FEARS OF A BROKEN NIGERIA IN THE FACE OF THESE AGITATIONS

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It is unlike the normal Nigerians, who at times keep quiet over certain political conflicts and poor implementation of the manifesto promised by the past and present administration, the wake of other troubling political scenes and social deterioration, have begun to provoke every sensible Nigerian either to speak out or write in tears their horrendous experiences every day.

The usual conception of ‘it will get better, has been tortured by the countless killings and ejection of indigenous occupants of so many towns out from their homes. Uninterestingly, the vehicle of peace has been taken away from Nigeria with the installation of anarchy and carnage heavily mounted at various locations of the State. And for a country, that is politically governed by religious acrobatics and bias, it gets unpleasant to witness the scores of people who die out of security tensions, and the death of constitutional rights, the individual thus, has begun to employ certain measures in order to safeguard themselves, whereas a good number of other citizens are swallowed by fear and uncertainties.

The problem with present Nigeria may not be necessarily the issue of leadership, as Achebe once stated in his book ‘The Trouble with Nigeria’. Why the Nation called Nigeria often fails as populated by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson are when the Government look away from the predominant cultural differences and religious sects that pitch their tent in the country. Daron and Robinson articulated two types of institutions: extractive — aimed at excluding the majority of society from the process of political decision-making and income distribution, and inclusive — aimed at including the widest possible strata of society in economic and political life. And in the absence of these pluralistic political institutions, achieving Federal peace, security and sustainable development, will be impossible. It should not be taken for granted that the political understanding of a Northerner is unfortunately different from someone in the Southeast, because the country as a Democratic institution, is yet to see the realities of this segment. It could be however the reason why the various calamities punching the legs of the Nation, which include the suffocation of particular interest of others who are politically excluded keep making rounds. When there are fractions of people, who are deliberately extracted from political appointments, conversations on the economy, social cohesion and educational growths and most notably security knowledge, it becomes inimical that popular opinions would begin to centre on one phase of people. This exacerbates the situation of the country and draws the bars of its profound advancement to dust. 

Many states in Nigeria has been experiencing a cold war, which became very prominent lately after the stale attempt of certain unidentified gunmen and the soldiers. However, it can always be traced that the present government has been quiet over the complicating security lapses, which frequently has overwhelmed the citizens of the Nation. For an administration that guaranteed the security of her citizens, and later on, turned to feed on the blood of her citizens is quite a hostile change. The recent security crisis has initiated a terrible feeling for everyone who lives in the country. While the poor security system has frozen the movement of the people from one state to another thereby providing little access for marketers to convey their goods to many places of sales, it also posed a horrible danger on the lives of those who are professional workers in the country. And this has forced people living around the auspices of Orlu, Owerri, Onitsha, Awka, Enugu, Abakaliki and Aba either to work from their comforts or going back home as early as possible, in order to bypass the incessant shooting.

The former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan once remarked when he was addressing the issues between Palestine and Gaza that “the present conflict in that part of the world can never be resolved by nations and institutions taking sides. It can only be resolved by those living within the borders of Israel and Palestine taking time to understand each other until they come to a place where they can coexist, co-prosper and eventually cooperate”. This means, that as far as the Government of Nigeria does not put to stop to the sponsoring of a certain group of people equipped with arms and directed to fight a minority group in the country, the continuous records in the killings, may not end. For that to happen, what is needed, in the immediate term, is a ceasefire, followed by massive confidence building on both sides, Goodluck hinged.

Recently in Anambra, one of the states in the Eastern region of the country, the various communities in Ekwusigo Local Government, have been spending their nights outside their homes. The report also stated that a certain group of people invaded the local community and have started terrorising them with guns and fearful arms. If you recall, in 2018, the said community experienced such devastating effects and there was no word from any of the country leaders. A few words which appear like icing sugar, came from the state Governor, maybe because he feels that his silence may define a collection of negligence and would worsen his political career. Ibrahim Babangida, tweeted a few weeks ago one of the comments of Sani Abacha that ” any insurgency that lasts more than twenty-four hours, the government is aware of it”. It is an indication that the Buhari-led administration is aware of the genocide attacks going on in the corners of the Southeastern region, where majorly the Indigenous People of Biafra are residing. And it recently confirmed that after the President tweeted that “Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigerian Civil War. “Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.” What more could these words mean, if not that the President is collectively pushing for another war?

In the different corners of all Igbo states, the Federal government with the collaboration of the State government have imposed a mandatory curfew. This has witnessed a lot of restrictions and could be very difficult to determine what to be done in cases of emergency or a fraction of the state experiencing a tough time against their rivals. One of the disturbing aspects of this curfew is that there are poor security distributions to localities that are prone to be attacked. A few days back, a youth was sharing with a Newspaper reporter that the fear that grips the residents of his town and other neighbouring towns is unquantifiable and could cost them their mental health.

Events over the last few months of insurgency would define how the country is faced with the terrible language of divorce from every region hunting for freedom. It is very important to say that the more these concerns are not addressed, it is likely to shut down the country and that could obviously come as a repetition of what happened in 1967. And if the war would set in, it will carefully break down the walls of indifference that cause terrible havoc in the leadership of this country. Not long ago, the Senate has come with the thought of Constitutional review, knowing very well that one biggest problem of Nigeria is the lack of unification of the Constitution. A Constitution is not made to consider the religious beliefs of people while standing in the arms of one Nigeria. There are no people who continue to exist with biases and ungodly sentiments. A Constitution that has constrained other religious sects from freely practising their beliefs, is headed towards unhealthy distortion of good governance. Nigeria is not the only multilingual Nation. There are many other countries in the world that don’t practice one culture and are open to the different establishment of religions, yet they are noted for their progress and interesting advancements in all strata of their lives. Nigeria as famished of economic growth, due to poor economic strategies, are sacrificing the lives of innocent civilians who could be a better resource to the economic stagnation and these same instruments of change are butchered every day with no value to constitutional rights, which is to live.

I feel desperate to watch these events unfold and I will like to borrow from Goodluck Jonathan to say that the Government should permanently ceasefire. Every attempt to cushion this fear should be employed, insofar as it doesn’t jeopardize the interest of the good people of the country. The cost of living is on an increase and the primary cause of all these is coming from the inability of the Federal Government to lit a light of peace to every section of the country. I will like to pick a review made by Warren Bess on Why Nations Fail that “You cannot force people to think and have good ideas by threatening to shoot them,”. Of what interest would the activity of sporadic shooting and maiming offer Nigeria as a country? There is no way to development, when the country instead of evaluating other milky means to care for his people, go around seeking on how to destroy them. If the Federal government intends to depopulate the Christian people in order to populate the Nation with the  Islamic republic, they should be mindful that while they toe this pathway, they should be informed that the Christian people are like seeds planted and they keep bearing fruits, regardless of how troubled the land they are sown challenges them to death.
The country is tensed and it can only be doused if the Government of Nigeria can dole out profitable resolutions. The various institutions that are politically motivated to fight for their rights, because of the slim distribution of Federal character should as a matter of fact, given a referendum to experience their freedom.

Nigeria may be scared to another level of frustration, which certainly will be very difficult. Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan would say “When you deprive people of their right to live in dignity, to hope for a better future, to have control over their lives when you deprive them of that choice, then you expect them to fight for these rights.” and this is just like an acquiesce to what Nelson Mandela said that “To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.”

An article written by Princewell Okwuoha and published at Rex Newspaper, Aba on the 27th of June, 2021.

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