By Bob Anikwe
This represents my first political intervention since returning to the social media. It has to do with the raging argument over the silence of the activists.
There are two arguments being advanced and, in my view, both are flawed.
ARGUMENT 1: It is almost criminal for self-styled activists to keep quiet now that Nigeria has deteriorated in governance, far below the level they not only found intolerant but also mounted a strong resistance – and almost violent struggle – that ended a benign Jonathan regime.
ARGUMENT 2: Every person, anybody, can be an activist. People should be allowed the choice to decide when to mount an activist challenge and when to take a rest, or a back seat. Why can’t those bellyaching now take up the struggle themselves and not wait perpetually for the same set of people who have “done their bit,” “tried their best” and “are too old for activist exertions?”
THE ISSUE: The argumenters fail to properly identify three distinct parties to the matter, namely:
(1) a ruling party,
(2) an opposition party, and
(3) a third, non-political force
My focus is on the third force whose only interest – and dare we say source of open external and secret internal support and funding – is the pursuit of good governance, promotion of human right practices, and general campaigns for citizen well-being. This is the non-aligned force, blind to political, religious, ethnic, and any other parochial consideration. Both camps should not ignore its distinct identity and seek to insert the group among the political antagonists.
To be sure, all three parties above position themselves as champions of the masses’ interest. Their continued, relentless activism is the pivot upon which their group relevance, success, public appreciation and financial wellbeing stand.
Thus, we the common people with sense are bound to raise eyebrows whenever:
- A ruling party gives up power without a fight, and with no military guns pointed at its head;
- An opposition party suddenly goes quiet and claims that there is no need to disturb a ruling party that impoverishes citizens, and
- A registered activist organisation or self-proclaimed social activist suddenly abandon activism – their primary and legitimate source of income – to say, as we do in Nigeria, that “we have tried, let others do.”
Let the proponents and their opponents properly situate their arguments so we can enjoy an intelligent disputation.
You want to share a story with us? You want to advertise? You need publicity for a product, service, or event? Contact us on WhatsApp – +234 803 3018 881