‘Jonathan Has Helped Found A Modern Nigeria’
Jimanze EgoAlowes is an uncommon scholar. His two books, Minority Competitive Overloads and Corruption in Africa: Resolution through New Diagnosis come with innovative thinking that will shock many a Nigerian academic out of their laziness or lethargy. In this interview with ANOTE AJELUOROU, EgoAlowes faults certain ways of thinking and Nigeria’s power architecture, with its G2 of North and South-West feeling of power entitlement, and says President Goodluckc Jonathan is the best man suited to reposition the country since, as a minority, he can’t but be fair to all parties concerned
Sir, your book faults existing scholarship on corruption blamed solely on leadership. What exactly is wrong with it?
What is really missing is that we have as a people, as scholars refused to look at the problems with our own eyes. Rather than be scholars, we seem to prefer to be congregants, to be believers. Scholarship, we all seem to forget, is not religious affirmation or service. That is, scholarship should never turn from inquiry into belief. And it doesn’t matter whose authorities we are called upon to believe.
The matter, one may remark, is not just on corruption. As far I know, one is yet to see a Nigerian social scientist innovate the legacy knowledge upon which he is trained. Our scholars seem to be curators, librarians, and not liberators and founders of new knowledge. That singly is why and how the Nigerian system, including leadership, is not well and running.
What is metropolitan social architecture of development that marginal scholars like ours are failing to understand about America’s power make up?
It is also generic. Most Nigerian scholars read and interpret American history as if it has a one to one correspondence with Nigerian existence. To give an example, are the states in terms of equality of senate seats in America the equivalent of our own states? The answer is no. But that is another matter, which needs full discussion. There have been no attempts or capacities to translate or convert one metropolitan experience into another into our local equivalent.
The point is that even history written in English by Americans or whoever else, of other lands, need to be ‘converted’ into Nigerian or other local terms to make meaning and be of any utility. This is the concept of para-history we developed in our earlier work, Minorities as Competitive Overlords. And there is the necessity to see world history for what it is. It is an epic. It is a continuum. To copy, you have to advance it. That capacity to advance history is the minimum club fee one pays to be admitted, to participate and partake in civilization.
The example of America wears well. When Americans founded their republic, the idea was to produce a superior Europe, to innovate old Europe. And this was despite the fact that old Europe was the greatest human society of the time. Despite this, American founding fathers wanted more than Europe, and were thus driven to innovate it. It is not in vain that America was called the New World. What we should aim to be is the Next New World, as it were. In fact, you may inherit a civilization only by advancing it.
In the light of the above, how can you explain the claim in your book that Jonathan is the cleanest or corrupt-free president?
First of all, let us state the following. The book is a piece of serious research. By the time we invented the ‘brace and constitutive taxonomy or categories’, there was no President Jonathan. President Jonathan is a collateral, not consequential, beneficiary of our research. The point is that we had invented a model of Nigerian development and Jonathan came up to meet us, to tailor-fit it.
Summarily and for the interest of readers, ‘brace’ is the category and peculiarities of minorities at play in composite-sizes players’ environment. First of all, who President Jonathan is has to be understood. Jonathan is a product of the ‘brace’ not ‘constitutive’ category. Thus Jonathan is the only minority man outside Gen. Yakubu Gowon who ruled this country. Perhaps, readers need to see our full explanation of this in the book.
So, technically, Jonathan as a brace player can only exist by being the least corrupt, the most transparent and the most inclusive. Jonathan, in real terms, is a Gowon at his glory, but with the mandate of votes, not guns. Yet the similarities ring bells. Why? It is because it is forces and not men that are at play. A minority brace man in guns and a minority man with votes are in a composite power environment tackling the same power distribution and architecture problems.
Now, our tragedy as a people is that we refuse to move on or be moved by scholarship. If we took inspiration from science, especially medicine, we will come to the following revelation. It is certainly clear that as diagnostic instruments and methodologies improve, the causes and natures of our illnesses are most precisely tracked and napped.
Immediately one sharpens his diagnostic tools upon corruption, he comes to the conclusion like we have demonstrated with the research, that corruption is a power not persons function. So power, its gathering and dispersal and distribution architectures, is the basic unit of society. And man is a political animal. And politics is the pursuit and husbanding of power. And corruption happens in the texture and nature of that power, how it is distributed and architected.
That is what explains why Gowon, despite being a dictator and Jonathan a democrat suffer, the same siege. And as we established in our book, the corruption ranking and index of the nations follows its net power architectures and power dispersal densities, net densities.
Immediately this is understood, now of all Nigerian presidents, it is only President Jonathan that has, in fact, has to grant the delegates their powers. He was bound to. He is a brace player. That is Jonathan as a brace power player has returned the powers to the peoples to so architect as they deem fit.
Of all the constitutional conferences, it is on record it is President Jonathan’s that is the most free, without any hidden agenda.
Now, if a people out of their own free will created their own constitution, they will defend it because it is their creation and have a power stake in it
Corruption ensues because Nigerians have been humiliated to live by constitutions manufactured by colonial powers, either as alien colonial invaders or as internal colonizers and coup makers. The last end up authoring constitutions, how we will live our lives.
So, citizens live as aliens in their state and have no sense of stake-holding or belonging in it. To correct this error of construction, all manners of laws, agencies are created. Of course, they all fail. To have a Nigeria corruption-free is not the job of EFCC, ICPC. Those are structures and processes that come in after the act. The genius is to erect a power structure that pre-eliminates or prevents the act. At that point, corruption becomes superfluous and cannot even happen, or will only happen minimally.
Jonathan is the only man that has taken that step in all earnestness to help found a modern Nigeria. A Nigeria made in Nigeria and by Nigerians. Every other Nigeria, no matter how well intentioned that is otherwise made, by guns or by armed political robbers will remain and necessarily, a den of corruption.
What is Nigeria’s two Security Council status and Jonathan’s purported regency postulation
In a recent interview Sun, 10-01-15, Ekwueme said the Igbo have been studiedly minoritized, gerrymandered out of being a majority power bloc. The point is that after the civil war, elements of the victorious allies of the north and the southwest re-architected Nigeria in such a manner that the whole became a tributary of the part, the exclusive Security Council G2 club, of themselves.
The implication of this is that a non-Security Council Nigeria G2 member-citizen is designed out of the power structure. Later, elements in the north interpreted this to mean that federal power was their exclusive preserve and dismissed the southwest from greatness. That was what led to June 12. With the resolution, the southwest was, it appeared, grudgingly re/admitted into the line of imperial/presidency power and succession.
But history or fate blindsided us. And Jonathan happened. And Jonathan, a non-G2 member-citizen, was considered at best a regent, but generally as a usurper. And they just wanted him out. So, all kinds of false and fictional allegations and machinations, including insurgency wars, were fabricated to wrong-foot him. Let cull an example we used in the book. Obasanjo woke up and accused Jonathan of running the most partisan government ever. Of course, the accusation was false. In fact, Jonathan has more than any other leader run Nigeria’s most inclusive government. His only competitor is Gowon, bringing us to the brace realty again.
However, the matter is this. Yar A’dua ascertainably ran the most partisan administration. And Major Abubakar Umar said so with illustrations. Meanwhile, Obasanjo never had the ‘liver’ to accuse YarA’dua.
The question is why? And the answer is that it was a concession he made to YarA’dua, who happens to be a G2 Security Council member-citizen. So when you see some elements in the north say, ‘we want to take our power back’, it is a G2 translation of the Obansajo siege upon Jonathan. And we have warned this nation, justice is more important than nationhood. We are better off with justice and no nation, than otherwise.
And why is Jonathan the most demonised president?
It is a power war. His guilt is he is a minority and not an heir to power as configured by the G2 elements. They want him out like they once wanted Gowon out. It is important to note that Obasanjo was involved as instigator and or beneficiary in both the anti-Gowon and anti-Jonathan sagas.
Between Jonathan and Buhari, who can best apply your power architecture theory to reposition Nigeria for the great nation it aspires to be?
Buhari has a perception problem. May be it has to do with his eyesight or something else. But the point has to be made that if Buhari sees corruption he won’t even know. Buhari’s understanding of corruption is completely antiquated. The very act of concentrating power in one hand at the centre is of itself corruption and or an engenderer of corruption. Corruption issues from a power concentration, not persons at play function. Corruption has nothing or minimally nothing to do with persons; corruption has to do with how power is gathered, distributed and dispersed and architected in a society.
There is no man who, in gathering and congregating power, that cannot be overwhelmed by that power and thus corruption. All Buhari, as all dictators do, is to ‘innocently’ aggregate the powers of a god, which is what dictatorship is, in a human hand. In not being gods, they necessarily turn up monsters. That is, the very act of being a military leader is corruption and or an engenderer of corruption. Libya, North Korea are classic examples of total corruption driven by ‘near divine’ powers.
Jonathan, as a brace power player, is the man to architect Nigeria. Brace players suffer deficits that make them best arbiters in power and value architectures, in composite competitive environments.
In what ways would Fela have campaigned for and voted Jonathan as president as you postulate?
Fela is, if understood, Nigeria’s greatest philosopher. Fela is an originary or axial philosopher. Fela’s ideas, to quote Jasper, a German philosopher, are ideas in statu nascendi, complete in themselves but offering or full of possibilities of development.
Fela’s central thesis is that he was and is a Gutenberg of Nigerian, and nay African, development. Gutenberg was the German inventor (of printing machine) who literally invented modernity. He made mass learning feasible. That is, in a word, the empowerment of all. That is all Fela did. We give examples. Fela was an aristocrat. But to reach the millions, he chose pidgin English. Fela ferociously and at personal risks fought all forms of exclusion, even where he was to gain otherwise. When he sang of ‘army arrangement, paddy paddy government we dey’ he was fighting political and existential exclusion. He bought Mercedes and used it to carry firewood, just to belittle snobbishness and give hope to the millions.
Now, if Fela sensed that Jonathan is being persecuted for being born a minority, he will walk the barricades, play his sax, fighting for the minority man, the brace player. Fela saw Africa, the black man, not Yoruba, not minority. So to Fela, Jonathan is not really Ijaw, but a black man. And that is, he needed to be Nigerian, so why discriminate him, why conflict him?
The G2 want Jonathan dead, politically, for one reason – he is not like them. It is important to note that the G2 is a virulent tendency within a certain but powerful minority of the north and southwest. Their agenda is to keep Nigeria in perpetual state of war and be calling for a unifier; that is themselves!