Since the beginning of the year on January 1, many Nigerians, mainly professional politicians, their cohorts and praise singers have been busy dusting their file bags, cross checking their fat bank accounts, learning new songs, lies and dances, antics and propaganda as well criss-crossing all the nooks and crannies of the country, visiting and consulting individuals and groups who in their estimation, matter in the preparation for a new deadly game they do not know it’s expected outcome and products. That is the game of politics and the wish of political gladiators.
This is sequel to the recent time table of activities as released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). It would be right to say that these gladiators are jumping the gun or rather they are counting their eggs before they are hatched. The struggle is the quest or tussle for power of leadership and our questions are “who are the people we intend to rule or the country to govern? Name it a “Nation at peace or war”. Well, there is this Latin aphorism which says “Si vis pacem bellum para”. The gladiators should be ready to slug it out with the angry, hungry, poverty displaced, homeless, jobless, talakwas of several disenchanted nationalities. What nation are we aspiring or vying to govern? Is it a united or fractionalized Nigeria? Is it Oduduwa Republic, Arewa Republic, Republic of Biafra, Niger Delta Republic, Odua Republic, Islamic Republic of the North East, Boko Haram empire, or the Herdsmen colonized colonies or the Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps?.
There is the Igbo saying that a, “woman who is about to pound palm fruits should first gather her cloth and gird her loins”. This brings to the prime, issue currently starring our leaders in the face, “the state of the nation” which is a point we have to resolve before we launch our proposed electioneering onslaught on the people for there is another Latin dictum which says “Wa mihi locum stare et mundum movebo”. In other words, we have to stabilize the country to balance well, before we can move the world economically, politically or socially based on the natural tripod stand created by two great rivers that split Nigeria to balance on the legs which Nigeria was first founded on and in attempt to avoid disintegration, we forcefully split into 12 and now 36 and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) hence divided we collapse but united we shall stand as a nation of one people.
The issue of restructuring the country politically, geographically and economically no matter what definition is given to it by the agitators or rather canvassers for it from the North East, South East, South West, South/South and even North Central except for the North West and military leaders now in Babanriga. Otherwise greater percentage of the Nigerian populace is demanding for restructuring the nation according to the demands of the people which is the beauty of democracy. We gained political independence on a platter of gold, albeit peacefully from the British colonialists based on the tripod regions which allowed for mutual co-existence, steady growth and economic development according to our resources understanding and united patriotic platform.
It was a slow but steady growth that allowed every Nigerian and ethnic group to grow at our pace and gave us a place of pride among the comity of nations. It was by the consensus of the generality that the fourth region was created and vision, dreams and plans for a middle belt region was mooted before the restive military boys moved out of the barracks to disrupt the moving train. Since then things have not been the same again in Nigeria. First, they created the 12 state structure, now 36 and FCT without due consultation or agreement but out of military fiat and decree. They fought against and later foisted unitary, centralized government on the people without due consultation or consideration of a number of factors including our various levels of education, economic status, general background and other parameters of growth and development.
They merged everything together for their own interest and not for the sake of the ordinary Nigerian. They stumbled on new found black gold which drove them mad to the neglect of Agriculture, the common symbol that brought us to the limelight of the world market. Some regions were famous for cereals, groundnuts, cotton, hides and skin, tin and other material forms and so on. Another region brought wealth to the nation with cocoa, timber, rubber and asphalt while another region had earlier derived its name from its agricultural product; the palm produce. Then there were jobs for all cadres of citizens, artisans, professionals, graduates of all levels and there was dignity in labour while children were proud to be called Nigerians. There was peace, unity and a nation in diversity. In the past 40 years when the military and their supporters imposed their rules and will on us, things have not been the same, hence the clamour for restructuring which has given vent for agitations, protests, militancy, insurgency and various forms of negative attitudes and crimes. If we do not reasonably address the vexing/nagging crisis now, peace and growth will continue to be stunted and we shall remain a slave nation of the world.
It is time we allowed the various groups, class or interests to choose what is good for them and for the unity and equality of citizens, no matter their class, religion or tribe. Our common interest is Nigeria. Brain drain will persist, migration, will and loss of national pride will be eroded, until we allow the people the freedom to choose the format of the association they need. There is need to stabilize the country, unify the people and thus, making them patriotic citizens as well as responsible, and willing people, under one umbrella.
It is time we harnessed our natural and diverse human resources, according to our needs and locations for the common good of all making allowance for the rule of manmade and divine laws. We are not the only multilingual ethnic or religious nation but we are one people of God like India, America, South East Asia and England. Soldiers, politicians, religious, or traditional leaders, traders, professionals, artisans, farmers, herdsmen etc, we must all learn to salvage the country to give a meaning and peace a chance for the 2019 election.