Afrobeat Culture Federator

AFRICAN YOUTHS, GET UP AND FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS!

Monday 15 October 2018 by Mabinuori Idowu (aka ID)

Africans; Diaspora Africans, fellow Nigerians, since the publication of my post: COME BACK HOME- TOGETHER WE FIX NIGERIA! I have been receiving private messages asking if I feel threatened by Nigerian Security Agents, as the reason keeping me away from Nigeria. This is to assure you all; that I don’t feel any potential menace, because all my actions, declarations, and convictions are based on facts, so I don’t see any reason why I should be subject of arrest on my arrival in Nigeria.

Moreover; like the popular Yoruba adage, you cannot scare a beautiful sexually erudite old lady with the size of your penis (a ki nfi oko nla déruba arugbo). Kirikiri Prison? I have been there. Ikoyi Prison? I have had the experience with Fela. Army and Police detentions are no news to people like me. I have also been transported in the stifling heat of Lagos with 56 others, in the 20 cubic meters, police infamous truck ‘Black Maria’. So it is not the menace of a potential arrest that will keep me away, from coming to contribute my part towards the radical change our country and continent desperately needs.

However; I must be frank with you all, that I have a profound despair with the attitude of our young generation towards politics. We keep calling on our youths to get mobilized, before next year’s election in Nigeria in the hope that a new, leader can emerge to radically transform our country. Instead we have our youths trooping to PDP and APC political rallies, to shout “Baba” at those VIP’S (Vagabonds in Power – apology Fela) that have brought our nation to the brink of ruins.
Normally; government relation with her citizens should be a father-child relationship. A true father will not sleep if his children cannot sleep. A true father will not eat until all his children have their stomachs full. A true father will insist on being treated in the same hospital as all his children, instead of going on “medical tourism” abroad like the actual Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari called “lifeless” by Donald Trump.

Granted it is in our tradition to respect our elders, however we have been calling our so-called leaders “Baba” for decades and they are not acting like real Baba. We call Obasanjo, Babangida, Buhari, Atiku, Saraki, etc. Baba! While we all can see, none of them are acting like real Baba should act – so why keep calling them Baba? Adebayo Success alias ‘Ada N’la’ (big cutlass) a renown thug, was “cherished” and called “Baba” by all those youths in Oshodi. Is it not time, to revise who we consider as elders in this decadence called Nigeria?

How many of our today’s youths, are aware of role models like Fela, his intellectual abilities exposed to me as far back as 1974, from my regular attendance of his Shrine concerts? Those sessions opened my mind to the vastness and richness of the African historic pasts; culture, and accorded Fela’s music in my heart a place beyond mere music to a profoundly authentic educational theme. It was almost like deification, a supreme or ideal example of the kind of wisdom that must propel a society.

After the burning down of Kalakuta, for the first time the student community was beginning to take Fela seriously as the only dissenting voice against military rule. While a great majority of the academic and intellectual communities were struggling for jobs and posts offered by successive military regimes, Fela stood-out as one of the few successful citizens that turned down personal gains to advocate true democracy African style.

Like the case of the Student Union movements in Ghana in 1978, when Fela exiled his organisation to Ghana, Nigeria’s Student Unions were clamouring to have Fela talk on their campuses. His participation in a symposium organised by the economic student society of University of Ife (UNIFE), can serve as an example of how the intellectual and elite class in Nigeria looked down on Fela despite his comments and criticisms of those in power and his popularity among the student community.

At this particular symposium while other participants were being introduced as “Professor this or that”, when it came to Fela’s turn the students who had heard of Fela’s previous participation in lectures and symposiums of this kind demanded the moderator Professor Adejuwon, then Deputy Vice Chancellor of UNIFE and Dean of the faculty of Social Sciences to equally address Fela as a “Professor”. Claiming not to be aware of Fela being awarded such title, Professor Adejuwon turned towards Fela to ask if Fela was nominated ‘Professor’ from any University. In reply, Fela said it was the “peoples wish” and at the end of the debate the learned professor admitted that Fela deserved a Professorship.

Fela; as we can see was the only one from that generation, who did not compromise his beliefs. He was one, to resist material gains for his liberty of speech. The policy, by successive regimes to reward prominent political activists with appointments, but reduce their likely effectiveness caught up with most of the so-called Nigerian intellectuals. Tai Solarin an atheist and educationist, who had brushes with the Gowon regime over his convictions, also compromised later when he joined the Babagida administration.

Same with Wole Soyinka, who later became Commissioner for Traffic - a glorified traffic warden? Kanmi Ishola-Osobu, Fela made famous lawyer also compromised. With the army in power, dignity of labour which was the bastion of Nigerian traditional values was reduced to “ass licking” - they systematically eroded the pride of the individual contribution to society known in Yoruba as “Owo igbe kii run” meaning “shit money don’t smell”.

How can we not despair in a Nigeria, where majority of our people are not mobilized to work for change. One cannot but despair; if we compare the student union movements of Nigerian Universities and Institutions of higher learning today, with those in the late 1970’s and early 80’s. Despite the draconian military rule in place, the student union movements of the 70’s / 80’s were very conscious and engaged. Apart from live musical performances, Fela participated in debates and lectures all-over the country. This was a time where successive military regimes in Nigeria, considered Fela as spreading a counter culture and thus should be treated as person-non-grater!

In the forefront of these student movements was the University of Ife; with Wole Olaoye as President and Femi Falana PRO, University of Lagos with Segun Okeowo (of blessed memory), University of Ibadan with the other Femi Falana as President (wonder what became of him), Donald Duke at the Institute of Administration Amadu Bello University in Zaria, not forgetting the student Union movements of University of Nigeria in Nnsuka and Enugu. During the 1980-1981 academic sessions alone, Fela took part in more than sixty lectures and symposiums in different Nigerian institutions of higher learning - an attestation to the impact of his message.

As I often say, the energy of our young people; cannot be mobilized by examples of decadence and corruptions, but inevitably of a dialectical necessity; by concrete examples of patriotism, dedication, without compromise. Today’s African politicians instead of proposing ideas in debates, and in the social media, offer rice, all sorts of food and sometimes school materials to potential electors to secure their votes. It is clear today, that the political paths we have taken are bad ways, they can not be continued - it is as simple as that. For us to get to where we are today, it is clear that the path laid-down by the political “Founding Fathers” of our nation is no doubt a bad way forward; this pattern of governance must be abandoned.

The paths already taken by our elders did not work, and we should not repeat the same mistakes. We almost did everything that can be imagined, and Africa is not advancing. Africa is in debt, heavily indebted. And Africa is poor. African countries are increasingly disoriented, it is therefore necessary to change our perspective, change altogether our ways of governance. We cannot continue to talk, we need to act! The issue of Africans perishing at sea to get to Europe in search of greener pastures makes this an urgent matter! Instead of our youths allowing them to be sold as slaves or ultimately dieing at sea, why don’t our African Youths get organised and fight the demon sending them to die at sea?

While a reasonable number of our youths are getting aware, I believe we need more to wake-up majority of our sleeping youths. Professor Theophile Obenga said in his book titled Appel a La Jeunesse Africaine: “For all conscious Africans on the continent and in the Diaspora, the juvenile African imagination must be animated by great emotions, great ideas, and noble aspirations, powerful solidarities for possible and liberating human tasks. The detail and fear of daring must not block the African Youth.”

To make the necessary change, we need to get organized using the advantage of today’s social media networks. We need to choose our leaders and spokespersons, choose a name for the movement (Movement of the People MOP or MASS for example), and we use MASS Manifesto as a working model, to guide us in our move towards spreading ideas on how we want to be lead. Instead of just being friends with Femi Kuti, Wole Olaoye, Seun Kuti, Black ‘Rice, Joseph Fagbola, Femi Alaye, Gboyega Adelaja, Benjamin Tollet, Vicky Owoduni, Defend Pensioners, etc. And on the continental level, members of the Movement Against Second Slavery (MASS), Kalakuta Chronicle, Global African Leadership Initiative, Forum For African Affaires, Pan-African Network, United Kingdom of Africa, Génération Consciente, etc. We use these platforms to choose our leaders and eventually transform these groups into committees for the defence of the revolution.

We can contact for example, Professor Theophile Obenga; the director and Chief Editor of the journal Ankh, to educate our youths about Egyptology and the study of ancient history of Pharaonic Egypt. This Pharaonic Egypt lasted for 35 centuries of national life. If we count French Presidents; from Clovis to Emmanuel Macron, how many centuries ago? Not even 20 Centuries. Egypt lasted 35 Centuries - of indigenous, local and national Pharaohs who ruled the country for 35 centuries. These are facts of African history that African youths are missing in their education curriculum.

Also invite the team from the Journal of African Civilization created by the late Dr. Ivan Van Sertima author of the epic work: “They Came before Columbus” – African presence in the Americas before Christopher Columbus. His works are continued by Runoko Rashidi an Africa American historian, essayist, and author, whose focus are based on the global African presence before slavery. We can extend this invitation, to competent contributors from Institutes or Institutions dedicated to researches on Bantu history. Not forgetting the radiocarbon laboratory of the Fundamental Institute of Black Africa in Dakar Senegal (Le laboratoire du radiocarbone de l’Institute Fundamental d’Afrique Noir) founded by Cheikh Anta Diop. These Institutions could serve as a base for future research, and training of African scientists covering all disciplines. Not leaving behind other structures that can give concrete direction and advice to the struggle – REMEMBER KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!

We need to start working; we must now create a movement that will eventually transform into a political party with branches all over Nigerian villages, towns, cities, and states - with a final objective of creating branches of the movement through-out the African continent and Diaspora Africa. If we succeed with MASS in Nigeria, the movement and its manifesto could serve as a platform, to contest elections in other African and Diaspora African States. This way; we can encourage change through the ballot box, and find lasting solutions to problems of war and instability in Africa.

When we have one million registered men and women in our rank, we organise before the end of this year a MASS convention in Nigeria, confirm our party’s name, and choose leaders and candidates for President and the National Assembly elections schedule for 2019.

Nobody can decide for a people except their own leaders, thus it is for us (the people) to choose those we want to lead and decide for us.
Africans; brothers and sister in the Diaspora, fellow country men and women, Time come for a RADICAL CHANGE!
Viva Nigeria!
Viva Africa!


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