The right to freedom is absolute possession of every citizen but in this freedom lies the provisions of the law. Nothing makes a cause formidable when it is carried out within the guidelines of the law. Those who achieved the most in their quest for a better society revolting against certain ills in government succeeded because they followed the rules of engagement. You can’t use wrong to correct wrong, when that happens, you are therefore not different from the man you want to correct.
Only a weak state sits aloof when the red lines are crossed, for the consequences of a broken system are more devastating than the furies of a few citizens advocating for a just society. As a famous professor of criminology would say, ‘ The law can be stretched but never to be broken, whoever breaks the law of the land has broken the creed that holds the state together.’ A wise social critic and activist knows the law more than even the lawmakers, anything less, then a crash course in advocacy is needed.
The call for a revolution by the Omoyele Sowore group was not only needless but infantile, you don’t lead a protest barely months after losing an election. You don’t assemble people on the streets and be shouting ‘Take it Back’ after losing an election – this is akin to laying an ambush for the winner of a bet after losing to him. Mr Sowore ceased to be an activist the day he raised to the public the flag of his political aspirations. Politicians don’t lead protest, they contest in elections. We must separate Sowore of yesterday from the Sowore of today.
Oby Ezekwinsili used to be a potent voice of reasons until her voyage into politics, like Sowore, she too hoisted the banner of a presidential candidate. So when she tweets her alternative template of governance, she does them with the jaundiced colours of premeditated interest. She has lost her moral potency of ‘impertiality ‘, she is now a stakeholder of vested interest. When you lose elections, you go to court, not the street calling for regime change. Hillary Clinton embraced the reality of her presidential defeat by joining forces to make America great, she hasn’t been seen calling for the overthrow of Donald Trump. If we must copy the American system of democracy,then we must be ready to imbibe their political values of supporting whoever is power regardless of his party. The only time the American oppositions are in the news is during critical policy decisions and when elections beckon. Here, we curse, whine, oppose and revolt until the next elections. Where then is the time to work together to move the nation to the next level?
Activism should not be replaced with sadism, we have seen sadism taken to an ugly level lately when Madam Oby Ezekwisili took to her twitter page lampooning President Muhammadu Buhari for sitting in his private sitting abode with legs crossed on a table picking his teeth. In her words, she cried in constricted venom thus, ‘ : That a Presidency @AsoRock and their allies found this unflattering “Fiddling-Nero-type-picture” of the @NGRPresident worthy of public view really does take their celebration of deadly Incompetence to a stratospheric realm. But then, it really is the governance of tooth-picking. Nigeria and Nigerians shall surely survive a warped political culture that emboldens and rewards Incompetence.’
Besides the vanity in her vituperations is the inherent hypocrisy in her stance. Not too long, in the past, Dr Ezekwisili was wrapped in an offensive amorous posture with former President Olusegun Obasanjo. The ugly public display by the duo didn’t only shatter our moral ceiling but questions the dignity of the office of the president. So grotesque was the leud act that we saw Mr Obasanjo ‘s hands wrapped around the breast of his married female minister in the full glare of the public planting a kiss on her neck! Such act was a denigrating posture by saint Oby but Buhari’s innocuous picking of his teeth is madam’s vexatious. That we are out in government is not a license to be paranoid with those in government, doing so amounts to jealousy and envy.
In the security architecture is the manifestation of these ugly activisms. Some security personnel are quick to hit social media to denigrate the platform they represent. This is the highest dose of indiscipline and poor attitude as a security mind with all the inbuilt of emotional intelligence. The day you swore to wear the beret of honour, that day ends your personal liberty. You become the state as the burden of the nation lies on your shoulders. During the civil war, General Obasanjo publicly executed some soldiers who feigned fatigue and injuries. And that put an end to the antics of soldiers evading the war front.
Today, we have security personnel laying bare internal strategies to the public. A policeman in Yobe was recently arrested following his very violent tantrums on facebook. He was inciting his colleagues to take up arms against the Army following the gruesome murders of three policemen in Taraba by some useless soldiers. As painful as the situation is, no one has the right of decision other and better than the state. That poorly trained policeman should be thoroughly dealt with using the hammer of the law to serve as deterrent to others who undermine the power of the state because they have guns in their hands.
Unrestrained liberty can breed anarchy, until the state states otherwise, we must submit ourselves to the dictates of the law. No individual can be greater than the state. No matter the volume of our grudges, we must channel them through a process defined clearly by the law. The true revolution we need is that revolt that isn’t stained by the dirt of political and economic interests. Lets revolt against the security votes of our governors to use it judiciously to secure the states against criminal elements. Lets revolt against the docility of our state house of assembly members to challenge the excesses of our governors – lets revolt against the deadly cultural practices around us. The revolution of the mind is very critical, let’s begin the revolt against our poor attitude- until then, every citizen must submit to the authority of the state.