The masquerade of death macabre in the North: strange revolutionary aesthetics in Nigeria
In the late 1960s, all manner of assaults were directed between the Biafran secessionists and their Nigerian counterparts. As a result, unresolved ethnic, economic and socio-political lines exposed the “harvest” of the 1966–70 revolution. This harvest of corruption and military rule spilled into the 1980s and 90s creating resistant groups until the millennium age which ushered in new revolutionary tactics. Between 1970 when the revolution was officially declared ended till date, Nigerians have been made to harvest “proceeds” of both the colonial and postcolonial “legacies” which many critics pin down on bad leadership. For instance, while the steaming smoke from the battle nozzles of the Niger Delta revolutionaries is yet to fade away, the Northern region, under the violence of Boko Haram (Western Education is forbidden/sinful) has caused panic in the political arena. Against the backdrop of the current “global awakening,” this paper, through some critical works and Nigerian fictional artefacts, takes a careful examination of one particular aspect of this “harvest,” particularly the disillusionment and subsequent reactions of the people in various revolutionary garbs. The paper concludes that the amnesty antidote offered by the Nigerian leadership is simply a toothless escapist remedy. The position of this exploration is that the current militants or revolutionaries in any of the Nigerian geopolitical zones are reactive hydra-monsters created by a failing system where the national wealth has been hijacked by a few. Until this wealth is justly distributed, more chameleonic colours of revolutionaries are bound to emerge from the same system.
Keywords: corrupt leadership, escapism, revolutionaries, violence.