RESTRUCTURING OVER SEPARATION : PART 1
NIGERIA: RESTRUCTURE NOW OR DIE AS A NATION:
IT appears the whole nation is now talking. The buzz word is now RESTRUCTURE, RESTRUCTURE, RESTRUCTURE. It has been long over due.
The recently concluded summit of the Northern Nigeria Elders with a communique supporting the clamour for a Federalist RESTRUCTURING of Nigeria should roundly be commended. It appears the whole nation is now heading the same direction. This would be for the benefit of every Nigerian.
In management, we are often told that a company that fails to innovate dies. So it is also with a nation state. A country that fails to change with time would inevitably meet a lingering death. From the contraption of 1914 to date is a long time for a nation to continue papering over a gapping crater.
THERE is nothing that fans the embers of Nationalism than when a country nurtures stark marginalisation, oppression of certain ethnic groups, inequality and socio-economic decay that can be traced to the very heart of the government.
The spate of insecurity, violence, intolerance, hatred and bigotry enveloping the country has placed a search light on the Ruling Class to take drastic action to avert violent disintegration of the country.
The drums of Restructuring or total dissolution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria have been intensified since the early 90s and has been made worse by the current APC government headed by Major General Muhammadu Buhari. This calls for separation has been exacerbated by the style of Buhari’s government that has become intolerably too parochial, too ethnocentric and devoid of any iota of the FEDERAL CHARACTER PRINCIPLES that faintly held the country together until now.
The different nationalities that have made up this country are now restless and demanding for their separation from Nigeria. However, history has taught us that the glamour of total separation does not equate to the reality of running a nation state, when the chips are down. A comprehensive restructuring of the country therefore becomes a more viable alternative. A true democracy Federalism that can give each Constituent Nation a chance to move and develop at their own pace.
At a count, we have ODUDUWA NATION, THE BIAFRA NATION, THE HAUSA-FULANI CALIPHATE, THE NIGER DELTA NATION and the list goes on and on depending on which side of the debate you are in.
A very thoughtful and clever way to diffuse all the waring agitators is for the country to come to a round table and agree on a formidable plan of action.
If the Buhari government thinks that these separate agitations is something that the government can wish away, or that the agitators can just fizzle into thin air, then , Buhari must be making a very grievous error of judgement.
Instead of the administration to waste billions of dollars in preparing for another bogus election in 2023, Nigeria can be better off reassessing the current state of nation; a nation that is fast skidding into a state of lawlessness.
As a first step, NIGERIA ‘S overpaid and under-worked lawmakers at the NASS can, for once do the country a favour – Request the Presidency to submit, without redaction, the 2014 National Conference Report to the House for debate and consideration. In fact, that Report, if anything should be upgraded to a NATIONAL CONSTITUTIONAL CONFERENCE; to thoroughly examine the corporate existence of Nigeria as a nation. Haphazard or cut and nail ammendment to the current hallow Constitution would be another monumental waste of resources. The 2014 Conference cost Nigeria more than 17 billion Naira.
It has become obvious that Nigeria is not WORKING in its current structure.
If it cannot be restructured in line with Regional Autonomy, like it was in the First Republic or like in the UK with 4 different nations, or America with 50 Commonwealth States, or Australia or Canada, OR ALTERNATIVELY ,they can take it further and discuss an IN OR OUT REFERENDUM for all the Nationalities currently agitating for separation and independence.
There is no oaths registered in Heaven or on earth that Nigeria must remain Indivisible. Nigeria has never been a nation since that unfortunate and clandestine Amalgamation in 1914. After over 60 years of Independence, not even an iota has changed. Ethnic tension has persisted, and exacerbated my blatant marginalisation and suppression.
Unless the political class woke up and literally pull the bull by the horn and effect a fundamental change, then the whirlwind of disaffection will smoulder into a full blown disintegration.
WITH this courageous move and support of the clamour for restructuring by the Northern leaders and politicians, there is now a flicker of light at the end of the RESTRUCTURING Movement. We should all grab the opportunity with both hands.
True Federalism is for the benefit of all Nigerians.