Revolution Without Ammunition
By Bayo Oluwasanmi
Beginning next week, I will write a new column under the name Revolution Without Ammunition. The column will have a short life span of five months – from now till the end of 2019 presidential elections. The column will focus on Nigerian youths who make up 70% of Nigeria’s population. There’s strength in numbers. Politics is a game of numbers. Our youths have the singular power to change the cause and course of our history at the polls in 2019.
A revolution without ammunition is a revolution powered by ideas and executed with ballots at the polls. The French Revolution was about ideas. Based on universal civilization, it transcends cultural, national, ethnic, social, and racial boundaries by proclaiming the fundamental inviolable rights of all peoples of the world to freedom and equality.
Youth political participation is at the heart of any vibrant and relevant democracies. Elections remain the key instrument for citizens to make their voice heard in politics. A low and failing voter turn out of our youths will undermine the revolutionary change we seek without ammunition.The youths have the power to effect a generational shift in our political leadership. They have the power to end the politics of corruption, looting, oppression, disenfranchisement, exclusion, division, manipulation, and marginalization. So this seems an ideal moment to launch a new column to educate, inform, enlighten, and guide our youths to make informed and intelligent decision by voting wisely for the right party and for the right presidential candidate that will fight their cause. The stakes cannot be higher.Political parties are the gateway for political leadership in democracy. It’s also the path to creating a new nation. A casual glance at APC and PDP and their candidates for political offices reveals an almost total exclusion of youths especially at the top. Only AAC – African Action Congress – can boast of a youth as it’s presidential candidate. The inclusion and participation of youths contesting for various political offices on the platform of AAC cannot be matched by either APC or PDP.
The best APC and PDP have done in terms of youth participation and representation is having the so called youth wings with no power, no input, and no relevance to the overall agenda of the parties. Both parties believe the youths are too young to run. They believe they are lazy. They believe they are “leaders of tomorrow.” No wonder, the youths are priced out from running for top political offices by prohibitive fees for nomination forms. It is deliberate act to make it impossible for youths to contest for various political offices of their choice.Democratic elections change government office holders and policies. The most dangerous creation of any society is for its youth to be politically dead. The column will ignite and energize our youths through reasoning and persuasion and to convince them that they are the architect of their own political destiny. Their future is in their hands. APC and PDP ruined the past for them. They cannot restore or re-invent the future for them. A vote for Buhari or Atiku is a vote for the oppressors and a vote for a doomed future.
As Buckminster Fuller will like to remind the youths: “We are powerfully imprisoned in these Dark Ages simply by the terms in which we have been conditioned to think.” Youths need to rethink and reassess their imporverished and hopeless situation brought upon them by their native oppressors. If millions of our youths are armed in the holy cause of ideas, they’ll be invincible and no force of the oppressors and other champions of status quo can overrun them.
History has never guaranteed progress, peace, and prosperity for the weak or timid. Enlightened youths know how to fight and secure their future, illiterates and ignoramuses of unexamined life do not. Which are you?
I’m thrilled about the column. Come ride with me… Let’s go there!