Sunday, 1 September 2013

Opinion: Resistance Makes The Difference

By Jaye Gaskia

Where people have struggled ceaselessly for social justice and social emancipation to make their governments, politicians and business people accountable, the difference is very clear!

Take these two cases, and the lessons we need to learn from them: In the UK, the Board Chairman, the CEO and the COO of Barclays Bank have all resigned. Why? Because the Bank over which they preside was implicated in, found guilty of, and fined for fixing inter-bank lending rates known as the LIBOR for several years, even at the height of the current global crisis of capitalism in 2007/8! In his resignation, the Chair stated that ‘the buck stops with me, at my desk’. He owned up, took responsibility. Of course there was pressure, but he and his two immediate subordinates eventually did what was expected of them by norm and custom; they accepted responsibility and bowed out!

In Nigeria on the other hand, the NNPC has been implicated, indicted and put at the center and driving seat of arguably the biggest and the most mind boggling case of corruption and fraud yet in our history; by two separate and independent investigative committees – one by the HoR, and the other at the instance of FEC!
Yet unlike in the UK case, in the Nigerian case, it took ceaseless public outrage and outcry, in addition to two protests [April 23rd and June 28th 2012] for the presidency to act, and sack the Board of the NNPC against their will; telling them to proceed on early retirement to enjoy their loot in the comfort of their homes, away from the prying eyes of the MOB [yes, that is what they call us now! The same mob that mobilised to get the president named Acting president when it was the right thing to do, while others did not so want him; the same mob that came out to vote for him during the general elections]!

And on top of this, the chair of the NNPC board who is also the Minister of Petroleum resources is sitting firm in office! No one has taken responsibility! No one thinks they owe us an explanation much less retributive punishment; NO ONE GIVES A DAMN!

It is incidences like this, where public officials and business people, big men and big women act and loot in the certain knowledge that no one is going to hold them to account, no one will punish them, and that instead they expect to be protected; it is instances like this that has bred the IMPUNITY in governance that has enabled corruption to become so pervasive, endemic and systemic as to have become the main obstacle to National Development, to the Improvement of the conditions of living and wellbeing of the citizens; contributing to break down of Social Cohesion, and dragging our nation to the edge of a cataclysmic precipice!

It is also incidences like these two cases that continue to make it incumbent on us, the victims of their pillage and gang raping, to persist with building our Mass Protest Movement, Consolidating on Strengthening our Mass Resistance to tyranny and injustice, towards a groundswell of popular storm that will help sweep away the rubbish and cleanse the Augean stable.


Lessons In Ensuring Collective Security And Building Unity:
Elsewhere in Africa, in Kenya, in response to the recent wave of attacks on churches by Al- Quada linked Al-Shabab, the council of Muslim Leaders have resolved to establish together with Christian leaders, Armed Muslim Vigilante Groups to protect and defend Christians while worshiping in their churches!

This is so similar to what we did and achieved during the 10 days of the January Uprising that I think it is a commendable example for us here in Nigeria! Instead of allowing our enemies in and out of government to divide us along religious and ethnic lines as a result of the increasing spate of attacks, LET MUSLIMS AND CHRISTIANS COME TOGETHER AND TAKE TURNS TO DEFEND PLACES OF WORSHIP DURING WORSHIP DAYS!

This is a clarion call to all citizens to act; only us can ensure our own protection, and only if we act together! Supporting this united action will be general strikes and rallies by workers to protest growing insecurity and demand protection from their government!

Let Us Come Together To End Impunity Now!

(Visit:; Follow on Twitter: @jayegaskia & [DPSR] @protesttopower; Engage on Facebook: Jaye Gaskia & Take Back Nigeria)

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