Sunday, January 27, 2008

The word revolution can mean many things. A quick look at a dictionary or thesaurus provides many synonyms for it. However, no matter how you twist or bend it, the word 'revolution' has a historical connotation of violence, bloodshed and turmoil. Given this historical context, I wish I had a term other than revolution to express the change I wrote of in my last original post. Despite clearly stating that I am against the use of physical violence to enforce change, a look at the discussions that my 'Nigerian Revolution' post created shows that many commentators have understandably tied my suggestions of radical change to violence.

My post was written as a reaction to conversations I have had with various Nigerians (some of them being bloggers) about a shared frustration that the average Nigerian does not demand the sort of change that so many of us talk about tirelessly. The average Nigerian is probably not you or I, assuming that you are Nigerian. The average Nigerian definitely does not have a driver (chauffeur), probably does not have a primary school education and struggles with dignity to get through each day. Nevertheless, so many of us, regardless of class, religion, tribe or gender ` sit down and rant about the various failures that we attribute with the nation, its leaders and the people around us. Despite our national pride, there is so much dissatisfaction with Nigeria and it causes many to complain and even argue amongst ourselves.

Therefore, I began thinking about a non-violent revolution in the thinking of my people. How do we go from the point of complaining to the point of effecting change? In a country where leaders do not consider themselves accountable to their constituents, how do the masses discourage this attitude? Or, are we, the people, simply to wait for a 'redeemer' that will actually do the right thing and set the country on the path towards improvement?

Looking at Nigeria, I too see some of the changes that other bloggers refer to and I am happy that those changes are happening. However, I am still hoping for a genuine change in attitude from us Nigerians. A renewed thinking where we believe that we deserve to live better. That rich and poor have access to the basic opportunities that will enhance us all in the long run. That our children deserve electricity so they can do their homework, that health care is available at an affordable price and that those we entrust with our care and safety will truly work hard to cater to the our needs.

That being said, my non-violent 'revolution' is simply about a change in thinking or as Marin so eloquently noted, "a revolution in the attitudes, hearts and minds of our people". I do not think I could have framed the issue better. That is my hope for us all. I am happy that the current administration, despite my cynicism, is taking steps that I frankly feel are beneficial for the overall psyche of Nigerians. For instance, consider that the Election Tribunal has seemingly been allowed to make its decisions without interference from Aso Rock or other powerful bodies in Nigeria. And, realize that the governors who have been removed from power have left their positions without much wahala. This, to my knowledge, is completely unprecedented in recent political history. Despite my constant commentaries on "sof'ly, sof'ly" Yardy, I must acknowledge that such would likely not have happened under the 'reign' of many of Nigeria's former ruler.
My hope is that every Nigerian reach a level of empowerment where they know that they are an agent of positive change. Not just for their family, village, or tribe but for the nation and even the world at large. If we never get to that point, then all the changes in the world that can be made by the government and various institutions will fail to have an effective impact.

So, yes, I spoke about non-violent revolution and yes, I spoke of Nigeria. And, now the world knows that I speak of a change in our psyche. A change that will allow us all to make Nigeria and ourselves better.

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7 Curiosities. Add Yours.:

Omodudu said...

I know for sure, I must have missed something. But nice, wrap up. But for real...do you really see all this getting done without blood shed...political correctness aside.


Maybe I am simply naive. But, I can hope, right? Also, I can use the recent Orange revolution as an example of a revolution sans 'bloodshed', shebi?

Anyway, at the end of the day, I ask myself the simple question, do I want to hear that a friend or family member lost their life to save my country? Yes, there is probably a lot of pride in the knowledge of such sacrifice, however, I never want to feel the pain of such loss. As I don't want that for myself, I don't want it for anyone else.

Also, I know people that have sacrificed marriages, financial profit and even their pride in the quest for a greater Nigeria, and they are yet to get a thank you. Not even a card. Knowing this I can't in good faith ask anyone to give their life for Nigeria. I can only ask that they do what they can, when the can. No more. That does not mean that people will not die or have not died for Nigeria. But, I do not ever want to be the one to encourage this.

Hope that explains my stance on that issue.

nneoma said...

like i have maintained before - i hate war, which also means that i hate violence. and i agree with you solomonsydelle, that i would hate to lose a family member's life or my own for the sake of ideals. i guess i am a coward in that regard. as for me i that the most realistic revolution relies can start with our educational system. not at the university level, but the primary and secondary levels. we should create in this generation the desire, the hungering, to make a difference. okay, so the average Nigerian is not on the blogs thinking of a revolution - okay, then lets try to get the average child on the internet and maybe create a listing of Nigerian blogs that they can tap into or even start themselves. will be traveling to nigeria for a computer literacy project in a secondary school that i have been working with in the past. still working on the details on how to get the school hooked on the internet but from an initial survey, many of the students, especially the older classes have some awareness of "browsing." i know this may sound like a shameless plug - but if interested in doing something in that regard - a youth blogging project, let me know (nnwachuku(at)gmail(dot)com. i will try and put up a post about my idea of a nigerian revolution in the coming week or so. but thanks for these series of posts so far - extremely thought-provoking.


@ nneoma: thank you for not just reading, but sharing your input. I will email you. This idea of yours sounds excellent and with the right approach and planning would be quite beneficial to the country.

There are other bloggers that are doing some very exciting things in Nigeria. I must put you in touch with some of them.

And, there is nothing wrong with a shameless plug when the ultimate goal is the benefit of many. lol!


Great post as usual and thanks for articulating this vision and putting it in context. we all sometimes misconstrue the term 'revolution' as being synonymous with war, revolts, bloodshed and everything negative under the sun; but we do share your insight and the same passion, that a drastic and far-reaching change in ways of our thinking and behavior is urgently needed. that in itself is revolution. that is what I believe in.

Loomnie said...

I join you in campaigning for a bloodless revolution. I don't think that a revolution has to necessarily involve bloodshed. In fact, one of the most important of revolutions, methinks, would involve a change in attitude, a 'demilitarisation', so to speak, of our way of thinking, and a refusal to live with or accept mediocrity; a good dose of patience would certainly not do any harm.

Now, I have to head for nneoma's. I have been thinking of that same point myself.

guerreiranigeriana said...

splendidly written...although i got you the first time around...even with my call organized violence:)...

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