The Oasis Reporters
January 4, 2018
Nigerians are all concerned about the same things at this point in our national history. Our concerns today revolves basically on how to develop a collective sense of responsibility, be imbued with an enthusiasm and a spirit of morality, justice, fairness as these would enable each and every one of us to have the human capacity to develop this nation of ours.
Unless the youth of today have the gumption and the morality needed to focus, there neither would be development nor a country called, Nigeria.
I wonder why some of us are so naïve and fail to learn from history.
Where is Athens and the old Grecian Empire?
Where is the Roman Empire?
Where is Egypt of the Pharaohs?
Where is Benin Empire?
Where is Yugoslavia?
Where is the Soviet Union?
All gone, and into oblivion and into history.
Why do you then think that Nigeria cannot be history?
With the way of historic injustices of 57 years in Nigeria, a rapacious Hausa- Fulani hegemony, a spineless and a political class lacking in morals and social conscience, with institutional decay everywhere and total lack of capacity – human and institutional in the country, a feeling of negation and a fervent talk of restructuring, Nigeria can be history.
It is fool hardy to resort to the foolish religious attitude of “God forbid”!!
Because all signs of a failed state are all present in Nigeria of 2017.
What is a failed state?
According to Britanica.com, a failed state is a state that is unable to perform two fundamental functions of the sovereign nation – state in the modern world system namely;
It cannot project authority over its territory and peoples and
It cannot protect its national boundaries.
In effect, a failed state is composed of feeble and flawed institutions.
If any one of us must have the courage to speak the truth, which institution in Nigeria can stand up to the scrutiny of perfection standards?
Is it the CBN?
Is it the Police?
Is it the Army?
Is it the Judiciary?
Is it the Religious churches?
Is it the Presidency?
Is it the Governors?
Is it the Legislators – Federal and States?
Is it the Local Governments?
Is it the Traditional Institutions?
Is it the ordinary Nigerians?
Is it the elite Nigerians?
Is it the APC?
Is it the PDP or any other political party?
Nigerians, we must be sincere. We are a total failure as a people and as a nation. We lack the character, the aptitude and the fibre and capacity to succeed; For now, success is NOT IN OUR CHARACTER.
Little wonder we all are in stress and distress and keep saying that Nigeria is not working – even after fourteen regimes since independence and after 57 years of floundering and crawling!!
If ever you needed evidences of a failed state, a failed government and a failing people, two hard hitting examples will convince you.
Were you able to access cash easily at the ATMs in the last yuletide season?
Last three years, at same December time, we were left in confusion as to why. Last two years, in 2016, in December month, it was, as they said, because of MMM.
And now in 2017, what shall we say?
It is indeed a systemic thing arising from how we manage our cash, cashless systems, banks end of year, which happens at the same time and how we manage crisis and forecast behavior and reactions.
Then – fuel crisis, which since 1978 is now an annual; at yuletide and Easter time seasons.
It is as a result of a nation that fails to plan in all facets of its life, but loves to manage its institutions in an ad hoc fashion.
Believe it or not, these same cash dispensing problems and fuel crisis would occur next year. It is beyond APC and PDP issue. It is the Nigerian who has neither competency nor capacity even to run his or her life, but who at the word – ‘Ambition’ wants to be a President or a Governor when he or she has no cognate experience, education, capacity and competency.
Whether you want to admit or not, those who end up being our Presidents can hardly run an effective Local Government Administration and many of those who are Governors can hardly run an efficient company or organization. This is not to talk of a multitude of Legislators who may hardly qualify to be excellent house helps. We have persons in the highest levels of public sector governance who just muddy the waters, mess up everything and leave all of us in utter disaster.
It is getting clearer to many of us that it is not running from PDP to APC to APGA to UPDC or any of the million political parties that will resolve where we are. We are in a mortal crisis. It is about you, your children and children’s children.
How can, for example, any sane group of people ever hunger for recycled leaders?
Obasanjo was a military Head of State, then recycled to a civilian President.
Buhari was a military Head of state, then recycled to a civilian President. Then with him at 79, those rabid Buharedeens want him to run our lives till he is 84.
Is Nigeria Zimbabwe? Are we looking for Mugabe? Why not then import Robert Mugabe who is 90, now that he is out of job and in retirement to come to run the next 2019 elections in Nigeria?
Are we saying in a country of 180.4 million people with brilliant egg heads, we have no choices?
Like someone posted on what’s app –
“In a country with Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Professor Utomi, Professor Soludo, Dangote, Tony Elumelu, Jim Ovia etc, so we have no more choice other than “Buhari” or “Atiku”?”
Can you see that we have been reduced to rags, with our best minds working outside of the country and in Ivy League Institutions in the western world?
We are left with our worst to lead us – and where are they leading us to?
The major reason why so many of us, the young ones especially have no idea of what government and governance is all about is because of the hood that is covering many young eyes. Perhaps, it is not their fault, having been brought up under the concept of African Democracy ,which is- Government OFF the people, BUY the people, and FORCE the people!!!!
Government is a concept. It has come a long way in terms of organization, processes, functions and purposes. But by bottom line definition, it is a functional set up with the authority to actualize the common aspirations of the people and for the common good. We have only acquired the concept of Governance from Europe and America and set it up for a different purpose in Nigeria.
In Nigeria, Governments have authority but the last thing they want to do is to seek our common aspirations and worse still, seek our common good. In Nigeria, if your business has failed or will soon fail, you rush into politics and government, and like the Penticostalists would say – “Your life would never be the same again”.
What has made the Nigerian case worse has been the over 57 years incursion of the Hausa-Fulani hegemonic culture and traditions into Nigerian governance. First it was gradual, and now under Buhari, it is a brazen take over. The entire security architecture and electoral architecture is in the Hausa – Fulani hands. They have the government and the real power – not APC.
Oyegun from Edo state is the party chairman but what can he influence to Edo State?
Because he has no power, no influence and he is far from government. This is why I laugh at the ignorant people celebrating him only recently, as an ICON.
The joke is on us, because many of our today young ones have no clue as to how the Hausa- Fulani loves and uses power.
The Hausa Fulani in nature are Feudalists and not Democrats. They are like the Persians and Arabs who are monarchical and authoritarian. They brook no opposition. They love torture which must be endured to prove character. And they use subterfuge and lies to acquire power. And when you reject them, at the religious level, they besiege you with a Jihad.
In our political setting, the equivalent of a jihad is that they set the herdsmen with AK 47 and bombs on us all, the infidels and “rebels”.
Now you can understand better, why your arguments on restructuring will never be accepted. Why, with the TSA, money will never be available in the system, under the guise of fighting corruption. And why there is so much suffering and hunger in the land. It is not only a military option of treating a conquered people, it is the Hausa – Fulani way to bring you into submission. Remember despite years of Northern Hausa – Fulani power domination, there is entrenched poverty in the North.
Poverty is an instrument of power domination in war and in the North. And now that the Feudalists are in power, and as long as they hold on to power, poverty will be spread throughout Nigeria. It is a deliberate policy.
What we fail also to understand is that there are power blocks that present us with a fait accompli that make democracy impossible. There is the Northern cabal that is not willing to cede power and pretend to co-opt the Southern wing of fake democrats. Chief among the Southern wing is Chief Aremu Obasanjo who pursues his unending self interest and is the co-ordinator of the military wing of the retired armed forces members in politics. That cabal, picks and chooses who is acceptable to them to be in power and who best can protect their secrets and interests.
But because we confuse his ‘self’ with ethnic coloration, we think he is a Yoruba. He is an avowed ‘society man’, who in our eyes is a Christian and a Yoruba but indeed is a Northern points man. He happens happily for him, to be a former General. He is the points man for the North in the South West an advantage which he uses to protect his personal power and self aggrandizement intentions. In return for making him twice a Head of State, he would do anything to serve the North in order to protect his unaccountable wealth. Thrice, he has disappointed us and we are yet to discover the enemy within. He rejected Obafemi Awolowo and gave us the 122/3 theory, which was a feudal judgment that is a non precedent, thus depriving us of a “President that Nigeria never had”.
He came up with a sickly and dying Musa Y’ardua, when he clearly knew it would not fly. And he gave us Jonathan – an inexperienced man.
Why should decent Nigerians still listen to him? He is telling us, Atiku is not it.
Who is he to choose for 180.4 million Nigerians? He is just one of us, not wiser, nor more knowledgeable. Who is he to decide?
Then we have the local cabals. Osokpikan, Asigidi, Versatile 6, Ogboni, Reformed Ogboni fraternities, all these are groupings that do not allow genuine persons from participating in the political and electoral process except you are a member. It therefore means, if you join an existing political party, excepting if you are a member of these cult groups, you cannot even achieve a nomination into an elective positions nor even belong or ascend into an enviable political position.
Too many of us are being shut out, out of position of political participation which means, our capacity to effect change in the system is near impossible.
We have a choice. Watch Nigeria descend into chaos from the sidelines or act to bring about the change we desire. To stay unengaged and apolitical cannot be a choice. It is a dangerous option.
To make it difficult for young people to make the change we need, the management of the economy has ensured according to the current statistics from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics – from the ages of 15 – 37 years , 85 million youth are jobless in Quarter 3. Since 21 months now, WHICH IS INDICATING (2016-2017), 7.9 million Nigerians are out of job and in year 2017, 4 million persons are out of job.
In all of this, must we wait in the classical Nigerian manner that God will help us?
That is an ignorant way. Everything we need to make a change is here. Knowledge, courage, network are all available. What we need is the will to act. We cannot wait anymore.
We need information, awareness and the critical mass of persons – of young persons who believe in a better country to bring about the change we need. Unless we act, nothing is about to happen. God is not necessarily coming to change anything.
Think of it. In another 20 years, all of you here would be the 50, 60, 70 years old Edo and Nigerian citizens.
So what will happen if you do not take a decision today? Nigeria would only get worse, not better. “We are the change”, according to Barrack Obama, “that we want to see”.
The dangers are all there.
On an average, from University of Benin, 3000 Edolites graduate, BIU, 3000, Ekpoma, 3000, Iyamho 3000, Iguoriakhi, 1000, Usen, 2000, Ekiadolor 2000, Igueben, 1000 – an average of 20,000 Edolites annually pour on the streets jobless. In ten years time, that is 200,000 jobless Edolites which would include your cousins and children.
Are you surprised that Libya did not happen by chance? It was an issue unaddressed for 30 years.
Are you then going to leave Edo State and Nigeria to fester without directions in another 2 years time? It clearly requires you to act now. It is not going to come from APC or PDP or any of the current political party’s solution, as none of them has any solution in sight. We then could contemplate the Egyptian model that toppled Mubarak. It was the ordinary people, fuelled by the Egyptian intellectuals that made it possible.
Or we can contemplate the Tunisian model, where one by one, we self immolate at the public square.
Written by Tony Abolo.
Tony Abolo is a seasoned broadcaster, and he was at a time, BBC Correspondent in Brussels, BBC Producer, University lecturer, Public Relations Consultant and Broadcast Trainer.