Nigeria: The power of unwavering unity
“Corporate performance is the result of combining planning and execution.” Kenichi Ohmae.
I crave your indulgence to cite an eloquent example of the great success which work in unity can render. Cast your mind on a marine sports tournament taking place on a river – boat race. No matter how hard each crew members rows, if the coxswain doesn’t choose the right direction, the team can never hope to win. Conversely, even if the coxswain is mastery at navigation, you cannot win the race unless and until the rowers strive hard at unison. Before an enduring unity can be established, the people’s culture, creed, and codes of conduct, as a prerequisite, must have to synchronize, at the foundation. “Can two walk together except they be agreed.” Amos 3 verse 3. The priority, therefore, should be reset first and foremost. “First things first,” as the saying goes. At the point of sorting out the discrepancies that have squarely defined our undoing, it is equally appropriate and timely to look each other in the face and counting the cost, inquire at each other’s hand, Can we afford making the required sacrifice? Do we have the inherent capacity to readjust our positions and indispositions?
Admittedly, to this day, we have disagreed enough to begin to agree henceforth, immediately. It is upon the rare opportunity proferred by this strategic national forum (perhaps a national convention program) that we can amicably and interactively reach a compromise to either continue as a united entity or the contrary. Without prejudice to the esteeemed virtues of the pacifist and not necessarily insinuating any action(s) that can get on the people’s nerves, nevertheless, it only amounts to playing the ostrich and grandstanding for our political heavyweights to blindly persists, insist that the “Indivisibility of Nigeria is non-negotiable.” Apparently, they (who thus clamour) are playing to the gallery. To me, such unprovoked brouhaha (if not a threat, especially when one is confronted with the daily instances of the appalling desolation in which we are) is a rude remark.
Deliberately, I am trying not to go down the memory lane, dating back to the foundation of a nation called Nigeria with particular focus on the texture of the motive of the architect, the imperial master, England. Reason being that I expect that whatever previous and existing media coverage on that historical blunder – the absurd and horrible effects of which are co-existing with us today, suffices. Nigerians, both the people but especially the political leaders ought to break out of the wed of “ stalemated situational mindset.” If they lack the boldness to say that they have reached their wits end, the lackluster actions and insipid national projects and engagements, admits it. Similarly, this call for a national cohesion discourse, is not exclusively virgin. It has a several prominent heralds to which the past government administrations gave heed in the form constituting national conferences that are at best today gathering dust in shelves. “The spirit gives life, but the letter kills.” 2nd Corinthians 3 verse 6. Therefore, disecting the problematic situation and or pessimistically dwelling on a seemingly intractable development, benefit little or nothing on the last count. It will make sense to deploy a prudent application of resources, time, energy and manpower towards those solution-oriented tasks.
There’s unity in multiplicity, without controversy. The diversity of civilisation has nurtured an environment that organizes tolerance of the cultural disparities and traditional components of a given people in a heterogeneous society. Even in a monolithic society, unlike ours, incipient traces of clashes because of civilisation, is evident. “One shall chase a thousand and two shall put ten thousands to plight,” is a pertinent scriptural passage that very much summarises the tremendous strength which unity in plurality is endowed with and can wield. My skepticism… that notwithstanding the fact that there’s hardly no remedial measures which past government’s oversight functions have not sampled or experimented, all to no avail in Nigeria. They have all recalcitrantly defied both the palliative and holistic approaches hitherto undertaken to set the nation on the right footing. Now, that famous definition of insanity by Albert Einstein, is instructive here.. which is “when one does the same thing the same way always but expects a different result; the early signs of insanity are manifest.” (emphasis mine). The best alternative will be to look within and consensually adopt the refrain, “to your tents oh Israel.” In the final analysis, the opportunity cost, if any at all, can only be minimal and parochial. In the larger scale, it is a win-win resolution for all parties.
The existence of Nigeria, as an indivisible entity, must be, in earnest, revisited and reappraised. Then again, that importunate call for RESTRUCTURING strucks. It has refused to adopt a non sequitur stance in our national debate roundtable, as some regional bigots are disposed to argue and refute it. But the day the very facts are faced, and the right steps are begun to be taken, then the countdown to Nigerians economic breakthrough, social and religious emancipation, and the liberation of her citizenry and the true experience of the general wellbeing of a nation, can commence.
In conclusion, Nigerian’s grave ordeal may be untoward but it’s not peculiar and neither insurmountable. Constraints of space and time will not enable me to present instances of other nations that had undergone more grievious calamities, yet it didn’t break them instead they mustered the courage to conquer their identified common enemies.
Today, they’re on the plane of rapid progress as a one united family where peace and tranquility reigns supreme and unfettered. When you are working out your strategy, if you start by thinking of all things that cannot be done and merely ask yourself what possibilities are left, you will almost certainly be hamstrung and unable to break out of your existing situation. Any national assignment that will dutifully enhance our unitary cohesion – the support for the realization of this ideal and well intended course should be mobilized. Otherwise, the disentangling process for the giant awkward existence is, instead, be preferable. And the very choice that the chunk of the people show the tendency to settle for, the implementation- for instance referendum, thereof must be embarked upon as the urgency rightly demands. “Talk is cheap…” they say, but “actions are the trademarks of bravery and honorables,” I must add.
•Orajiaku, a freelance journalist and social activist, wrote from Lagos