The restructuring we must seek, is the one that places the rights and interests of the citizens, over and above the narrow interests of our political overlords…
I thank you for the kind words, and the overwhelmingly positive responses so far. I am greatly encouraged, and you have my word that I will not turn tail, or blink, in the coming battles that must be won to assure a future for our children, and our nation.
There is a common thread that has ran through the responses I have received since this awakening. Helplessness. I have not received any communication mails or calls disagreeing with the sentiments being shared, but I have been inundated with different handwringing and the constant query has been; what can we do?
Human history is replete with tales of how nations rose above the limitations of their environments, and sometimes, their circumstances, to attain their manifest destinies. We are not without options, and our oppressors’ greatest weapon, is the intellectual indolence occasioned by the all encompassing poverty that has become our lot in Nigeria. Material poverty predisposes man to predatory leadership, what dooms him however, is intellectual impoverishment. We are only truly imprisoned, when our minds are bound by existential pursuits such as the rat race the Nigerian is forced to run by reason of our very citizenship.
This awakening is crucial because those who have long held us bound, have began the groundwork for the next phase of our total enslavement, and if we are not to acquiesce and become complicit in our own rape, we must wake up, arm ourselves with knowledge, and be prepared before they come.
The political and economic elites have all come to agree that the system is broken, and in need of a fix. You would be hard pressed to find any sane Nigerian, who would disagree with these conclusions, but this is as far as the agreements go. The substance of the change sought by the political and economic leadership of our country, differs significantly from the one being sought by the citiizens.
“I sit on a man’s back choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am sorry for him and wish to lighten his load by all means possible…except by getting off his back” Leo Tolstoy, could very well have been discussing the Nigerian situation, and it is up to the oppressed to throw off the oppressor. In the pursuit of our emancipation as a people, it is important that we understand the issues, educate those who may not know, be open to unlearning the lies and assumptions we have long been fed, and be prepared to embrace new ideas.
We voted to birth a new country in 1993. The possibilities of that new country were so scary to the beneficiaries of the old state, that they without regard to the wishes of Nigerians of all tribes and creed, killed it at birth. St’ Matthews of Owu was deployed to explain how Nigerians in their millions mistook the signs, and how Abiola, wasn’t the messiah. He might very well have been right, but we also are comfortable in the knowledge that the Ebora of Owu, was anything but.
In place of a new nation, we were shortchanged and “power shift” was foisted on us with the unique incongruity of an unrepentant OBJ, the main beneficiary of that wuruwuru. We know how that went.
When OBJ realized that he had wasted 8yrs and achieved nothing enduring, he initiated his moribund tenure elongation games, and it only ended after he was defeated by the will of the people, and the resolute opposition of the victims of his imperial presidency. Power did not shift from where it has always resided, it remains in the hands of whoever the shitstem elects to entrust it with, and the unfortunate truth that Buhari’s ascent to power should prove, is that until the system is changed, a mere change in personnel, will not deliver us to the promised land.
Buhari’s candidacy was marketed as the antidote to the madnesses afflicting our land, and you would have been pardoned if you thought that the messiah had come. After all, St’ Matthews joined forces with the jagaban to endorse his candidacy to a people starved of hope by the years endured under GEJ. Only the naive would be surprised that nothing has changed except the ongoing circuses of anti-corruption that serves no purpose beyond the distraction of our people. I make bold to say that what the Buhari government is doing, is a selective pursuit of perceived enemies, and the selective nature of his exertions, belies their true intentions. A ringworm curing exercise at the expense of the leprosy that continues to fester.
That the system has become unsustainable should be glaring to all thinking beings, and the capacity of the Nigerian elite for self-preservation, is unrivaled. The new mantra in our nation, is restructuring. The stark choices we have to make in the face of the obvious unsustainability of our current system, has made seeming radicals of otherwise sedate and conservative voices. Atiku has talked, Gen. Alani Akinrinade, has railed, the brain in Aso Rock has had his say, it is my belief, that the citizens also need to be heard.
Every system is designed to achieve set goals and objectives. The Nigerian system was not designed for the greater good, of the greater number of her citizens, it is a system designed to maximize the powers and advantages of a few, over most; colonial in its outlook and quest for the exploitation of the masses, for the benefits and advantages of a few. It’s beneficiaries are Nigerians, and that is why it cannot be called colonialism, and its membership cut across tribal land religious lines. Tribal affiliations and religion, are only dredged up, when our colonists, wishes to divide us in order to conquer us.
The restructuring we must seek, is the one that places the rights and interests of the citizens, over and above the narrow interests of our political overlords. It is obvious that in the coming winter, we cannot have a governmental structure as unwieldy as the one we currently operate; 36 states, 36 imperial governors, 36 state legislative houses, 36 set of commissioners, and 36 different levels of madnesses. That Nigeria cannot go on in our current fashion, is a self-fulfilling prophecy, but that this political class must not be trusted to determine the content and spirit of that restructuring, is also imperative.
First published 28 July, 2016.