It is no longer news that the publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore has been arrested by DSS in connection with the plan to stage a protest tagged “Revolution now.” This has continued to generate mixed reactions from Nigerians. Some view the arrest as a deliberate attempt to infringe on his right as guaranteed by the Nigerian constitution.
Sowore, like any other Nigerian is entitled to freedom of expression under Chapter 4 of the 1999 constitution. He was the candidate of AAC in the last general election and was the brains behind the revolution in response to multiple challenges in the country. Of course, every Nigerian is conversant and worried about the high level of insecurity, poverty and deteriorating economy.
There had been hue and cry on the worsening insecurity which resulted in the destruction of lives and properties with the release of a damning and unpleasant report from Global Poverty Clock, a United State-based organization which revealed that 87 million Nigerians live below the poverty line. This has also vindicated Sowore’s stand on poor governance in the country. Can we put the blame on the present government? Inasmuch as we can apportion the blame on the previous governments for their inability to address the myriad problems bedeviling the country even at the peak period of good and sound economy, we cannot exonerate the Buhari government which inherited a broken economy but came to power under the pretext the of change mantra.
On this note, every Nigerian shares the same pain and anguish with Sowore on the catalogue of problems affecting the country. However, the million naira questions are: Is Nigeria ready for revolution? Are there lessons to learn from the countries that experienced revolution in the name of regime change? The answers to these questions are not far-fetched. Nigeria is not ready for revolution; the country is polarised along ethnic and religious fault lines. Any attempt to organise revolution will further deepen the division. It will be viewed with great suspicion and entirely rejected by the region that produced the president.
It is on record that countries that experienced revolution had never fared well. They are ravaged by war and destruction. Since the Arab springs that swept the likes of Ghadafi of Libya Hussain Mubarak and many more, those countries have never known peace. Those countries have not had a stable government. The revolution Nigerians need is periodic elections through which they can effect necessary changes using their votes. I wish Sowore and his co-travellers could go back to the drawing board and chart workable strategies towards the next general election.
Ibrahim Mustapha Pambegua,