(Last Updated On: July 3, 2017)
Nigeria as a country whose socio- economic, political and cultural activities as been bumpy ride for its masses needs to be put in place before the nation face a total destruction. The country is buffeted by a myriad of challenges that threaten its fragile unity. The challenges are enormous and seem to have defied prominent solution. The Hobbesian state of nature in which life is nasty, short and brutish aptly depicts the wobbly state of the nation. The inception of civilian democracy in 1999 has not in any way mitigated the apparent failure of good governance. To even make use of the word good governance is charitable. Candid speaking, good governance is purely an alien concept to the masses. The three decades of military rule massively destroyed the structures that would have institutionalized good governance in Nigeria. The military regime showcased nothing less than culture of impunity and brazen disregard for the law of the land.
The advent of civilian rule created in Nigerians a sense of hope and optimism and sundry expectations. However, 14 years after, Nigerians have become even more disillusioned and hopeless, still living with the tragic sense of national loss and insecurity. What can be deduced from the contemporary challenges facing Nigeria is that democratic rule has not in any way addressed these challenges, neither has it institutionalized respect for the dignity of man, equity and the rule of land, in which the inalienable rights of Nigerians are respected. Moreover, civilian democracy has not created the enabling environment for the attainment of socio-economic development.
Almost on all development indices, Nigeria remain a toddler, underdeveloped, and on the brink of disintegration. Recession has even become the tropical economic challenge of the nation since the beginning of President Muhammadu Buhari Presidency till date. The forces that threaten the country’s unity are symptomatic of the fact that Nigeria is a failing state. The imperative of nation-building demands that a common ground for peaceful co-existence of over 250 linguistic and cultural groups should have been established both constitutionally and in practice. Rather, what obtains today is that Nigerians are more divided along ethnic, political and religious lines as never before. A debilitating deluge violence, proliferation of arms and secessionist tendencies dominate the national landscape. The interminable loss of lives and the displacement of about 700,000 persons through insurgency portray Nigeria as a country enmeshed in a crisis of development.
The distinctive quest for building a nation-state out of present contraption called Nigeria is still at the embryonic stage. This simply because Nigeria remains an agglomeration of different nationalities and linguistic groups forced to live together by colonialism through amalgamation in January 1914. Sincerely speaking, there was no deliberate, conscious, and consistent effort to truly forge a united Nigeria where ethnic chauvinism and religious bigotry are inconsequential and do not bear any relevance to national issues. The national conference held in 2014 didn’t yield any profitable result as everyone expected. Nigerians are still facing the same dis-unity, intolerance, corruption, bad governance and other socio- economic and political challenges till date. There should be another channel where all these challenges can be resolve peacefully.
In September 2014, Scotland conducted a referendum to determine whether it will be part of United Kingdom. After all, Nigeria still remain an artificial creation. Pretenses, symbolism and insinuations will lead us to nothing. The Fulani herds men and Biafra group should have effective reconciliation of thought and actions before they destroy what they cannot rebuilt alone. For once, let Nigerians especially those who are given to politicizing serious national issues retreat and embark on introspection. The truth is that without a conducive and stable political order, social economic development will remain elusive. All over the world, the type of politics and political system instituted by any nation drives its development. In order words, economic growth and development cannot take place if the right kind of politics and political culture is not instituted.
The elder state men and the top political leaders must rise above primordial considerations and begin to address serious national issues of development dispassionately and responsibly. A strong and truly united Nigeria is undoubtedly an asset for national development, but where the unity of Nigeria has been compromised and has now become a matter of opportunist and selfishness, it becomes a matter of serious concern.
At this juncture, I implore all citizens of Nigeria regardless of our different ethnicity, religious group, and political party we belongs, we should begin to tolerate and keep living in unity, peace and harmony in order to make our Nigeria a better home.
By: Prince Aduroja Olamijuwonlo
Political analyst from Lagos state.