Before our eyes, our country has been taken away from us. Like a patient Cheetah waiting to pounce at the right time, Nigerian youths have patiently waited for many years, waiting for an opportunity to pounce. Of course, opportunities will always present themselves. Then enter Peter Obi and Labour Party.
Femi Osofisan’s play Morountodun derives its historical substratum from the Agbekoya uprising of 1969 in the Western part of Nigeria.
Popularly known as the ‘farmers’ revolt’, the incident occupies an iconic place in Marxist revolutionary ethos which is why many critics describe Osofisan as a helpless Marxist writer, an emblem he unsuccessfully tries to discard.
In 1969, while the civil war was raging in the Eastern part of the country, illiterate, uninformed, uneducated farmers, without any political structure, took up arms and fought the government in Western Nigeria.
Their pain was manifold but they bore it with equanimity. They lived through deprivation, government irresponsibility, official rascality, decayed infrastructure, and many other aberrant social conditions. But a time came when the farmers could not take the pains anymore, they revolted.
The immediate cause of their revolt was the introduction of higher taxes which meant that they had to pay more. Throwing all cautions to the wind, they adopted a guerrilla approach, fought the government and overthrew the prevailing superstructure. In the end, the government was forced to the negotiating table.
All over the world, from history to modern times, revolution is always preceded by an endured period of exploitation, general angst against a coterie of political opportunists who feed on the flesh of ordinary people and quench their thirst with the blood of the wretched. There is no other way to describe situations in Nigeria. One does not need a soothsayer, prophet, seer, or augury to know that anger daily wets Nigerian soil.
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Millions of people, especially the youths, are angry that their country has been seized by a few reprobate, iniquitous, inconsiderate bourgeois class. While the masses wallow in the cesspool of decay and squalor, our traducers and their accomplice junket around the globe, flaunt their filthy lucre before us and throw crumbs to the floor which they use as a controlling device to keep the gullible in chains constantly.
That millions of youths have queued behind Peter Obi is not in doubt. The support for him to become the next president of Nigeria in 2023 has taken a national, even international dimension. But what has become a source of worry to many accomplices of Nigeria’s slippery conditions is the manner, organization, force, unity and never-say-die spirit of the Peter Obi Movement.
In fact, Peter Obi does not and cannot understand what is happening. He has no control of the Move- ment and has never had any control of it. Many people have accused Peter Obi’s supporters, popularly called OBIDIENTS, as a bunch of quarrelsome, antagonistic and fiery groups of people who insult and attack simultaneously.
If any Nigerian lays claim to happiness given the lacerating conditions in the land, then that Nigerian lacks the spirit of truth. There is absolutely nothing to make one happy in Nigeria, NOTHING. It will be a complete waste of energy and time to analyze and document all of Nigeria’s woes. But the people are surely liv- ing on the edge, precariously hanging on a precipice.
Given such conditions, it would be unfair to expect someone to jocularly indulge anyone who tries to stop a change of baton from bondage to freedom. If millions of OBIDIENTS are rude and fiery disposed, they are responding to Nigeria’s 41 trillion naira debt. They are re- sponding to a dead educational system. They are responding to executive corruption in the corridors of power. They are responding to the gripping poverty all over Nigeria.
They are responding to billions stolen by former governors as pensions. They are responding to insecurity in the land. They are responding to an empty treasury, over-bloated cost of governance, and domineering power control at the centre.
If you are trying to recover your property from a thief, do you smile and hug the thief? If you are chased by an armed robber, do you stop, smile, and hand- shake him? The conditions in Nigeria have inevitably elicited a corresponding response which unsettles the polity. All the ethnicities in Nigeria have their share of politicians who have stolen from the commonwealth, helping to usher in penury and peonage in the land. All the religions have their share of economic plunderers in the country. So it has nothing to do with ethnicity or religion.
The OBIDIENT Movement has gone beyond such infantile labels. I support Peter Obi with the whole of my heart because I want to witness the emergence of a New Nigeria, simple. I want to see a Nigeria where things work like in other countries of the world. In my support of the Obi Movement, I do not resort to an uncouth or condescending approach but I also do not begrudge those who resort to such methods. The truth is that conditions in Nigeria offend the sensibilities.
The general anger in the land is made worse when a few in the land revel in stupendous wealth and swim inside surplus like a fish in an ocean. OBIDIENT Nigerian youths are angrily responding to these conditions. The youths are united by frustration, joblessness, hunger, inflation, and deprivation. Millions of youths in Nigeria are victims of serial misgovernance at all levels and they are reacting to these realities.
They are vehemently rejecting the return of those who have dragged the country to the gutters. No, they should never be allowed to drag us to our graves. The OBIDIENT language is that of revolution and the language of revolution is not salutary. The most shocking thing is that those who castigate millions of OBIDIENT youths find it difficult to sell their candidates.
Their pastime is to spew hate and concoct unfounded inanities about Peter Obi. They roundly insult adherents of the OBIDIENT philosophy and when the OBIDIENTS reply, they cry blue murder. It is shocking. Perhaps their physically and spiritually expired candidates are not saleable due to a putrid past or mysterious identity made more puzzling by a foul, disreputable educational background.
Nigeria cannot afford to have men of questionable, controversial past inhabit Aso Rock and make decisions for the rest of us, no way. Peter Obi is not perfect. Nobody has said he is perfect. But God does not always look for perfect people as instruments. Peter Obi is a divine instrument in the hands of the Almighty to restore Nigeria to its glory.
The OBIDIENTS are not unmindful of the notorious reputation of Nigeria’s electoral umpire. But when the revolution starts, it takes a different dimension which no one can predict. Arab Spring is on my mind. For now, let the OBIDIENT wildfire continue. A new Nigeria must emerge. Get your PVC.