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The imperatives for a re-negotiated Nigeria

By MC Asuzu
12 January 2022   |   3:39 am
It is a widely known fact that every mature human person desires in his heart and mind to make the world a better place than he met it – at least for himself, his family and his immediate environment.

It is a widely known fact that every mature human person desires in his heart and mind to make the world a better place than he met it – at least for himself, his family and his immediate environment. This is in the order of nature and of God (no matter what anybody construes God to be) who made man and entrusted him to rule the whole of creation. The only exception to this is for people who face serious life challenges whose concerns are usually how to overcome those challenges. Even that limited concern is still making the world a better place, for themselves at least! It is also the accepted expectation that the only justifiable reason for people to get involved with the politics of public governance should be that of the betterment of the society for everyone in the polity of that particular people. However, with the attainment of large nations with many different peoples of unrelated genes and cultures, such as many ethnic nationalities, the public political necessities evolved political parties for these wider purposes. With the normal tendency for political parties to operate in rather partisan ways, this central objective of the pursuit of the common good may get swallowed up with partisan political interests; especially, the welfare of the members of the parties alone. Therein lies the problem of partisan politics.

The development of large nations had also been associated with autocracies, whether civilian or military, as the further extensions of the most primitive ways of the original bush man. The culture of war also developed. However, over time, all have come to know that autocracies and the culture of wars usually do not lead to the desired development and progress of the society as a whole that is the proper goal of true politics. Human progress usually are products of justice, peace and the pursuit of the common good. So even when there is no war, as long as injustice and partisan or other sectional interest pursuits prevail in any country or polity (in the place of the pursuit of the common good) such a country or polity will remain poor, unprogressive and nothing for anybody to be proud or happy about – except for the wicked or such other not so wise people. Nigeria has remained in this category of nations all along.

Nigeria as a country has been recognized by one and all as a truly unfortunate geographical entity, created out of the British political selfishness, for a large geographical area to exercise colonial influence and power over; as well as to exploit economically. All of Nigeria’s “heroes past” had individually and collectively acknowledged that fact. However, out of a desire to appear to be politically right before those colonialists these “our heroes past” had carried on with that false basis for any nation. There may be other combinations of reasons that may have made them to carry on as such, for example, that political rightness and some secrete expectation that if they managed to hold Nigeria together as such, and they become its political rulers, they too will have a large geographical area to benefit from.

So, over time, despite all evidence that Nigeria will never work on that British construction, none of these leaders had done enough of what Nigeria would need for it to arrive at a nation that all of its citizens will be proud to call their own, individually and collectively. So, the country has kept moving from one crisis of unhealthy unity to another one. So, as we talk in the dying weeks of 2021, we have had a country of wasted progress for 107 years! The corruption and retrogression that it has known in the first 100 years has in the last 7 years become “something else”! Tribalism, nepotism, bribery, kleptocracy, religious fanaticism and terrorism – private and official – have become so systematic that only a fool will say that he does not see or know of it! What was tending to be a Nigeriakistan is gradually receding to an Arewakistan; yet the people involved refuse to speak the truth to themselves and to the rest of us.

For the previous 16 years, the political party that called itself the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) developed itself into the greatest party of corruption and kleptocracy ever known in the country. In the last 6 years however, the people in the political party that calls itself the All Progressives Congress (APC) presented themselves as the alternative to the PDP, and for the lack of anything else that made any sense outside of just replacing the PDP, they got voted in as the ruling party. It did not take any time before it became obvious that we have a worse political monster than the PDP in place. They have not only failed to pursue any of the promises they came with but have taken kleptocracy, corruption, tribalism, nepotism, religious fanaticism and terrorism to the highest levels that anybody has seen in the country. Part of their proud slogans has been that all the corrupt people in the country who join their party for the higher corruption going on there will have all their political and other sins forgiven. They also pride themselves in the poverty that they are creating for the populace sectionally or on the whole! And they show no shame for saying so. So, every day, life in the country keeps getting worse and worse; with this amalgamation of all of Nigeria’s past corruptions; and a lot more!

The amazing thing with all these miserable things going on in the country is that the so-called educated people in it have preferred to join the youths to be running away from the country that they see as a lost case, even without any efforts from them for a repair! But is that really what these educated people should be doing? In my humble opinion, this is exactly what they should not do. On the contrary, they should be the ones to explain to the people in this country that this is not what to do! On the contrary, they should be mobilizing and educating everybody, individually and in groups as the Middle Class in any society (which is where they belong) is the heart of the society that gives meaning to it. They must encourage as many of their types that get interested in active political participation to get in there, with their full and community mobilized support, for their success there. The religious leaders who have escaped the corruption that has also invaded the religious organizations in the country should do the same.

All these efforts should lead to a situation where the so far largely highly morally compromised politicians are by elections replaced or by organized civil disobedience compelled to recognize the imperative for a national conference of the ethnic nationalities of the country to negotiate with one another for the country of justice, peace and progress which they will all like to call their own. If any ethnic nationality in the country refuses the development of such a properly negotiated federation (as we did, but only lamely, with the British at our independence) of our numerous ethnic nationalities, it will be obvious that such an ethnic nationality will be best advised to leave the federation so that those who desire peace, mutual love and respect as well as true human progress will get along with their country.

This re-negotiated country (or call it re-structuring) was a key item of the APC manifesto. So, calling them to order that this is what to do should not be such a big deal. Obviously, to do otherwise is simply to be postponing the day of the inevitable conflagration. Wisdom has informed that those who prefer to live by fraud, lies, injustice or war will only have such awaiting them down the road. So, it will only be good for all these our so-called educated people, moral and religious leaders across the faiths, elders, traditional leaders and truly progressive politicians to rise up now and do the needful to salvage this country. No excuse in time will be acceptable otherwise. God bless the Nigerian peoples!

Asuzu is a professor at the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo.

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