Activism And The Never Again

By: AbdulRahman Agboola
The fundamental ideals of activism has been misconstrued at starters level as a result of absence of sufficient knowledge at the grooming stage, prior to a comrade’s emergence as a member of a cadre in activism. To agitate for a social change individually or as a leader of a group is a tedious task considering the spectrum of learning and wide scope of coverage to advance a cause to achieve the desired goal. Intellectualism is the strength of activists that passed through grooming and becomes mentally sound enough to establish facts derived from truth and reality, not necessarily discarding opposing views without a comprehensive analysis but accepting superior analysis most germane for progress and fulfillment of positive strides in the best interest of the concerned.

Activism or unionism stands for a platform to correct the ills of the society or advance strategies to preserve the positive ideals and set standard for futuristic purpose. The black race naturally has inclinations towards resistance of tyranny and oppressions, which accounted for historical migrations and war of attritions among our fore bearers. Beyond possession of mystical forces and supernatural powers by certain individuals that led struggles against oppressive ruler-ship or creation of new orders in the society at era of Dark Age clearly differs from qualities inherent among cadres of struggle since the colonial era in Nigeria.   There are people with apt mastery of historical occurrences, but it is amazing indeed, to note that the early activists in Nigeria were motivated by qualitative education on essence of fairness, equity and justice among all members of the society towards the protection of human race.

A philosopher once said that peace is not absence of conflict but presence of justice. Peaceful coexistence is the real essence of activism, as peace without justice is an attestation to loss of equity and fairness, which amount to loss of liberty. Preservation of rights and privileges formed the cardinal objectives of unionism and only people with the intellectual wither do and without ulterior motives qualifies to lead Comrades and commandeer respects among their followers except when matters that bothers on breach of trust or loss of confidence ensues. A Comrade must command respect as a model for trust, honesty and integrity; these exemplary qualities are indisputably required to advance the cause of the people as their representative at any point in time.

Solidarity forever is no longer pristine as a slogan today, it is been continuously abused by circumstantial members of unionism cadre at different levels where personal aggrandizement have replaced genuine agitations to resolve public outcry as incompetence reign above competence as a result of bias and flaws in parameters of choosing leaders at different cadres of unionism in Nigeria in particular. Unknown to the myopic minds, there are experts with broad spectrum of knowledge on rudiments and intricacies in championing genuine agitations to add value to peoples’ lives, these myopic minds have turned activism to a trade or mere representation for the purpose of protecting a particular interest at variance with the essence and dictates of unionism.

Representation of peoples interest are expectedly entrusted in care of morally conscious people with distinction in compliance with dictates of law, other parameters like record of good conscience, honesty and integrity are the standard yardstick for choosing leadership over members of any cadre, but ironically, what we witness today clearly contradicts the standard procedures and ethics. This era, to a great extent has deviated from traditions and customs of unionism as the fold no longer brandish exceptionally bright minds as leaders with stints and bites to correct the ills of the society or represent the interest of their members without ulterior motives for personal benefits at the expense of the collective interest.

The sterling qualities like intellectualism and good conduct are mostly wanton among union leaders in the face of deficient considerations as parameters for emergence of union leaders in many domains, save for renowned leftist ideological groups where traditions and customs are well preserved till date. Unionism has taken a dimension of conformity with the decadence in the society as selfishness and greed reign supreme in minds of most politically inclined union leaders who are either proponents or stooge of heads of establishment or political jobbers in lust for recognition and patronage.

There is no argument over the substandard state of education in Nigeria and it exceed even the expectations, the ills and rots in our society today are products of warped logic and feeble thoughts that translates to sordid actions that undermines growth and development in Nigeria. To assemble sane minds with targets to sanitize the activism fold is a herculean task, but to influence young minds through coordinated efforts to facilitate a change in unionism is task that must not be ignored for posterity sake.

Where we cannot rule out weakness or skewed criteria in some folds, strength of knowledge rule in some climes as foundation of union activities, the conduct of many union leaders contradict values and quest for system change. The situation where people in position of leadership in unionism behave niggardly and exhibit immoralities without yielding to correction while they in their pride and arrogance engage in criticism of superior authorities amount to double standard.

Moral uprightness and exemplary positive deeds without flaws are the hallmark of reputable union leaders worldwide. A union leader must be reputed for forthrightness and sincerity of purpose to be qualified as a union leader at the first instance, a situation where egocentric, arrogant and proud demagogues assume leadership of union amount to hypocrisy, mischief and insult the real essence of unionism. For anyone to command respect as a vocal advocate for a change of tide, his conduct must conform to known values and standard of unionism worldwide.

Leadership or power at any level is very transient; this serves as a watch word for union leaders with understanding of the implications of creating bad antecedents while in office. As a matter of fact, in retrospect, union leaders are conscious of scandal at era where scandalous activities was a never again in activism, but today, a glance at the operational activities of most union activities bring palpitations to sane minds. Union leaders of yesteryears are not only well read but their knowledge advanced beyond the expected scopes based on wide coverage, they aligned with SWOT analysis before criticizing any policy or advance any cause of action and by this, they emerged victorious in countless numbers of struggles.

As a Union leader, to oppose a view or action without proper understanding of rudiments or factors that informed the occurrence is occasionally inappropriate; this doesn’t undermine differentiation between positive and negative actions. If negative actions amount to bastardizing of morals in the society, to strive to correct immoralities is a focal point towards the actualization of peace and progress in the society. The crux of this piece is to challenge activists and union leaders at all levels to examine their flaws and correct themselves in order to abate the spate of misrepresentation of the essence of activism. Whosoever must correct others must never coat truth with lies and must be firm and upright in decision making.

The fact that majority usually have their way have never stopped subscribers of activism from airing their opposing views, opinions and positions to the views of majority as minority and often times, minority views have translated into collective goods on several occasions. Determination to stand for truth and honest deeds without element of bias or intimidation remain a standard quality of a genuine union leader, belong to the fold of people with deep and thorough thoughts over a matter before taking position as ego, pride and arrogance lead to nothing other than self-destruction.

Comrade AbdulRahman Agboola
Vice Chairman, Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics,
Federal Polytechnic Nasarawa Chapter.
Email:, 08032813279

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