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Nigeria needs incubators for revolutionary thought

Nigeria as a nation state since 1914 evolved through a chequered history of slavery, colonialism anti-colonial struggle (nationalism) and post-independence political instabilities. These tendencies are…

Nigeria as a nation state since 1914 evolved through a chequered history of slavery, colonialism anti-colonial struggle (nationalism) and post-independence political instabilities. These tendencies are a given in virtually all conquered nations and society tribes the world over. Thus, when we dissect the Nigerian case in isolation, it becomes imperative that one ultimate solution will be a fit-it-all remedy. The post-colonial era saw plethora of internal contradictions heightened by religious and ethnic tension precipitated by mutual suspicion. As the scenario simmered on the surface, external colonial powers pulled the levers beneath as their puppets acted out their roles as state and non-state actors.
It was in this discordant tone that a fledging nation lost it bearing towards national development. The stage was set for rivalry between one religion and ethnic group over the other. This seeming rivalry culminated in an excruciating civil war directed and sponsored by external powers to control the balance of power in Nigeria.  In the end, like the historic slave trade, the secessionist region’s population was decimated wantonly with colossal stunted development. Even the mantra of one indivisible Nigeria could not restore trust again.
It is at this crossroads of our “journey of a hundred years” that the ultimate solution can be applied. People need to understand their society to be able to change it. Looking back in history, people who are curious ask questions. It was in the tradition of asking such questions that Malaysia found solution to its socio-economic problems. Today, it is far ahead of Nigeria from behind in the 80s.
To bring about change, there must be clear alternatives. We don’t have any book with clear answers. Every fundamental transformation of a society is inspired by a school of thought. An incubator center will serve as such a school of thought. Cyberspace today provides an interactive platform and we have seen its potency in the Arab Spring and how the youths awakened from indoctrinated slumber to retake their nations. What is missing in our own situation that we cannot react even when we know the facts of the situation?
Is it the capitalist, diversionary ploy of sports and entertainment? Is it religious and ethnic sentiment fuelled by politicians? Is it hopelessness or powerlessness? Let Nigerian youths wake from their hallucination of capitalist entertainment to understand the state, society, hegemony, counter-hegemony and the community. 
In Africa, we have states imposed by foreign powers and it is alien to the community as it does not connect with the people: We need organic intellectuals who will develop ideas from the realities on ground. Hegemony of the state is no longer formed by force but by consent. This consent can be propagated by the use of media from those who formed these ideas. Today, it is found in constitutions; the question is: what will be the process of reviewing the social contract? The essence of social contract is to bring about a peaceful co-existence, mutual preservation through the instrumentality of the state. The framework of our social contract is faulty as it lacks accountability. One strength of the progressives is the culture of intellectualism developed through reading. As we interrogate further, we look at these salient questions; class dimension to law, legislation and law enforcement. This is a reflection of the fractured social contract.
How do we mobilize, and on what core issues do we do so? We must use our local conditions and peculiarities as analytical tools for analyzing society. Today, there is seeming lawlessness, impunity and an alarming rate of crime. The party in government today, the All Peoples Congress (APC) only promised ‘change’ in its manifestoes. Can this electoral promise be delivered? Change differs in its focus as it encompasses; alteration in the social order of society. The real and lasting change comes from below, by the people. It is left, therefore, to the people to learn and understand the skills for social change, like social media, organizing themselves, etc. Nigerian youth – workers and students – are most-equipped as a collective with the objective advantage of being in the vanguard for revolutionary change.
Ogbu wrote in from Abuja.

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