THE DARK GRIPS… BUT WE CAN BREAK IT UP!
I woke up this morning, telling myself that I should try and find something positive about Nigeria and this administration over the past few years.
Hard as I tried, it’s now 3pm local time and I can’t figure anything out or find a reason to be positive.
We’ve been on a fast Olympic sledge downward slide. Everywhere you look, we’ve just lost it. Barely surviving as individuals and as a nation. What’s worse, the silent mute endurance is heart wrenching a d intimidating.
The death rate is far surprisingly surpassing the birth rates. Health and wealth has declined to a level we can’t approximate. The once raucous citizenry has been so brow bitten that we hardly recognize ourselves in the mirror.
The State and regional governments are overwhelmed, indebted and powerless in the face of a growing restlessness. The Federal government appears to be on sabbatical or as some think absconded. We have a dark mural of pain painted across the faces of my fellow citizens.
Life in Nigeria has become cheap. Short. Brutish and equivalent to an unconvertible valueless 100 Kobo.
As the security situation unravels, we are not protected or hopeful. One simply prays daily that you WON’T BE REMEMBERED BY THE DARK FORCES OF EVIL.
Where is the Government we “ELECTED?” Or rather where is the government that “FOISTED” themselves on us? Promising us above all things SECURITY of lives and properties? We don’t have that and the signs are not pointing to our having that soon. Corruption was promised to be stampede out immediately they take over, they failed but succeeded in corrupting everything including the COURTS, our supposed last bastion of JUSTICE AND EQUITY. We have regressed back to the Abacha years I suppose.
During the Abacha years, we at least knew what to expect. Now we are clueless. In the dark and not sure what the next hour will bring. Draconian laws and Lawlessness rules us and an Achebesque “Things fall Apart… The center cannot hold”, situation reigns.
WHAT’S TO BE DONE? We are faced with this famous question, asked over a hundred years ago by Vladimir Illyich Lenin, under circumstances close to what we have today in Nigeria.
I have a few views but not an answer to our numerous questions.
FIRST, Nigeria has ticked all the boxes of a failed State. Hence a need to treat our problems as such. Since there is no real power at the center, anymore to deal with the matters that matter, we should begin to understand that it’s time, the Regions or Federating units as it were should begin their own quick HOUSEKEEPING.
SECOND, The Traditional National Conference approach, which sees us strolling to Abuja for solutions which never comes should stop. All solutions should be sought locally first and then through direct inter regional cooperation and support.
Nigerian National Security is a misnomer. There is no Nigerian National Security plan. If any exists, it’s only on paper and hardly resonates with the people. We should start a slow but steady dismantling of the Security Architecture as we know it today. The IGP’s [Inspector General of Police] since 1970 has been a desktop decoration with barely any idea what and how to inspect, Police or any form of protection. A recognition of men in Police uniform, which has bred incompetence, promoted partisanship and entrenched tribalism in a force that should be neutral. Security, as all politics should be LOCAL. We have and will continue failing with this top down command approach to policing. The State Governors, who are called Chief security officers of their respective states are not even in control of any rank and file police man in his state. We must take back our Security. From Manpower, planning, objectives, involvements and participation. What policing we get today is a pay as you go arrangement, where only those who can pay, gets nominal protection.
THIRD, The most efficient and effective solution to the problem of National unity is to create, grow and maintain local businesses. Money is not a measure of wealth. It is only a tool of expression. Wealth is measure by Creativity, innovation, production and Services which when aggregated builds up the welfare and comfort of a larger part of the nation. We must start the process across the South East and South South, interfacing constantly with the South West, to help entrench the culture of productivity, promote economic independence, and redirect focus on the ground levels of our respective communities.
Nigeria has become a graveyard of noble ideas. A wasteland created out of the dead bones of men and women brutally killed by the cruelty, myopic leadership and nervous mismanagement of our very limited resources by illiterate itinerant journeymen usurpers and Dictators. Any quest to reform it will be like bandaging a cancerous leg. Ultimately it will fail.
Some would think another round of elections, where we choose new leaders and granting some concessions to some will resolve the problems. Sadly, but truly, it won’t. The problem is the structure and nature of our Federation. The other one is that there isn’t, has never been any culture of nationhood and leadership in Nigeria. Which is why no matter who you elect, choose or who foists himself on us, nothing really changes. More so, there has never been any Actionable attempt at glasnost and democratization of the nation to allow for an opportunity to build on it.
Economic freedom and Independence of each region is the way to go. Every part of Nigeria trades with each other. No matter how much we hate our individual religions, politics and world view, trade and services still flows both ways. When each builds and solidifies what they have, an economic pact that would coalesce into a union in the long run will emerge.
Political arrangements should and must be renegotiated to accommodate each’s peculiarities and culture, traditions and way of life. ANY OTHER WAY WILL LEAD BACK TO THE DARKNESS WE ALL WISH TO ESCAPE FROM.
Let’s take back our communities. Let’s take back our souls. Let’s reach beyond the scope we’ve been forced to see a d embrace a totally new way and WE SURELY CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN!
©️Ireke A Kalu Onuma
April 9, 2021