It was a case of a warning message misinterpreted. Nothing horrible except that the panic button had preceded reason. But, now, everything is okay and all those who could not access the website since about 2 pm Friday, (13/03/2020) can please go ahead. Our apologies!
This message of assurance has the authority of a brigade of determined global IT warriors that a concerned Nigerian IT NGO mobilised to defend Intervention in case those Prof Bayo Olukoshi call perpetrators of monumental wickedness were out to do harm to the harmless.
The long night that Friday to Saturday turned out to be has compelled this reflection below on the mission of Intervention. Clarifying identity can never be too much, particularly in an over-contested atmosphere such as Nigeria but in which nothing beyond ethno-regional lens is on offer. It is an atmosphere in which a platform such as Intervention may be a problem for some people, given its a little irreverent disposition and inclination to attempt seeing more than meets the eye.
There is nothing to apologise about this. Editors and writers here did not go to school only to come out as mono-causal and one-dimensional critics. Intervening based on bringing all angles to every issue and, thereby, give even a whiff of space to as much unheard cries of horror from opaque structural violence and closure makes us sleep better. Hence the idea of ‘Journalism as Emancipation’ that drives Intervention.
Resource capacity at the moment has not been such that unheard cries can be forced into national attention from all quarters – ethno-regional, gender, environmental, class, generational and so on but, even then, no identity or part of the world has been deliberately excluded.
Implicit in ‘Journalism as Emancipation’ is generating the discursive condition of possibility for the remaking of Nigeria, however it proceeds but excluding breaking up the country. This animus against breaking up the country has nothing to do with any imaginary special connection between Intervention and any section of the country but because the thought of the number of women and children that would experience the associated ordeal will further embarrass Africa and the Black world. And that should not come from Nigeria partly because the domination of Nigeria advanced as the basis for break-up is what many of our editors grew up fighting and paying huge prices as legatees of the radical tradition in Northern politics, symbolised by NEPU. Why can’t any domination, real or imagined, be defeated along popular democratic aspirations if those who saw the pitched battles as entertainment years ago have now seen the point as articulated, for example, in Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa’s “Why They Fear Our Forces of Progress” address delivered at a World Press Conference in Lagos a few days before his impeachment in 1981?
Discursive condition of possibility has meant that Intervention gives a lot of space to issues of identity and discourses as well as the conveyor belt of discourses, (bodies/deaths, books, the internet, mass media, cartoons, literature and music). The assumption is that Nigeria still has a power elite that can construct Nigeria out of these ensemble of cultural resources, notwithstanding the fragmentation within that crust.
Over the past three years, what was originally planned as a reading site for a few has grown too big and too fast. The challenge is meandering it creatively along the ideology of ‘Journalism as Emancipation’ because there is no alternative to that anymore, given the many tendencies it now appeals to and is obliged to reciprocate their unpaid editorial, moral and corporate solidarity.
In one sentence, Intervention welcomes all and has not been set up to fight anybody. It, however, has certain things it privileges and certain things it does not consider to be that vital. Anybody cruising around with his own imagination of this platform other than explained above is wasting his or her own time!