Have government critics outlived their usefulness?

by Gabriel Ola

For there to be change in Nigeria, there must be a revolution. If we won’t have a bloody revolution, then we must have the revolution of the mind

This week has seen debate by several writers over the subject of young people joining political parties, especially the People’s Democratic Party.

Far from getting into that ring, instead I think the critics should be criticised.

If those of us who talk a lot and write a lot had done so much by coming together and putting our selfish interests aside to form a political party with true constitution and definite ideology, and we work to make it a truly national party (it is possible); then I would have been the first to cast a stone at anyone for leaving such party to join the “Poverty Development Party”.

If we do not give a young people seeking to join the political process an alternative, how then can we judge him or her for taking action and preparing towards 2015 rather than stay as spectators like us?

I’ll mention a few names in this write-up. 

Walk the Talk

How do we expect our nation to change when all we do is talk and write like Japheth Omojuwa, Nasir el-Rufai, Dele Momodu, Tolu Ogunlesi, Toyosi Akerele and co? Do not get me wrong, I respect these names, but our problems are so mounting that we cannot only be getting angry on twitter and social media—we must act! 

Political Parties

I have a dream to become a local government chairman in my state because I see it as the closest platform to the people and a people’s republic where you can give people true benefits of electing a credible leader, thereby turning that small locality into a “country paradise”—if you know what I mean. I have a friend whose dream is to become a distinguished senator of the federal republic of Nigeria, but we do not belong to any political party. But the fact is, our dreams are not likely to come to pass except we join one.

Why haven’t I joined? Simply because most of our political parties are the clichéd birds of a feather that flock together. Tell me something that is happening in PDP that is not happening in ACN or CPC? I can’t think of any. 

Dilemma of joining a political party

I cannot for instance join a political party that parades a 60-year-old man as her youth coordinator or whatsoever. How can he understand the challenges of my time when even my late father could not even comprehend some of my activities, despite the fact that he wasn’t up to 60 years old at the time of his passing?

Therein lies the challenge.

So. This is the time for the talkative and the so-called activists (that bombards us with news and information via their blogs and social media) to form a coalition that encourages young people to join a political party, as a new generation of change agents strategise to take over power.

If I see the likes of Sam Adeyemi, Fela Durotoye (as long as we will not be asked to pay N50,000 participation fee), Poju Oyemade, Japheth Omojuwa, Toyosi Akerele, Deolu Akinyemi, Tolu Ogunlesi, Chude Jideonwo, Ohimai Amaize (as long as I won’t be asked to join PDP), Dele Momodu, Nasir el-Rufai and several others that you know in a political party; I won’t think twice before I pick a form.

What is the essence of having large followers on Twitter and major campuses in Nigeria when you can’t exert positive influence over them?  

You think 2015 is far right?

2015 is around the corner. Do not be surprised when you see Goodluck Jonathan win again or PDP sells another person with another sub story and many gullible Nigerians will vote based on sentiment just like when Jonathan was voted in. To win in 2015, all hands must be on deck.

I hate to hear we can effect change outside the system. It is a lie! We can only effect little changes outside the system. Let the oppositions/ activists become a part of government. Other new oppositions/activists will arise. 

We need a revolution, one driven by action and not words – and if that doesn’t happen soon, this general of activists will quickly become obsolete.

For there to be change in Nigeria, there must be a revolution. If we won’t have a bloody revolution, then we must have the revolution of the mind where sacrifice and selflessness becomes the order of the day—and selflessness includes shifting the focus on building reputations as government critics and spending that time building solid change structures.

It’s just like we used to say when I was a student activist at the Obafemi Awolowo University: If we fight, we may win; if we don’t, we have lost!

#AriseCompatriots. Follow @gabrielola1 

N.B: We must continue writing and talking, but let’s take it a step higher.


Comments (13)

  1. And even if we do nt form a political party, we must make sure we come under a very solid platform that can hold the government to a standstill both Nationally and internationally.

  2. Awesome piece Gabriel!….we won't just walk the talk but act the talk. Change is just here!!

  3. This is a tough call. A clarion one. A challenge to those in the position for to make crucial moves. Sure, we'll make ours too. 2015 starts now!

  4. @ekekeee is doing something like this already. Walking the talk his 20millionyouthsfor2015 movement.

  5. … Change… Welldone on this piece. After several years of advocating for women's rights, I realised that the struggle was more systemic than I imagined. Patriachy was structured system, and to deal with it I had to deal with that system first.

    Now, same applies here. Not all of us are cut out for partisan politics especially when considering the present political system we have in the country.

    Imagine all of us, I mean chAnge- oriented people forming a party and INEC omitting our candidate's name on election day or a national court banning us from using government facilities for our campaign or putting laws to restrict our activities.

    There is so much systemic inadequacies in our political culture. As for me, I don't plan to engage in gladiatorial political participation. I am in my own way causing changes. Empowering young people and developing lives in my community. All these little efforts by different change agents in our various field will accumulate to desired change if sustained.

  6. i rly dnt get it y r u criticizing these guys Gabriel,if nt for the Sam Adeyemi's and the Fela Durotoyes of this world most young people wont be socially conscious as they are today!

    2. Rather than criticize, since you have discovered a lacuna in the whole process why don't you take responsibility nd start a party if you are worth your onions people would follow you too!



  7. Gabriel sorry I failed to appreciate that intellectual piece written by you. God bless you sir.

    Isaac my friend just said change is coming, I wonder how soon. Don't forget that same was said when Niyi Adesanya, Gbenga Sesan and the likes hosted Jimi Agbaje @ ACES meeting, in 2007 on Toyin street, guess you remember? I think we need to start suspecting them, you (Isaac) and that word 'change is coming'.

    Again Nigeria we hail thee.

  8. Hmmm… Can see the anger in you to ensure that great change emerged here in our so called 'GREAT NATION'. Please this should go beyond here. You too should act the above script.

    Sincerely, I'm (we are) tired of this whole 'shit.' The present information minister in the 80's shouted and pretended to be a change agent, thank God we all can see the results of his student activism then, same goes to the presence Cross River governor 'Rotimi Amechi' (So stubborn that he gave all sort of excuses @ The Future Symposium while the system could not be changed) and many more.

    To be very candid friends, those names Gabriel mentioned above seems to be change agents (for their mind oh) or so, this guys will get there and mess the whole things up(my opinion), giving us same old stories which their 'useless, clueless, shameless, shoeless and heartless predecessors had given.

    At least, lots of them are already sharing from the 'nation cake'. The other time Omojuwa said on Channels Television that he saw someone off to Aso Rock, for what?

    At the symposium Chude said he was invited to Aso Rock to see the president, what effects has this caused to us?

    Nigeria we hail thee.

  9. We aint kidding, change is coming. Insightful piece Gabs

  10. Gabriel may God bless you for writing this. It actually hushed an article I was preparing- for it shares similar content with this.

  11. I beg to differ Jide, Twittering is cheap, talk is cheaper; you still need internet conncetion to twitter.

    On the article, this is something I have been saying to my friends for such a long time, unfortunately, I never put it in writing.

    One additional point is whatever party, association, group that will be formed has to reach the grassroots because those are the people that will go out of their homes to vote based on a loaf of bread and 100 naira. We need to educate them that there are even more things to aspire for than roads, water and light which those things are basic amenities, that the guy giving them a loaf of bread today is going to deprive their generations unborn of a future when he gets into office.

    It will take sacrifice, leaving our comfort zones, homes, work and friends to bring the change we need. How many of us are really ready to cause the change? Even my heart skips a beat as I write this…

  12. Talk is cheap. Tweets are cheaper.

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