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Why Nigeria is not working

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Prof. Ango Abdullahi

Restructuring is one of the strategic roads corporate bodies, political, economic, social, technological communities and nations follow in order to succeed and remain afloat.

The power to miraculously transform the nation lies within us if we can break Nigeria down and then reconfigure it. To achieve the goal of unity in diversity, stability, growth and development, we need not break up Nigeria as the renowned academic Prof. Ango Abdullahi is suggesting.

We have a plenitude of unharnessed resources to build Nigeria and transform it to a world power if we unlock and unleash the will power lurking within us. What we almost always lack is the mindset to do it together for the benefit of all of us. The Igbo should not leave Nigeria. They will lead Nigeria. Nigeria needs to take condign action the way companies do. Through a continuous scheme of strategic planning, corporate enterprises give themselves sinews and wings that cannot be pulled down by the pressures of the wind of violent competition in the environment. In the same vein, nations that continuously restructure and update their system of relationship and interrelationship as documented in their relational document the way Nigeria’s political communities did in the year 2014 will rarely have problem of disunity, instability, negative growth and development, high and rising inflation, high and rising unemployment index and other symptoms of systemic failure.

When the constitution of any nation becomes a static document, even facile movement of the political community becomes constrained by both synchronic and diachronic variables in the constitution. The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria spells out clearly the way we should organise and mobilise our national resources.

Note that a constitution is simply a legal blueprint documenting agreements mutually reached, on the system of relationship and interrelationship governing the state and the citizenry. Because our internal and external experiences are not syntactically organised, they cannot be effectively mobilised to produce expected results.

Restructuring should be seen as a peaceful and useful method of political and social conflict resolution. So why should a seasoned academic like Prof. Ango Abdullahi limit his exegesis of the word ‘restructuring’ to geography and demographics as he did recently!

States were foisted on other political communities in the South West, South-East and South-South by northern military heads of state and commanders-in-chief in spite of the lopsidedness and imbalances. The first time ever a military head of state from a state other than the North ruled was in 1966. Under the rulership of late Major General J. T. U. Aguiyi Ironsi mayhem, fire and brimstone were let loose. Fifty-one years later, Prof. Abdullahi says the north is ready to break up Nigeria. It is thus ominous to hear Prof. Ango Abdullahi, a chieftain of the Northern Elders Council, and Arewa Consultative Forum say “the North is ready for Nigeria’s breakup.The only time a strategic decision is taken by a civilian Head of State and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces who is not from the North, this decision was jettisoned. The current, president, from the north told a press conference that he would not touch the 2014 national confab agreements. The decisions documented in 2014 National confab reports are the decisions agreed by all the political, social, and economic communities in Nigeria. They represent the general will of the totality of the people of Nigeria – Ibo, Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba, Tiv, Kanuri, Ogoni, Efiks and so on. It does appear this type of decision cannot be set aside by anybody other than the people of Nigeria. I mean the same political, social and economic communities are the only ones to reverse or recant their own agreement. It is not yet clear whether a political party can set aside an agreement the political, social and economic communities freely and mutually entered into. The National Assembly cannot give consent (collude/collaborate) until it has consulted the peoples it is representing. The 1999 Constitution makes it clear that Nigeria’s constitution is a mixed or balanced constitution. This implies that none of us is greater than all of us under the doctrine of separation of powers.”

Was Ango Abdulahi away on pilgrimage when the National Conference of all political, social and economic communities took place? The 2014 National Conference is more comprehensive than the conference of tribal nationalities he says he prefers. The only thing left is to implement the decision of the entire political, social and economic communities of Nigeria. What remains is to move this nation from structuralism to functionalism. Let’s move from words to action.

The legislature and the judiciary under the APC-led government have refused to tell the nation why a decision of the entire people of Nigeria should be spiked or put on hold? The judiciary and the legislature have put the integrity of our nation to question by keeping mum when serious threats to our relationship rear their ugly heads.

Our democracy is majoritarian and sovereignty under our constitution belongs to the people. If the people okayed the 2014 confab document the way they did, the only thing left is for the legislature to integrate and incorporate the provisions into the constitution.The legislature does not need the permission of the executive.

For as long as the APC government refuses to implement the general will of the political, social and economic communities of Nigeria, it does appear it is running an illegal government.

It is curious that across all the realms of government there is nobody in the judiciary, the legislature and the executive that could urge the APC government to toe the philosophy of Prof. William James to do the right things and to do things right to save the nation from persistent recession and probable systemic failure.

Eugene Uwalaka writes from Lagos



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