NIGERIA NOT A NATION YET.
by Chucks Ugbor
NIGERIA NOT A NATION YET.
Let us agree that the geographical area called Nigeria is not a nation yet, and let us honestly identify and define the problems that make it a geographical area and not a nation as to build a formidable, progressive and united nation. The assertion above maybe deemed by some Nigerians as a provocative assumption, which I know former Heads of State. ex-Presidents, political scientists, political elites, constitutional and legal experts including academics, to mention but a few, would not hesitate to jump upon as to exhibit academic brilliance, which does not solve our problems as a people nor does it make Nigeria a nation without all the attributes and characteristics of such established nations we find in other continents.
Many attempts to bring the numerous ethnic nationalities together by various previous federal governments have remained abortive, because there has not been any serious identification and definition of our ‘nationhood’ problems.
Blames, accusations and finger-pointing have remained the order of the day and the political leaders and politicians profited so much by seeing the nation divided so that they –“the political elites” - can continue to loot the public treasury at the detriment of the poor masses.
There may be arguments for and against the Federal Character, Rotational leadership systems of governance and appointments, but I argue that it is only the best solution for now that Nigeria cannot be called a nation.
The nation building process has not taken off, neither did the previous governments pay any serious attention to nation building, rather they all used the slogan of ‘ONE NIGERIA’ as a propaganda tool which remained inefficient because of corruption, selective judgment, nepotism, favoritism, ethnicity and religious bias. The Federal system has so far not worked out satisfactorily, there had been many agitations of cheating, negligence, and marginalization etc.
Many of the ethnic nationalities and/or minorities had one time or the other accused the previous governments of socio-economic injustice, political exclusion and so on.
What we lack in Nigeria are True Federalism, Social Justice, Equity, and a practiced Rule of Law.
To me, it is a hypocritical sermon of ‘Unity’, ‘one Nigeria’, and I make bold to assert that as long as Nigerians especially the political elites deceitfully deny that we have problems in terms of national unity, the longer the desired patriotism, unity and development will continue to elude us.
It is emphatically imperative that a true reconciliation process, fairness and socio-economic justice find a space in our political agenda as to address the short-falls of misrepresentation, marginalization, and inequality in the pursuit of the long eluded nation–building exercise. Presumably
at the end of the nation-building exercise all Nigerians will feel free to practice their civil rights, to live anywhere in the country, practice their religion, enjoy freedom of speech, and movement as entrenched in our constitution, without fear or favour.
Nigeria with her abundant human and natural resources is a potential World Power, and Nigeria remains the envy of the rest of the world. What we lack is Unity! A United Nigeria would be a blessing to the Black Race worldwide, to Africa and Nigerians in particular.
To my candid opinion, the more the delay to address these issues of nation –building, the more the unity of Nigeria and patriotism will remain a day dream.
The avoidance of the teaching and learning from the civil war of 1967-1970, June 12, 1992 saga etc. will not help the present day Nigeria nor in the future. The World Wars I and II are remembered as to teach those who were then unborn a lesson and I do not see the rationality behind the reasons given by those who propose otherwise.
The present Buhari led APC administration should endeavor to include nation-building into its political agenda as the administration purses its fight against corruption, security challenges like Boko-Haram insurgency, Education, Socio-Economic growth, Health Care, and Infra-structure, to mention but a few. We should remember the Buhari’s ‘WAR AGAINST INDISCIPLINE’ of 1980s and the success scored nationwide when Nigerians to my mind became law abiding for the first time after the civil war.
Each Leadership and its government has the good and the bad sides of their administration, including the military rule or dictatorship.
We should put together ALL the ‘Good Policies’ of the past governments into our national development plan and avoid discarding good policies for selfish and irrational reasons, if at all we want to develop like other nations. I would like to mention some of them such as ‘Obasanjo’s Green Revolution-Operation feed the nation’, IBB’s Birth Control Programme – maximum of 4 children per a family’ etc. and many other good policies of past administrations.
To re-build the geographical area called Nigeria into a United Nigeria called a Nation is a task Buhari’s led administration must accomplish, without any lame excuses.
The earlier President Buhari spear- heads the Task of Nation building the better for Nigeria and Nigerians, any further delay can be very devastating to all of us who pride ourselves as Nigerians all over the world. President Buhari write your name in Gold now and let history remember you till eternity
Management Consultant and a Human rights activist based in Austria.