By Hammed J. Sulaiman
Truthfully, things have
changed, I mean the current government with the emblem of “change” is
also yet to change ‘anything’. It is as transparent as glass – that Nigeria
really needs a revolution; for the sake of dying souls yearning for the help of
bodies lying beneath the soil. People murdered by roads’ potholes, sending
them to the shallow of death. The saga of religious crisis, the tall tales of
Boko Haram, Herdsmen, Arm Robbery, Corruption and the menace of kidnapping. But the one-million-dollar questions to ask are: who is to blame? What
would be the outcome of the Revolution? Who is to rule after the Revolution?
The term Revolution is construed
to encompass different meanings. Almost ambiguous. It can be used as a
political emblem, a title of the piece, be it article or poem. In its simplest
form, it means calling for a change in government. In other words, it could
mean a forcible overthrow of the government; the removal and replacement of a
government. It could be used interchangeably as insurgency, insurrection,
mutiny, outbreak, revolt, rebellion, overthrow, sedition, treachery, treason,
sabotage, subversion and likes.

However, before delving
into what Nigerian Law says about Revolution, it is pertinent to note that
revolutionary flavour can only be entertained by constitutional means, peaceful
means premised on the outcome of Revolution, using other nations as a case
study. There is a ‘plethora’ number of countries that become much more
handicapped than they were before due to their so-called “Revolutionary
Flavours”. Libya and South Sudan are about this. It is on record that
Sudanese Revolution was a major shift of political power in Sudan that started
with “street protests” throughout Sudan on 19 December 2018 and
continued with sustained civil disobedience for about eight months, while
tensions continued to rise, there were reports people killed, raped and injured
as a result of Sudanese armed forces storming and opening fire on protesters.
Likewise, Libya has been
subject to the ongoing proliferation of weapons, Islamic insurgencies,
sectarian violence, and lawlessness, with spillovers affecting neighboring
countries including Mali due to the Aftermath of the so-called revolution in
the 2011 Libyan Civil War. It was shown that after the overthrow and killing of
Muammar Gaddafi in the 2011 Libyan Civil War, the country after the interim
National Transitional Council (NTC) declared that the country had been
liberated in October 2011, it then began a process to form a new government,
prepare for elections and prosecute former Gaddafi officials – In the absence
of an organized military, armed militias of former rebels continued to assert
their role as “guardians of the revolution” around the country, and
there were reports of vigilante justice and sporadic clashes between rival
militias. It is highly important to appreciate the fact that there are ways and
techniques of nonviolent resistance and protest. In the Western world though,
revolution may be a solution, but Africa’s concept of Revolution is always as
black as Black men. People of idle minds see it as an avenue to exhibit their
Just imagine this, in
Nigeria, without revolution, there are smuggling of weapons. What if the ray of
revolution shows up? The vault would be opened, for intruders that have
interest in milking our lands; for some people lying down already waiting for a
little sparky light of revolution, that they can use to cause arson to the
whole country- there would be agents of Death, chains of Doom at the glimpse of
revolution. Revolution can be done in an appropriate way and manner, not in a
manner of generating tension everywhere, not in a manner of getting ‘things
Okay, wait, after a
successful revolution, who is to rule? Who shall be the ruler would be the next
yawning question. This perhaps would pave ways for us to see how interest
preponderate public affairs. Those who started it would yarn, those who
participated would itch! Within the participants, the minority would claim of
majority, the majority would claim of ‘bossy’. Could it be that the aim of
Revolution is the want of seat? Probably, revolution is not a solution.

However, on the legal
scene, in lieu of revolution, there is provision for Peaceful Protest, Right to
Peaceful Assembly and Association. This is provided for in SECTION 40, CHAPTER
4 of Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria as a Fundamental Human Right.
However, such an Assembly must not be unlawful, what would make it unlawful is
wrongful intentions and overt acts. This would delve one to what meant by the
term Revolution in legal parlance.
In legal parlance,
Revolution is used interchangeably with Treason, which is under offences
against public order. One may say the situation in Nigeria is not in
orderliness though, but can Revolution make it order? Treason as an offence is
provided under SECTION 37 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act, thus;

“1- Any person who
levies war against the State, to intimidate or overawe the President or the
Governor of a State is guilty of treason and is liable to the punishment of

“2- Any person
conspiring with any person, either within or without Nigeria, to levy war
against the Sovereign with intent to cause such levying of war as would be
treason if committed by one of Her Majesty’s subjects, is guilty of treason,
and is liable to a punishment of death…”
Likewise, SECTION 41
provides that any person who forms an intention to remove the President during
his term of office otherwise by constitutional means is guilty of treasonable
felony and is liable to be sentenced to life imprisonment.

By and large, in
undressing the above provisions, it could be seen that not until the revolution
is carried out. Any person conspiring with intent to form an intention. Any
person who is yarning for war. But before this could be determined, wrongful
intention and overt acts should be seen.

Now, let use Sowore’s as a case study, many maybe interpreting the Nigerian government as an
anti-constitution government at this instance, though it is, premised on the
circumstances of denying courts’ orders. But Omoleye Sowore, the #RevolutionNow
movement, championed by the presidential candidate of the Africa Action
Congress (AAC), seems to have crossed the rubicon with his boat. It was
unveiled that Sowore is having links with the disorderly followers of the embattled
leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheik El Zakzaky and also of planning to
team up with the separatist group, the IPOB – the two organizations that the federal government had banned as terrorist groups in controversial
According to Sowore, when
he met with Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of IPOB, in New York, revealed that they
are trying to form some kind of alliance to end oppression in Nigeria. So, his
nexus with IMN and IPOB, at least, overt acts could be seen. Revolution is not
a solution at the instance of Black Nation(s) because of inherent “Black
Men” but Constitutional means, press conferences, linking the international
community with our nation-building would be healthy. The state is not that
order, thus revolution if not through Constitutional means and peaceful the protest, may still yield more to an unhealthy state of our State, albeit, a peaceful protest by “Black Men” can easily metamorphose to rebellion;
thus, the handicapped state of our State, revolution may not at all be the solution, for indeed, it would crumble more of our developments and our
yet-to-be developments.

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