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The manifesto for Nigeria’s advance – Part 3

By Uchenna Nwankwo
10 November 2022   |   1:44 am
What then shall we see when it attains its denouement, with its characteristic landmark full-fledged feudalism, brigandage, pillage,disdain for democracy and egalitarianism andhigh-handedness put in place? It will prove to be a tragedy of monumental proportions...

[FILES] Nigeria president Muhammadu Buhari

What then shall we see when it attains its denouement, with its characteristic landmark full-fledged feudalism, brigandage, pillage,disdain for democracy and egalitarianism andhigh-handedness put in place? It will prove to be a tragedy of monumental proportions, a return to the normal state of nature where might is right and life is brutish, nasty and short, and of course such that progress will become completely impossible. The alternative is of course for us to take back our country from the hegemons and return it to a modern state with federal or con-federal structure, asearlier agreed to by our forebears.

A Peep into Nigeria’s Future & the Proposed 2023 General Elections!
We are not sure that Buhari has given up on his ‘caliphate’ agenda. But his term of office as president of Nigeria is gradually coming to an end. And so he has to leave that exalted office. Would he meekly accept that his successor in office should be elected by Nigerians without let or hindrance? Or would he want to manipulate the process in order to install a surrogate (Fulani) president to continue from where he stops? In other words, are we going to have a credible, free and transparent election in 2023? These might seem the imponderables! But if his present attitude is anything to go by then there is cause for worry. Take into consideration the fact that Buhari has not done anything towards dismantling the caliphate structures he has put in place, and is still insisting that governors, especially in the South and Middle-Belt can only equip their vigilante squads with bolt action rifles and not with automatic rifles, etc., and then you might begin to see more clearly! For that means that Buhari probably wants these state-grown vigilante squads to be annihilated by the terrorists and herdsmen who attack with AK47/49 rifles, grenade launchers, bazookas and other more sophisticated weapons! Secondly, it also means that Buhari wants to maintain his monopoly of thereal means of coercion in the country so that heandpeople of his feather or his putative Far-North successors in office can thereby continue to terrorize blackmail and destabilize Southern and Middle-Belt states.

In effect, Nigeria is pregnant and we know not what will be birthed come the 2023 presidential election. Let us consider:If Buhari cannot tolerate a non-Far-Northerner as head of the Nigerian Army, for instance, how can anybody in his right senses expect that Buhari would allow or tolerate a non-Far-Northerner to become the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces and President of Nigeria? Secondly, if Buharistill does not have the goodwill to allow Southerners and Middle-Belters the right and ability to defend themselves from terrorists, Fulani herdsmen militia and jihadists; i.e. have a right to life, which is fundamental, how then can he concern himself with free and transparent election where anybody can emerge president of Nigeria? One thing seems certain though. If Nigeria’s 2023 presidential election fails to meet the expected standards, there will be anger on the streets! On the other hand, it is possible that Nigeria’s supremacist elements would want to do everything to forestall a credible election; to cease power in whatever way they can. In effect, the outcome of this coming 2023 presidential election will produce a monumental showdown – a showdown that could ignite the presently charged Nigerian atmosphere into a huge conflagration; an upheaval that could consume Nigeria.

In any case, how do we call for or conduct a so-called free, credible and transparent election in the middle of a civil war, or, okay, if you like, civil wars, since the fighting is in pockets of territories? In the Northwest hinterlands, the Hausa farmers are at war with the nomadic Fulani.

Ditto for the Northeast where the Boko Haram is headquartered and the nomadic Fulani are slugging it out with the indigenous communities in the hinterlands. In the North-Central, thereare widespread jihadi wars and skirmishes all over the place. In the Southeast, the trigger-happy Nigerian Military is busy hunting down Igbo youths for merely mouthing Biafra, thereby causing unnecessary friction and tensions in the region, even as dangerous terrorists and herdsmen’smilitia are allowed to roam free and unmolested, kidnapping, killing and maiming. Elsewhere in the South, the activities of the said criminals persist! So, where and how will this election hold? Will the actual voting take place in the air or on the restive grounds, especially in the North?

Or are we just trying to replicate the 2019 scenario where the restive Bornu and Yobe states that were buffeted by the Boko Haram menace magically produced a more-than-average votes in the 2019 elections even when the most of the rural dwellers of the two states were displaced, and are still, languishing in IDP camps outside the two states? In effect, we all seem prepared to play into the hands of those who want the electoral fraud of 2019 in Bornu and Yobe states extended all over the Far-North hinterlands in the 2023 national elections!For what is bound to transpireespecially in the presidential election in the Far-North is: With the inhabitants of the area hiding away from irascible gunmen and cowering from the fighting in the area, small bands ofelectoral manipulators(compromised INEC representatives at voting booth level included) operating from safe havens would forge electoral results and post them directly to INEC severs! And that would be that!! A fait accompli!!!

Proposal for Interim Government for Nigeria Post-Buhari Regime
Our contention here is that after two terms of Buhari’s rule that has brought extreme division, disunity and a super-charged atmosphere of mutual distrust and rancor between the Far-North and the rest of the country, we need a cooling off period, for healing and reconciliation, openness, dialogue and equity as well as commensurate power-sharing before we can reasonably dabble into another national elections.
To be continued tomorrow
Nwankwo can be reached at uchennwankwo@yahoo.com (+234 0811 8195950)