Activists of the Coalition for Revolution, (CORE) in Nigeria have managed to displace or push to lesser media prominence the exploits of bandits, Boko Haram terrorists and kidnappers. For the past two days, news of a revolution promised by the coalition have taken much of the media space. Scheduled to begin by August 5th, 2019 by “a political movement of the Nigerian masses and youth”, the planned revolution has successfully become the subject of intense debate in most centres of power in Nigeria.
“CORE, a growing coalition made up of pro-masses political parties, labour and youth organizations, and the civil society came to the conclusion that if the Nigerian masses do not stand up in action against the barbaric developments around the country, the situation would continue to degenerate”.
That is a major justification of the push, a point few would hardly disagree with except the question of whether any bourgeoisie, no matter how myopic or fragmented, would be askance when subalterns threaten a revolution. If there is no guarantee that they would not suddenly overcome their incoherence, unite and break the revolution viciously, then why invoke the word revolution at all? Shallowness or heroism or mindlessness or anarchism?
This is the key question in debate now and there is no victory on either side yet. While some people argue that any action at all is welcome because the people are suffering, others reject such, saying that a revolution is not staged because people are suffering. Rather, they argue that a revolution is the strategic management of such a contradiction into something completely transformative.
In other words, there is no consensus as to which is a greater threat to this revolution: the revolutionaries themselves or the Nigerian state in unison with the larger ruling class.
Yes, Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa, former governor of Kaduna State, called for mass uprising a week or so ago but the Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC) has dissociated itself from the August revolution. The Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU) which ignited the current phase of the radical ferment in Nigeria by declaring itself a socialist platform June 10th, 2019 is yet to be heard on the revolution starting tomorrow, something which might be a tactical move not to disown the ‘new revolutionaries’ but not to declare any support.
The Amilcar Cabral ideological training platform in Lagos which can claim to have groomed some thinking cadres is not out there yet. The People’s Redemption Party, (PRP) which is the biggest existing political party with traces to the legacy of unmaking the establishment in (Northern) Nigeria is still busy re-organising and re-positioning itself.
Critics of CORE are, therefore, asking: who is doing this revolution in Nigeria or on behalf of Nigerians if all these arteries of the revolution are missing? Or might this agenda be just to alarm the system? Is there any guarantee that the members of the ruling class who appreciate the privileges of power will simply evaporate as happened in 1917 in the defunct USSR or 1949 in China? And even if they do, does a machine exist to take over power and prevent full blown anarchy?
Perhaps, the CORE revolutionaries have already achieved the point in the degree of debates that have taken place in virtual communities across the country since yesterday. If the debate in Nigeria had been along that direction rather than ethno-regional brinkmanship, Nigeria would have moved up beyond where it is today.
Whatever anyone might say, therefore, CORE, has brought home a message to dialecticians and determinists: revolution in the information age does not have to follow the party, the correct ideology, cadres and the revolutionary moment. It can also be imagined and re-imagined, although there have been limited successes of recent such imagining and re-imagining across the world.
What seems clear, however, is that the ruling class in Nigeria might have to be extra-ordinarily careful. There could be a price for the dismal elite failure that they alone has the record in the world.