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Awo as solution to Nigeria’s problems

By Yahaya Balogun
02 August 2016   |   3:43 am
Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo was a political enigma who has shaped the political structure of Nigeria. His robust contributions to national conversation ...


Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo was a political enigma who has shaped the political structure of Nigeria. His robust contributions to national conversation had been ignored for a long time. It is imperative, therefore, to re-emphasise his contributions to national discourse and development.

Our people need to be educated or conscientised to understand the futility of their mindsets about the Nigerian state. Awolowo had long time predicted the current nuance of globalisation, as it is related to the Nigerian current situation.

His insightful mind had long time discerned the world as a global village and saw Nigeria as one of the major players. He saw Nigeria as a mere geographical expression that needed restructuring. He believed that no ethnic group in the geopolitical structure of Nigeria can act alone or in isolation. Our unique diversity and talents are too integrated to be discountenanced or disintegrated.

People will not read historical books because of their intellectual laziness. When you read Awolowo’s books, you’re completely engrossed in sublimity of a man who was a demi-god to some of us who are worshippers of the Muse. His books are references on every single thing that is wrong with Nigeria. If Awolowo’s books are consumed religiously, our minds will not remain the same again. Chief Awolowo is a demi-god and a political genius. He lives forever in some of us.

What should be the national discourse now is a true restructuring of Nigeria to disabuse the minds of the aggrieved and disgruntled citizen. My submission is that the imagined separate entities detached from the present structure will be unmanageable, considering how leadership of each state has engaged in the mismanagement of the Federal allocations in the past. One understands the importance of the agitation of the aggrieved members of the union. The perceived or obvious marginalization of the ethnic minorities is an opportunity missed by the Jonathan administration to restructure the country. Goodluck Jonathan’s administration should be our last collective punishment. The country should be on its road to prosperity and peaceful coexistence after curing the national terminal disease called corruption from the system.

Right now, Nigeria needs a leader who will re-orientate, re-order a corruption-free-society. It is pertinent to start observing/studying and create this Buhari administration with keen interest in its war against corruption. My evolving position is that it is becoming an un-inclusive fight. The President needs to bring other corrupt party members in APC to book just like he’s doing to other opposing party members in PDP. There shouldn’t be any sacred cow if this onerous war on the looters and economic saboteurs must succeed.

Recent revelations indicated that a prominent member of the Buhari government was economical with the truth on how he got his multi-billion dollar mansion in Dubai. The revelations seem to have been swept under the corrupt carpet of Nigeria.

It will be unethical to rob “Peter to pay Paul” and expect everyone to keep quiet. President Buhari’s efforts and determination to rid Nigeria of corruption must be addressed without nepotism. It must be all-inclusive. Ordinary people of Nigeria have suffered enough. If Peter or Okorocha or Bode of PDP can be questioned on how they sauntered into affluence with their meagre salaries, it will be an injustice and inequitable treatment if Ajayi or Muhammed or Sulaiman in APC should be absolved of the same offence.

It is imperative for the President to note that justice without equity, fairness and consistency will jeopardise the administration’s anti-corruption stance. Justice must be seen to have been dispensed without fear or favour. Otherwise, our famished collective journey to the unknown will be difficult to reverse or veer.

The President should note that wailers have the right to wail if they perceive any injustice and unfairness in the inequitable distribution of their national wealth. The advocates of national disintegration should go to Awo’s museum of knowledge to enrich themselves.

Apart from Chief Obafemi Awolowo of blessed memory, which of the Yoruba leaders has advanced the unity and prosperity of the Yoruba? As an avid and fanatical reader of anything by Chief Obafemi Awolowo, I can testify for that Awolowo was a visionary. He was maligned, cursed, imprisoned and humiliated; yet he remained focused and determined to see a nation succeed as a true federation. Unfortunately, as we all now say, Awo was a president Nigeria never had.

The fifth columnists and their collaborators in the Western Region, with the assistance of the cabal in the other parts of Nigeria conspired to prevent Chief Awolowo from modernising the whole country, the nauseating results of which we are witnessing today.

It is undeniably true that Awolowo has told us that federalism remains the solution to our problems in Nigeria.

The war on Corruption by Buhari is an opportunity that must not be missed. Nigerians should jettison resentment and bigotry, come together in unity to advance the course of nation building.

We should criticise this administration constructively to move the country forward

Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s sacred political spirit should however, be invoked. We must learn more about his political ingenuity, explore his museum of knowledge and apply the lessons in order to bring sanity into Nigeria.
Balogun writes from Arizona, United States.