons why people refuse to believe in a revolutionary process that involves ‘trouble’, I discover that it is either out of cowardice or out of ignorance”.
The questions remain, how do you explain to me the need for a continuous peace in a deteriorating state as Imo where the elites’ political hegemony against the youths who suffer most during elections is obvious and hell-bent?”
How do you relate the fact that people choose to sing songs in protest rather than confront the identified common enemy who are the elites collectively”.
Be that as it mat, I may posit that blacks in America would have remained in the same condition they were then if they had stood by the singing of Rev. Martin Luther King’s “We shall overcome”.
Was it not for the understanding of Malcolm X in deciphering the needed solution to the Negro’s problem, blacks may still be singing the “We shall overcome” song till today and still remain in bondage.
The truth of the matter is that no government gives a damn if you want to sing your life away. They can even provide you with platform to mount your instruments provide you with microphones and even get you tom-tom when you sing yourself hoarse; they only begin to listen when they see a collective resolve that cannot be shaken even by the guns and whips of the government forces.
This particular approach is required by the youths now so as to be part of the success story in the state after many years of political relegation”.
However, often times, many people have different reasons for ‘hating’ a ‘bloody’ revolution, some hide under the guise of religion, others plead that they have seen too much bloodshed that they never pray to experience another.
Mind you, I am not a war monger, far from it. But I am a man who likes to face facts, a social crusader and opinion molder.
I am a man, who has studied the political situation in Imo State clearly and seen that the problem of this state is so enormous that a recycling old blood (the elites) as appointees won’t solve the agitation but only a total overturn and pulling down through peaceful revolution of the current system can guarantee a total and lasting change and freedom from bondage.
I do not begrudge those who believe in peaceful revolutions; I do not hate them; I am a strong believer in the philosophy of the late Fela Kuti, who sang that, “One day you self you go gree with me, to dey act the way as you dey feel.
Remember if you no act your own. One day of course we must die.” We can’t all come to the realization that only a total upturn of the current system can bring about real change at the same time.
Some people will come to that realization when they lose friends, family and loved ones to the trigger-happy security operatives.
Others will reach that conclusion when they expect to find justice in courts and they can’t find it. Others will attain that realization when they work all their lives only to see their pension and gratuity embezzled by a group of pen-robbers.
And others will reach the realization when they sit by the bedside of loved ones in the hospitals and watch them die a slow and painful death because the man in power refuse to provide good health plan.
Others will realize it when they hear of loved ones dying in accidents due to the death traps called roads. But one thing is sure; we will all come to that realization one day in whichever way.
Mahatma Gandhi, the apostle of non-violence came to that realization later in life and declared fervently that, “I WOULD risk violence a thousand times rather than risk the emasculation of a whole race.” Nelson Mandela came to that realization and said, “The time comes in the life of any nation when there remains only two choices; submit or fight.” That is the order of things; we all come to that realization one way or another.
Today, looking at what is happing in Imo state, there is need for the youths, the aged, artisans, traders, Keke, Okada operators, drivers, students, pensioners and civil servants to rise up to stage a revolution of freedom in Imo state, the only place we can call our own.
By so doing, we shall be expecting Imo of our collective dreams.
Ikenna ONUOHA, is a Journalist and Public Relations Consultant. He is the State Publicity Secretary, Imo Concerned Citizens (ICC), and National Publicity Secretary, Igbo Peace Ambassadors (I.P.A.) respectively.