She is an Accountant turned Journalist, an activist in politics, a leading figure of the Coalition of Revolution and most importantly a humanist. Mrs. Kofowuruola Beckley in this interview with Abel Lazarus look at some of the issues prevailing in Nigeria polity.
TAM: Can we meet you ma
KB: Am Mrs. Kofowuola Beckley
TAM: We would like to start with your group’s second anniversary of #RevolutionNow, how would you describe it?
KB: The emergence of the Coalition for Revolution (CORE) a year and a half ago was itself a response the shenanigans and authoritarianism in our body polity, and the launch of our #RevolutionNow campaign a year ago, is aimed at deepening popular resistance towards enthroning the fullest of democratic rights for the mass population in Nigeria. Needless to say that it has been a period of shaping consciousness of the people to transform the society; a period of resistance to a system of exploitation and oppression, in advancing the elimination of tyranny. We have continued to organize Nigerians in order to break the oppressive tendencies of an inept, corrupt, and bad system. One thing you must understand is that Nigeria did not get to this level of rot in one year. Invariably, it will take time to achieve complete success with the struggle. However, one can’t deny the fact that we are everywhere now conscientizing the people, and building more revolutionary forces. Like Ernesto “Che” Guevara opined, *The revolution is made through human beings, but individuals must forge their revolutionary spirit day by day*.So, we’re not relenting at all. The struggle continues every day.
TAM: Talking about the consciousness of Nigerians, would you say CORE has made great impact so far?
KB: Most certainly!
TAM: Members of your group especially your leader in the person of Mr. Omoyele Sowore, played active role in bringing this government to power, how would Raye where we are today prior to 2015 general elections?
KB: Well, if I understand your question. my reply will readily be; Omoyele Sowore and some other activists have been in the struggle for a change in governance for three decades now. Where is the evidence? Where was the campaign he did to bring a clueless government to power?
TAM: Okay ma’am, from all indications, it seems the country slided deeper into some of those issues raised against previous government, would agree with this?
KB: The problem with Nigeria didn’t begin with Buhari administration. It’s rather unfortunate that our dear country has been in this mess for so long.
TAM: He was part of the organizers of the protest with Save Nigeria group in 2011, would you say it was a just course going by the situation we have found ourselves?
KB: Now, that’s untrue. He was not based in Nigeria and wasn’t a member of SNG. He partook of occupy Nigeria in 2012 (in the US). If that’s what people mean by “bringing Buhari to power” then too bad. I once challenged someone to forward the records, anywhere Sowore campaigned for Buhari, or ever wrote an article asking anyone to vote for him, or any video asking anyone to vote for APC but he couldn’t; Not even evidence of any political meeting Sowore attended, asking for or canvassing for Buhari beyond his duties as a reporter.
TAM: From your assessment ma, how would you describe this present administration of President Buhari?
KB: The government of General M Buhari (retd.) does not adhere to democracy as a principle. His regime is the most corrupt, wicked, and clueless so far.
TAM: Talking about corruption, this government came on with one of its mantras on fighting corruption, how would still ascribe it corrupt?
KB: Except this is a rhetoric question, can’t you see the handwriting boldly printed on the wall?. Do we begin with false news on launching an airline that never existed? Earmarking outrageous amounts for projects which have no bearing on the development of the nation? Looking the other way, after a corrupt politician defects to the APC? What about the N500billion naira scandal in the CBN? Has anything been done to Emefiele?
TAM: The government has claimed that its investing more on building decayed infrastructure across the nation how then would you have described it Clueless?
KB: Where are these structures? Can you point out locations of such? You need not be told that economic growth will require investment that is *NOT* funded by unsustainable debt. This Buhari regime has continued to borrow under the guise of investment, whereas there is no evidence of economic growth or enhancement of social welfare for the well-being of the people! In spite of the unending borrowing, Nigerians still cannot enjoy access to road networks that can connect markets. We still lack access to potable, clean drinking water; we don’t even have sustainable economic policies to grow our manufacturing base.
TAM: For many years you have made marks in the media industry, what would be your concern on the hate speech bill and its recent increase of its fine?
KB: Such bill is dead on arrival. It negates the right to freedom of speech. Nigerians will continue to resist every attempt to repress, suppress, and oppress the people. It’s only an attempt by the oppressors; to instill fear in the people. One can only begin to consider this, if the government itself is adhering to the rule of law.
TAM: You contested for the Ogun State House of Assembly during the 2019, how would you describe that election and your experience that led to your defeat?
KB: First, I must clarify that I wasn’t defeated. It was the usual robbery of votes experience. I went into politics with an aspiration to contribute to societal development. My belief is that Nigerian politics should not be left in the hands of desperate and greedy people who view political affairs as as a platform to acquire unmerited wealth. With this on my mind, I decided to run for elective office, seeking to be a member of the Ogun State House of Assembly. But, as always been the case, the people of Nigeria don’t really get to express their desire through the ballots. The usual *selection* took place, instead of an election.
TAM: Are you still in politics and any hope of re-contesting?
KB: I am an activist in politics. I will always be interested in how we make decisions (as a people) concerning our living; how we agree to living as citizens, in large groups or tribes, how we define and design our framework for social development and how we uphold our ethical ideals, doctrines, or principles. All of these activities aimed at improving individual and collective status, make up a political solution. So, I will contest where and whenever there is an opportunity.
TAM: Would gender issue not have been one of the factors against you?
KB: I am a strong woman with community-driven, participatory approach to representation. Being female has absolutely nothing to do with meritorious service. It is a factor of one’s principles.
TAM: Would you also say that your party had the required structure to win in an election under normal circumstances?
KB: What is the required structure? Who determines the structure?
TAM: And finally what’s your message to Nigerians?
KB: Nigerians must rise, unite, and fight the enemy; whose only mission has been to destroy our destiny. We must stand against a government of tribalism, religious sectionalism, and other forms of discrimination. We must resist all oppressive tendencies that promote insurgency and insecurity. We must fight to rescue our nation from total collapse. #RevolutionNow