“The history of all hitherto existing societies is a history of class struggle” – Karl Marx (1818-1883)
IN conclusion, the Nigeria democratic practice is an elitist agenda. It’s a democracy that favours the dominant class, against the masses of Nigeria.
Politics in Nigerian is prebendal politics. That is to say, different ethnic sections of the population are co-opted into a particular party through the affiliation of individuals acknowledged to be patrons of their particular communities. Political victories are achieved on this basis, as the patron of the people becomes a party stalwart and chieftain and uses his position in the party to effect patronage to his subordinates and to his community. Thus, to win an election, you have to win an ethnic group, and if this happens to be large, a political base is guaranteed.
Political leadership in Nigeria is purely a desire for a political kingdom as a gateway to the economic kingdom. As a result of this quest for political kingdom, violence is employed as election degenerates into a life and death struggle. The dominant faction of the ruling class relies more on violence and ethnic sentiments to maintain itself in power.
The Nigerian society can be classified into the ruling class (foreign bourgeoisie); the governing class (national or local bourgeoisie) and the oppressed class (working class).
The governing class is sub-divided into 3 groups: the political class – presidents, senators, governors and ministers; the financial/economic class – captains of industry, bank CEOs, and the military class (the army, navy and the airforce).
Nigeria’s development lies in a classless society, and this can be done in the creation of a nationally integrated economy, and the coming to power of a revolutionary development class that seeks the satisfaction and demand of each citizen by pursuing strongly the provisions of reasonable standard of nutrition, clean drinking water, free and compulsory education, free health services, employment, housing, clothing and care of the old.
The shifting of focus on the desire to catch up with the advanced nations should give way to an overriding wish to meet the most basic needs of the vast majority of the Nigerian population.
The unfortunate orientation of the national population to the division of the national cake should be shifted to emphasis on the production of the national cake. Nigeria needs patriots such as the kind of the Roman General, Regulus, who during the incessant wars with Carthage and Rome, was captured and mandated to return to Rome to plead with the Roman Senate for a truce on Carthage’s behalf. His release was on the condition that he must return to face death if he was unable to persuade the Senate to agree to a truce.
Regulus, on arrival in Rome fervently pleaded with the Senate never to reach a compromise with Carthage, because by his estimation, if Rome was to survive and become a great Empire, Carthage, its greatest rival, must be completely annihilated. He then kissed his wife and children goodbye and returned unescorted to Carthage to face death.
A leader like Regulus is what Nigeria needs, one who thinks less of himself and more about the people and the welfare of the state.
Finally, a prayer by Joseph Gilbert Holland (1819-1901):
“God give us men
Men whom the lust of office does not kill
Men whom the spoils of Office do not buy.
Men who possess Opinions and a will.
Men who have Honour.
Men who can stand before a demagogue and damn his treacherous flatteries without winking.
Tall men, Sun Crowned, who live above the fog in public duty and in private thinking”
“Workers (and the oppressed class of Nigeria), Unite, for you have nothing to lose but your Chains” – Karl Marx
Marshall, is a human rights activist, leadership consultant and co-convener of Abuja-based civil society organisation, More.Action.Less.Talk (MALT). He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org