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Madunagu @ 75: Interrogating the national question – Part

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Dr. Edwin Madunagu

Continued from yesterday

Madunagu’s seminal contributions to popular democratic culture in Nigeria succeeded much because of the complementary role of his ever-cheerful wife, Bene. She is an accomplished activist and feminist in her own right. She was a foundation member of Women in Nigeria (WIN) and the founder of Girls Power Initiative (GPI).

During the burial of late Prof. Eskor Toyo on 4th March, 2016, Madunagu delivered a funeral oration at the UNICAL Auditorium, where he accused the Nigerian left of being unable to confront the National Question in Nigeria. According to him, “the Nigerian Marxist left is still timid before the National Question and afraid to discuss it let alone take a concrete rather than abstract position on it”.

I share in Madunagu’s opinion that the time for the left to interrogate the national Question is now. We must begin the application of the Marxist theory of the state to interrogate the crisis of Nigerian federalism. A federation is antithetical to monolithic imposition of central authority. It is self-evident that a federation is a union of constitutions. The implication is that a return to genuine federalism in Nigeria becomes imperative in order to grant constitutional  autonomy and fiscal federalism to the regions and checkmate the current entrapment of independent Ethnic Nationalities by Fulani Nationalist ascendancy and its Caliphate jihadist propensities.
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The greatest impediment to the attainment of genuine democracy/development in Nigeria is the Caliphate dominated Lugardian state which celebrates the suppression of other nationalities on the alter of feudalistic preservation of class interests.

The left should purge itself of the archaic narrative of demonizing oppressed ethnic Nationalities in the Nigerian federation who are fighting for their liberation/self-determination from these murderous jihadist invaders. It is not the duty of revolutionaries to support oppressive political entities in the name of empty patriotism. The age of empire states are over. It was fashionable then to celebrate the European Empires such as British Empire, Russian Empire, French Empire or Spanish Empire etc. What is prevalent in the contemporary post-Soviet Union era are organic state formations (states made up of people with a common language and culture with minor varieties). It is only at the level of the European Union or African Union that one can speak of Unions of free and equal nations. Nigeria is a fake and artificial Union because of the forced amalgamation of Nationalities in 1914 and the conqueror mentality of the Fulani jihadists who were favoured by British colonialists and its eventual collapse seems predictable unless something fundamental happens.

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Such false state formations like Nigeria may be seeing their last days. If the current fascist regime headed by PMB refuses to organise a Sovereign National Conference to reconstitute/restructure the crisis-ridden
Nigerian federation, then it would be very unfortunate to watch the impending gradual descent into anarchy.

The left must show interest by doing the needful. Nigeria must be saved from itself. We are all aware of what happened in the Soviet Union in 1991 where 15 new nation-states emerged from the disintegration of the union.

Same thing happened in Yugoslavia in 1990-92. Six new nation-states emerged after its disintegration. After the Indian independence in 1948, eight years later, Pakistan broke away and inaugurated an Islamic republic in 1956.

Then in 1971, Eastern Pakistan secceeded and became Bangladesh. In South Africa, the Socialists and Marxists such as Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo, Winnie Mandela, Albert Luthuli, Steve Biko, Joe Slovo, Ruth First etc. did not wait for an opportunity to create a Socialist revolution before intervening democratically to stop the oppressive apartheid regime. The 1994 revolution in South Africa was a transformation from racial electocracy (Apartheid) to a non-racial or multi-racial electocracy. Every generation must out of relative obscurity discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it (Frantz Fanon).

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