Where are the Peasants? A discourse on the role of Civil Society as Social Movement in the Post-Independence Nigeria
This paper aims to create awareness on the importance of peasants forming a synergy with civil society organizations in the struggle for political and economic liberation in Nigeria. The paper argues that in recent time peasants have remained docile and largely gone out of existence in the post independence struggle for democratic governance. They are no longer involved in the social protest rather they alienated themselves. The inherited wisdom of peasants‟ non-involvement in the contestation for power runs counter-productive to the construction of a culture of opposition geared towards positive change. The class-cultural theory of social movements helps in the interpretation of complex relationships between civil society on one hand and the peasants on the other hand. The method employed in this analysis is qualitative based on secondary data. The study is limited to post-independence democratization struggle and their non-involvement in the protest against unfavourable economic policies right from the military regimes and democratic era. The paper‟s aim is to raise the political consciousness among the peasants to engage actively in the struggle for political and economic liberation. The significance of this is that a synergy would be established between peasants in the rural areas and the organized civil society in the urban areas. It concludes that the peasants as social category and important political actors should be involved in subterranean protests with the civil society organizations. Thus, peasants should forge a link with other organized civil society groups in urban areas for the struggle for better political and economic conditions and system.