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!
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.