It was interesting last week seeing during discussion programmes on three television stations, people giving partisan and wrong interpretation to the word revolution. Those involved were members of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and their supporters and those backing Omoyele Sowore, the candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) during last February 23 presidential poll.
They claimed that revolution was turning – around or changing a situation and that this does not mean doing so violently. And that the revolution Sowore was out for was the peaceful type, since he is not known to be the leader of a militant group.
In none of the three stations did any of the moderators intervene to let viewers know whether the interpretation given to revolution by the discussants was correct or not. Since it was wrong, this meant that the moderators too were ignorant of the error made by the discussants. For this reason, I am suggesting that radio and television stations in the country should have a dictionary in their studios for the moderators to cross – check controversial words during programmes.
By dictionary definition, revolution is the “forcible overthrow of government or social order, in favour of a new system or a fundamental change or reversal of conditions.” In other words, revolution can never take place peacefully.
Consequently, the officers of the Department of State Security (DSS) were right in arresting Sowore, who is from Ojuala, a town in the nine – community known as Apoi in the Ese Odo (Riverine Area) Local Government of Ondo State. Because when he said he would embark on a revolution on Monday, August 5, he was giving notice that he would carry out a violent action to overthrow the government of President Muhammadu Buhari and end democratic rule in the country. It would have been different if he said he was organizing protest marches.
Given the meaning of revolution security people could not have taken chances because Sowore was a former students’ union leader during his undergraduate years in the University of Lagos in the 1980s and had led protests. A second reason is that he is from Ondo State, an area of the country along with Ekiti State, whose people are known to have challenged election rigging militantly in October 1965 during “Operation Wetie” (i.e. the burning of people and property with petrol).
A situation that happened again in 1983. The two states were known as Ondo Province of the Western Region until Ondo State was created in 1976. Ekiti State was established out of Ondo in 1996.
With Sowore’s so – called Revolution Now turning out to be mere street protests it is doubtful if he too knows the meaning of revolution. Otherwise, he would not have called his pet – dream Revolution Now. If he was not ignorant of what revolution is, he would have known that it is carried out by leaders of a political group or guerrilla movement after years of operating in a country. So, he is not in a position to organize a revolution because he resides in the United States and only came into politics last year and does not have a strong base to execute one.
In the defunct Soviet Union it took 14 years before Vladimir Lenin who founded the Bolshevik Party in 1903 led the Communists to a successful revolution in 1917. In China it took about six years before the Communists led by Chairman Mao Tse – tung (Mao Zedong) triumphed on Saturday, October 1, 1949. While in Cuba, Fidel Castro embarked on his struggle in 1952. He failed in the first attempt and re-launched it in December 1953 before becoming victorious on Thursday, January 1, 1959.
True, the February 1917 revolution in the Soviet Union took place during a general strike but as stated earlier this was after a 14 – year struggle. And it was the refusal of soldiers brought out by the government to fire the crowds milling in the streets of St. Petersburg (Leningrad) that made it to be successful, leading to the country’s ruler, Czar Nikolai II (Nicholas) abdicating. So, Sowore did not have good understanding of what happened if it was the Soviet example he was trying to follow. Where were the officers and men of the Nigerian military and police out to help him prosecute his revolution as in the case in Soviet Union 102 years ago?
It is only the national leaders of the labour unions in the country or the students of our universities working together nation-wide who could succeed in staging the type of revolution Sowore had in mind. Although Sowore’s Revolution Now effort has failed, but that does not mean one can still not take place, if President Buhari does not take steps to solve the nation’s problems urgently.
Next week: What can be done to prevent a revolution or the break – up of the country.
Goddy Okeke, an area–boy type of medical doctor
I have had to change the title from Rounding Off on Gasali & Dr. Okeke to the one used today, because Alhaji Nurudeen Gasali had since March 6, stopped reacting to my series. So, it is only appropriate that I now limit my write – ups to Dr. Okeke and the caption I have chosen best suits him, as a disgrace to the medical profession and anything or people that he is associated with.
Before I continue with him I first want you to see the reaction of Professor Tony U. Obayi to the opening part of Dr. Okeke’s abusive text message published last week in which he described me as: “an imbecile mongol and cretin.” Dr. Obayi is a Professor of Business Education and the Head of the Department of Entrepreneurial Studies, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State.
Here goes his message: Dear Sina, I have been following your case with the so – called Dr. Goddy Okeke with studied silence. He should know you are tested man of letters and that he is doing himself a disservice if he continues to unnecessarily challenge you. I agree with you the doctor’s last sentence in the message he sent to you was a load of rubbish!
In particular, he ought to know better that such terms as “mongolism”, mongoloid idiot and even what he termed “imbecile mongol” were outlawed a long time ago. According to my wife (who is a homoeopathic doctor) in a chapter she contributed in my new book on special education the Mongolian People’s Republic requested that the medical community ceased the use of the term “mongolism” as a reference to intellectual disability. Their request was granted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the 1960s. Dr. Okeke therefore needs to apologize to you and the Mongolian People the world over, as a matter of utmost urgency.
More to follow next week