WHERE WILL NIGERIA BE TOMORROW ? By TONY ABOLO

 

The Oasis Reporters



December 30, 2020



The death pangs of the Nigerian nation as we have always known it, is all so patent. It is the Supremacists and the Northern Cabal that have chosen to ignore all the warning signals, preferring to keep acting and feigning ignorance either because they are bidding their time in order to finally execute their now well known “Hidden Agenda” or in their traditional mental approach to things, driven by their religion and cultural history to treat the Nation like they have always handled the North, ever since the colonial times-poor, uninformed, beggarly and largely uneducated.




By acting dumb, as they in the cabal have chosen, the calls for Restructuring have never been more strident than now. Rising from a recent meeting, on Wednesday, November 4th, 2020, a Coalition of Southern, Middle Belters, South Easterners and the Afenifere proclaimed in no uncertain tone that “You cannot dictate to us any more”. It has never happened that such rebuff or angry retort has ever come out of the group against the arrogance of the Northern power bloc. It shows the dice is cast. And it means there could be tougher rhetoric going forward.


The angry statement was made in reaction to a deeply flawed sectional meeting held by Northern Governors and Northern Traditional rulers. To rankle the South, in the meeting was the Inspector General of Police, National Security Adviser, the Chief of Staff to the President and the garrulous Minister of Information.

The Meeting was called at the instance of the Cabal who had their own nefarious reasons. The Communiqué said it all. All #EndSars protests must end. Social media would be regulated or possibly banned or heavily monitored. It is nothing unusual from the ethnically skewed governments from the North to hold such provocative meetings.

For how could a section of the country hold a “crucial meeting” at the end of the nationwide #“EndSars” protests and it is being ethnicised and sectionalized?

And then most offensive, was the arrogant Communiqué issued as threats to the Southern part of the country. It only reveals the jaundiced and irredentist reasoning of the average core North just to maintain how they hold the rest of the country in disdain.

What could be under the presumption of their imagined reasoning for the #EndSARS protests as a Southern propelled regime change agenda? In other words, the “South” for all its elastic meaning of the “others”, want Buhari out, instead of the clearly stated demand for good governance clearly unlike what the organisers of the “Sectional” meeting stated was the end game of the youth and #EndSARS protests.


Precisely because they, in the cabal are acting as if they are a superior partner, Nigeria for all we care, has never been more polarized, more riveted on ethnic and religious sentiments as it has been under Buhari.

And whether they, in the cabal see it or not, the country is under-led and under-performing, and over-borrowing without any tangible results to show for all the indebtedness. And there is so much hunger, injustice and mismanagement all over the Nation.

And hence the #EndSARS protests and all the destructions, anger and looting that followed, were seen as justified uprising by the youths who have never been regarded in the scheme of things, never looked up as assets in the nation, and never cared for with love. It has been this aloof style and “Emir suzerainty style” of governance that has been the hallmark of Nigerian leadership. Inclusiveness have never been their forte. Not surprising though.

The North particularly does not consider itself, Nigerian. They are more comfortable with loving, and being regarded as “Northerners”. Perhaps, it is more in their DNA, to love the Fulanis, dispersed throughout West Africa, who are their kit and kin and who they would love to be with, as blood relatives. Little wonder then, it is nothing to the Cabal to talk down on Southerners, and the others, appropriate every key top positions, fritter the nation’s resources and prefer they excise from the rest of the country at some not too distant point in time. This again is historical.


This is why the minimum reductionist position that the “others” PANDEF, Middle Belt, Ohaneze and Afenifere are asking for is a deliberate return to the 1963 constitution, a true Federalism position, with a maximum devolution of powers to the agreed Federating units. This it is canvassed will obviate and put to rest the 1999 Unitary Constitution of the departing military which has left us in disrepute and hegemonical misgovernance with its 68 Exclusive List of this “Federal Unitary Government”.

And why is the cry for a return to 1963 insistent? It is to lift us out of our present abominable and degenerative domain of poverty; Nigeria being the poverty capital of the world!!!


And speaking of misgovernance, it is depressing and thoughtless that we are now borrowing from everywhere, China, UK and now Brazil in order to service debts and not to improve the economy.

The recalcitrant cabal would rather it continues, with its skewed resource allocation and a perpetuation of a system that in all material particular, enhances in the words of Chief Guy Ikokwu, in Vanguard October 26th 2020:
“Corruption, insecurities, negation of the rule of law, nepotistic and non-inclusive (governance), a sectarian and clueless governance systems, unaccountable and fraudulent financial manipulations of public servants, which have reduced Nigeria to the poverty capital of the world”.


Despite a Northern Elders Forum call for restructuring, having seen that the Nigerian State is failing in its two basic functions – serving the citizens and providing for their welfare, the cabal would rather steam roll Federal Members to move around the Country to market not peace, reaching out to the youths, creating employments, cutting down on public expenditures and seeking measures to bolster and save the economy, but to market – a proposed long discarded Social Media Bill.

In whose interest is it, but the Cabal, this “Federal Unitary Government”, their 2023 agenda and their firmer grip on power, oblivious that the horse has bolted out of the stable. And come to think of it, has the 1914 Amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates and Lagos Colony not expired since 2014, by the effluxion of time, as Guy Ikokwu asks? Why this recast of nothing, that exists on nothing?

The South, Middle betters, South Easterners, Ohaneze and Afenifere are now poised to take up the Government, in a position, which I have always subscribed to; that Nigeria MUST Restructure before the next elections in 2023. Since the core North is not interested in the continuation of the Union and they have made governance always awkward and unproductive, let us then split up the Nation in whatever way restructuring is interpreted. It is recommended then, that the South and Middle Belt insist on restructuring as it is the main reason, the Country is not developing. Because of the unprogressive and uncooperative North, Leadership has been in deficit, Knowledge, Science and Research are never promoted, Politics and Power have been over played to the detriment of development.


And to make a mockery of the Northern Governors and their backers, the Northern ‘Cabal’, the youths in the North are screaming that their desires and needs for opportunities, employment, inclusiveness in governance were not addressed at that “”sectional meeting” in early November, 2020. Rather, the meeting was, in the typical fashion of the military style of governance which the North is more accustomed to and comfortable with, more intent on restrictive measures on the access on social media. The Youths in the North are revolting already, as they see it as a ploy to keep the North in perpetual subjugation, move the North deeper into the recesses of ignorance, push for a clamp down on freedom of speech and take the country back into the recesses of the 16th century.

But sadly, if only the so called Cabal members and the Supremacists were any wiser, they could have derived some lessons from the #EndSARS ” protests and see the outcome as a need to resolve the anger and restiveness of the Nation’s youth and propel the nation to a greater height.

It is unfortunate that the cabal is imprisoned by its own “agenda” and focus on, domination of the other ethnic Nations, its desire to still hold on to power in 2023 and beyond. But like James Baldwin’s book title suggests, it could be “Fire the next time”.
The Northern youths under the aegis of the Coalition of Nation Youths (CNG) decried what they said was a disappointment that:
“Such a meeting of Northern Governors and traditional leaders, elected representatives and top Federal Government officials from the North should find it more important to dwell on EndSARS and social media, (while) neglecting the more serious issues of security, youth restiveness, unemployment, poverty, dwindling, unemployment, poverty, dwindling fortunes of agriculture and general economic decline”

The #EndSARS protests may not be over, contrary to what we read from the Presidency which is vowing that they would never allow #EndSARS, as if they have the power to control the human mind and volition. It is going to mutate.

The Northern youths are even saying that Northern leaders may suffer worse attacks, if #“EndSARS” goes on a higher notch. Meanwhile, the Southern youths are bristling and re-strategizing on what steps to take next.

Southern leaders are hell bent on driving down the restructuring agenda as it is the only way for freedom and hopefully salvaging Nigeria, if any one still cares.

The Genie is out of the bottle. Nigeria will never be the same going forward. It will be mere conflict ridden. More polarized between the North and the South. They may be no more compromises or middle ground.

The coercive powers of the North, acquired through subterfuge by defying the Federal Character principle will come into play as they have all the Military, Police, Judiciary and Legislative powers at their beck and call. The South and Middle Belters have some choices. More disruptions. More civil disobedience. More doubling down on driving through restructuring and hope that we restructure for a better Union and a better country.

And above all, the South may link up with the progressive section of the North to convince the core North that a better Country is a restructured, fairer, more just and prosperous Nigeria.

And where would the more visionary leaders come from the South, or North now that the youth are keen on taking the future in their hands and the South and Middle belters are in a bellicose mood? It is all up in the air – as nothing is given. The future is ominous.





Tony Abolo was one time BBC Correspondent in Brussels and retired University lecturer of Mass Communication. He is a Public Relations consultant.

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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