Since the emergence of Dr. Good luck Ebele Jonathan as winner of the keenly contested April 16,2011 Presidential election, largely acclaimed as the freest and most credible election in our country in recent times by both local and international observers, the political atmosphere in a section of the country has been nothing but a tawny volcano. The situation conveys at once the chief features of the Nigerian spirit: it is vertical, spontaneous, immaterial, and upward; it is ardent. And even as tongues of fire do, it turns into fire everything it touches. Like an intractable nightmare, Nigeria is fast degenerating into the Hobbesian State of Nature where “life is short, nasty and brutish, and it is “a survival of the fittest”. Anarchy is closing in while law and order are losing their stings .A dangerous class of youth created by a greedy, murderous and uncountable governing elite has allowed itself to be easily manipulated by its creators to cause death and disharmony in the country.
Its is not because Jonathan won the election that we are experiencing this catalogue of violence; it could still have been the same story if another southerner from another party had won the election. It was the same reason why the June 12, 1993 presidential election won by the late Chief M.K.O AbIola was annulled by the reactionary faction of the Nigerian ruling class, that group still bent on holding Nigeria hostage in mediaeval servitude. What sets the nation afire is precisely the contrast between the long, quiescent plain and the hot, vertical , upward fire of the volcano. As a colonial concoction, Nigeria is united by decree, unsteady by circumstance. Since political independence in 1960, the nation has been longing to stretch into a horizontal peace as long and as quiescent as it can contrive it. And on the soft cushion of reason if possible or on the even softer pillow of doubt if need be , provided it can go on half-dosing, half active, the world was ready to turn a blind eyes on her.
Yet an attempt by a section of the country at forcing the issue when the argument of the rest has outdone their feeble reason, has erupted our volcano once again. While the North appears to support the rule of force and utility, the south is interested in the rule of reason. Indeed, the game is fascinating; the stakes high. But where are the rules? The rules? They would burst out from the bowels of the earth, floating in the molten lava of our threatening volcano. The rules cannot be evolved in our march to the steppe of reason ; they must spring from the inner most level of the human spirit. But, we, the youth, who are the ultimate victims of this contradiction must work out the rules because there are already two extremes in the national dilemma: those who insist on life as an orthodox paradise, fixated in obedience to the Lord and those who see life as an anarchist paradise, free from any discipline but that of man’s own self . The two paradise wings will gradually persuade or compel the purgatory centre to join in their endeavour to seize paradise where it lurks hidden in the unrevealed eternity of things and an endless national Crisis.
But it matters little that a host of utilitarian devils fan the flames on both sides. On the side of the paradise of obedience to the Lord, the fanatics claiming parentage to the Lord on the strength of their might; on the side of the paradise of anarchy, the old political demagogues made up of expired warlords, tribal jingoists and offspring of feudal pretention, whose aim it is to climb to power on the back of the dangerous class they have created. These utilitarian elements do contribute to the hardening of our crisis but could do little without the very essence of the crisis itself, which is a rivalry of flames. The Nigerian youth must form a united patriotic front against violence and provide an intellectual response to this crisis .Our response should not be seen as a meaningless crusade against the status quo but an attempt to see the April 16 presidential election as a unified front against fascism, from a study in dialectics to an electoral reality. Losers should go back to the drawing board and prepare for 2015 instead of bombing the country out of reckoning. Thus, it is imperative for all progressive youth to see the outcome of the presidential election as a golden opportunity to construct a new basis for national unity and a new foundation for a liberal democracy in our country.
Our motive must for the most part be the same ideal that will enable Nigeria join other progressive nations in the 21st century race: a humanitarian desire for a nation in which corruption and misery must be eliminated, combined in varying degrees with a drive to participate in a historical movement that would provide for an identity which we cannot achieve as individuals. This must include the removal of the basis of national or class oppression and the construction of a democratic foundation for a united Nigeria where no one can usurp or alienate others on the basis of tribe or religion .To achieve this feat, the old brigades who do not want to grow old must be uprooted to pave way for a broad –based people oriented mass participation. A cursory look at the history of the struggle for national liberation shows that the social forces whose empowerment or self empowerment will guarantee the removal of all the pillars of oppression in our country are those whose character is universal because they represent Nigerians whose suffering is universal. Thus ,our defense of the Nigerian people should be seen as the embodiment of the forces of light struggling against the turbulent onrush of engulfing darkness. So, for all noble, disinterested, idealistic and disillusioned Nigerian youth, this is a call for change. A set of fundamental values must arise from the Nigerian ordeal; and we should know not only where we are but also where we are going. Let’s kick against violence.