When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty…
– Thomas Jefferson
In political science, a revolution (Latin: revolutio, “a turn around”) is a fundamental power and political organisation which occurs when the population reverts against the government, typically due to perceived oppression (political, social, economic) or political incompetence. In book (V) of the politics, the Ancient Greek Philosopher, Aristotle (384-322BC), described two types of political revolution. (1) Complete change from one constitution to another, and (2), Modification of an existing constitution.
Revolution has occurred throughout human history and varies widely in terms of methods, duration and motivating ideology. Their results include major changes in culture, economic and socio-political institutions, usually in response to perceived overwhelming autocracy or plutocracy. Revolution is not about breakdown of law and order but for the creation of reasonable opportunities for growth and development. After 20 years we started on the path of civil rule, we have now arrived at the point where democracy and its much-hyped instruments of “checks and balances”ý have been rigged against us.
Scholarly debates about what does and does not constitute a revolution centre on several issues. Early studies of revolutions primarily analysed events in European history from a psychological perspective, but more modern examinations include global events and incorporate perspectives from several social sciences, including sociology and political science. Several generations of scholarly thought on revolutions have generated many competing theories and contributed much to current understanding of this complex phenomenon.
Now, a government that apportions high grades to itself on its supposed achievements should also retain self-composure when a revolution is mentioned. They should be confident that people are satisfied enough with their lot under their administration and would laugh at the purveyors of revolution. Yet, the government was so jittery it brought out the armed forces to fight protesters than they do with killer herdsmen. Their panic and desperation to declare “democratic victory” over an unfolding reality is telling. They fear the arousing power of assemblies to destabilise the alternative reality they have made official narratives.
The scuttled #RevolutionNow protests against government ineptitude by security agents by deploying to the states of the federation was totally undemocratic and uncivilised. It was also so for the declaration of such repressive behaviour a “democratic victory”. The irony of that assertion hits one hard. No thanks to alternative facts such as this one, Nigeria, these days, sometimes feel like being fed up and trapped inside an Orwellian reality. Moreover, if the government is confident, according to reports, then one should not let them get away with their delusions that Nigerians ignored the protests because they believed in the promise of the present administration.
It is the belief of many that democracy should guarantee people good life. A stable democracy piloted by visionary leaders who possess the intellectual clout to see issues at their broader and more complex perspectives should ensure a strong, stable, vibrant, virile economy with an enabling environment. Under a condition like this, the citizens can benefit maximally and to the fullest from democracy – good living condition, employment generations, security of lives and property and even equal opportunities for self-actualisation.
Instead of Nigerians to forget or jettison the hardship experienced during the military era, hunger, diseases and ignorance have become the lot of Nigerians under our democracy. Life has become a thing to endure rather than enjoy. Or how else could we call the brutality of journalists at the #RevolutionNow protest; the Fourth Estate of the Realm has now become a punching bag before the police and other security agents. Imagine, Victor Ogungbenro, a SaharaReporters videographer, being tear-gassed directly in the eyes and assaulted even after hitting the deck. This kind of executive and police rascality has no place in a democracy. Dragging journalists on the bare floor by police is totally uncivilised, undemocratic and against the rule of the law. In a democracy, journalists need to accorded respect and enough regard by the security agents. A responsible government and police must know how to separate protesters from journalists, even though protesters do not deserve that kind of treatment from our security agents.
It is only in Nigeria that security agents will molest, brutalise, maim and kill innocent citizens without any apprehension. In advanced countries like the US, the UK, when someone is arrested unlawfully or approached unjustly, they will be pleading every now and then.
Incidentally, the current political leaders called for a revolution in 2014, when they were not in power, but, now that they have found themselves in power, they now keep mum over incessant killings across the country, enduring as if the heat does not affect them at all.
When they came into power in 2015, this government claimed they would solve three major problems of insecurity, economy and corruption. Out of the three, the government has awarded itself some inordinately high scores. Even when Nigerians say and feel otherwise, they insist they have done enough to justify the faith reposed in them. After Nigeria was also declared the poverty capital of the world, they came up with a counter-narrative of having lifted five million Nigerians out of extreme poverty. They said they have empowered 12 million rice farmers, revolutionised rice farming to the point that rice factories in Thailand were shutting down because they lost Nigeria’s customers, while many Nigerians as of today are wallowing in extreme poverty. Even electricity generation was said to have “notionally” hit 7,000 MW
It is distressing for our government to engage in a series of dialogues with killer herdsmen and bandits, while the common man fighting for their rights will be chased around and maimed by security agents. What a country are we living in? And you say the country does not need a revolution?
Orunbon, a public affairs analyst, wrote in from Abeokuta via email@example.com