Something dies in you. You feel disconnected from your dream of a glorious aftermath. For the first time in your life you felt whole, framed within a bigger picture. You spoke, chanted, demanded. You were a witness, you and a million others. You were a revolutionary. Now things have returned to normal. Normal because there are moving cars, stores are open; the street is calloused, as before, by the movement and the people. And the normalcy. You hate that things are normal. This was not what you dreamed of. At all.
But what did you dream?
The horizon of your dream was of a better life, a different form of existence, a tangible and measurable difference. You saw that the debate about fuel subsidy removal was the opportunity to dream of change, because this was a protest above all protests, because this protest seemed naturally logical. But you forgot that in dreaming one does not feel, the night happens so fast, and very soon you are awake.
Are you awake, now?
Do you see that things have really, really, returned to normal? These normal things are the fact of your Nigerianness. All your life, the normal has remained normal, the abuse and the ineptness and the status quo and the cabal. The shift that you thought could happen is an abnormal. It takes a lot to make the abnormal happen.
Didn’t you know?
When you stood at Ojota chanting, what did you think? It was a dream, yes. But what did you think? Try. Remember. What did you think? When you posted on Facebook about Goodluck Jonathan, Ngozi, Madueke, the Great Nigerian Cabal, what did you think? You were aggrieved, yes. Did you, honestly, see a change in sight?
What did you think would happen? Fuel would be sold again at 65 naira? The president would announce a further 25 percent cut in his allowances, that henceforth he would eat in a buka? Or were you caught in a mantra, within collective language?
Perhaps you failed to see that all of this, this ad hoc revolution, was simply the beginning of a shift of consciousness. It takes a lot, you should know, to transcribe the language of a dream into the spoken word of reality. True, all dreams are translatable, all dreams are reality. But within the terrain of the dream and the terrain of reality lie shadows.
What you did was tell the shadows you are beginning to reclaim your reality. Do not feel undermined, betrayed, or normal. There is no such thing as normalcy; there is change lurking everywhere and those mountebanks from the other side know it. They have seen the rise of reality; they have seen, yes. And they know that it is only a matter of time before they are overtaken, overridden, outpoured.
The danger is that you might normalize. Because the corruptible have seen that your reality is within your grasp, they introduce elements of normalcy, they end their strike, they compromise. And they claim it is on your behalf, for the sake of security. They might be named ‘Labour’, ‘organized labour’, ‘government’ or whatever other nomenclature they can muster. Do not be fooled. You must not normalize.
Your soul can fly while your feet are on the ground. Know this: there’s no one telling you to stop your flight. They can force you away from the street. But your body must not triumph over your soul, your body must not be accustomed to return. The real protest is the protest that happens when you are caught between the shadows and your reality. And that protest happens in a nameless place, where no eyes can see, that moment when you decide that enough is enough.
You have engineered your dream. It is time to engineer your reality.
They will come to you in 2015 again, and say, vote, vote, PDP. Or ACN, CPC, or whatever other conception their destructive ingeniousness has moulded. That is when you will exercise your real power. You will demand for a real leader, one from your ranks, one who will not migrate to outer space like they have done, one who will not become insensitive to cogent earthly matters.
Because this is not the end of the Nigerian revolution.
Because a revolution does not end.
A revolution only begins.