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Nigeria on the precipice


Anti-riots policemen detain a protester during a demonstration at Ojota in Lagos on June 12, 2021 (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

It is no longer news that Nigeria dances on the brink of existent collapse, though according to a foreign expert on Nigeria’s political development, Ambassador John Campbell, ‘Nigeria have mastered the art of dancing on the precipice without falling over…’ Between 2015 and recent, the country’s unity is seriously threatened under the present administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari. And, there is not much he is doing to save it. The late literary giant, Chinua Achebe argued that, there is nothing absolutely wrong with Nigeria but rather with its leadership. The government of Nigeria is one of the most expensive governments in the world, with so much expended on its officials monthly.


The billions spent on the executive and legislature yearly is enough to stabilize electricity in the country. The leadership of this country has simply and squarely failed the people. The Nigerian weather is unarguable one of the best in the world. We are blessed with an arable land that is economically viable. We have natural resources in quantity in all nook and cranny of the country. Nigeria’s problem, Achebe asserted in his book, The Trouble With Nigeria, is ‘the unwillingness or inability of its leaders to rise to the responsibility, to the challenge of personal example which are the hallmarks of true leadership.’ He continued by saying that, ‘that Nigeria can change today if she discovers leaders who have the will, the ability and the vision.’

There is looming disaster in waiting everywhere you turn to due to the happenings in the country. No doubt, the explosion of the keg of gunpowder in waiting could be avoided if urgent actions are considered and visited. One of the most advised recipe to avoid this looming catastrophe threatening Nigeria standing as one indivisible country is to restructure, re-organize, overhaul or re-define the country to embrace a true political and economic structure that is fair to all. The present structure is not just unfair but callous. It is the imbalance that has encouraged and keep encouraging some secessionist agitators.


We agree secession will never solve the problem. But may gradually become a monster difficult to tame unless our political leaders decide to do the needful to save this country from anarchy and doom. It is evident that the agitators of secession are no longer comfortable with the federal government not taking decisive actions on some issues affecting all and sundry. The campaign is that some powers hitherto in the hands of the Federal Government should be transferred to the component states for easy and effective management. For instance, that several of the internal interests of the country should be managed by the states while, the Federal should limit itself to most of the international interests like foreign policy, military, etc. The country will be better restructured for peace and progress. Restructuring is the foundation upon which a progressive Nigeria can be built. This ‘feeding bottle’ federalism has and will never work.

The northern leaders’ insistence on open grazing against the civilized animal husbandry done in other climes has become worrisome. In the 21st century, with all its threats to our cooperate existence as a country, people still want to continue roaming the streets and bushes freely with their animals? What has been the benefit of open grazing other than contributing immensely to desertification witnessed mostly in the northern part of the country? Nigeria as a country has advanced above that. The northern leaders are aware that open grazing is inimical to peace and economic growth of the country. It is a proven fact that cows reared in a ranch are usually healthier, less tasking for the herder and are not offensive to the host communities.


Animals that move from place to place are more destructive and pose danger to humans and the communities at large. The federal government must support ranching and abolish open grazing for peace and to encourage farmers to go back to their farms. Ranching is more decent. In other climes, Brazil and Botswana are good examples, there is no more open grazing cows; are ranched. The organized herders can approach community leaders, local or state governments for lands to ranch their animals in the states they are domiciled. It will also help in checking insecurity since the herders will no longer reside in the forests but in the towns with other humans.

The security challenge in the country is disturbing and something very fundamental needs to be done to improve on it and save the country from burning. It appears our security agencies are helpless in tackling the insecurity in the country. The bandits strike freely with sophisticated weapons yet, no serious counterattack from any of our security agencies. One wonders why our military, police and DSS described as one of the best in Africa are found wanting in resolving this security challenge threatening our unity for years now. There are unknown gunmen here and there, bandits everywhere, kidnappers freely operating, armed robbers on the loose. Many have called for the unbundling of the security apparatus to possibly allow the governors control the state police up to a point. The total control structure of the security system over concentrated in an individual in Abuja is a restraint for the state governors to act fast and decisive on trouble makers.

To be continued tomorrow.

Nwaogbe can be reached on 0708.438.1845


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