Igbos do not need the Presidency; we have identified what the problem is and it is not actually who head things in Aso Rock but it is very much about a very defective system.
Real Igbos, your everyday Igbo man wants a restructured Nigeria or complete separation from Nigeria.
Those who want the Igbo presidency in lieu of the aforementioned are the Igbo criminal political “elite” who this same criminal and defective system favor anyways.
An Igbo President will not solve the fundamental problems of Nigeria which is the unitary feeding bottle system currently in place.
An Igbo presidency will only ensure that prebendalism and its attendant characteristics will reflect majorly on the same Igbo elites and a few crumbs will naturally go the way of some other non-elitist Igbos and we will have the bragging rights for 4 years, 8 years tops, and the fundamental problems will persist
A few unsustainable capital projects, mostly white elephant establishments located in our Igbo localities which are not well thought out and which will become redundant as soon as our son or daughter leaves the highest office in the land will be all we will have to show for their tenure as President and in a typical Nigerian fashion, we shall roll out red carpet in the celebration of these mediocrities.
The wickedness of tokenism, rent-seeking, cronyism, and government of settlement is what we should be fighting against and not be trying too hard to foist this culture of IT IS OUR TURN TO CHOP on the unborn generation.
A restructured Nigeria, a truly federated Nigeria will have the organic mechanism and safeguard instruments to ensure that real change, growth, development, and progress materialize organically and truthfully.
What an Igbo President will give to an Igbo man are more elitist Billionaires who will get rich from fraudulent and fabricated government tenders and a few smokescreen white elephant projects that will become cash gulping and cesspool of corruption eventually.
Our problem is beyond who becomes President. Our present system has a default setting and it is FAILURE.
LET’S SHARE IDEAS
A few days ago, I had one of my greatest discussions this year over the phone with one of the greatest minds on Zuckerville. A mind that understands Nigeria beyond the surface. A mind that relates the linens of our history to our present realities.
We exchanged ideas on so many topics ranging from True Federalism, confederation, secession, and Unitarianism. We managed to narrow all our ideas to one concept that encapsulates and aptly captured our undoings in Nigeria as presently constituted – Prebendalism.
Prebendalism refers to political systems where elected officials and government workers feel they have a right to a share of government revenues, and use them to benefit their supporters, families, friends co-religionists, and members of their ethnic group.
As you know, this very ugly concept that has neck-deeped all of us in insolvency has a unitary-feeding bottle “federalism” as we currently practice as its main ingredient and condiment.
Imagine Prebendalism as a food chain, if you have a discerning mind, you will realize that at the top of this chain is found the Hausa-Fulani cum Northern politico-religo-social establishments, followed by their Yoruba and Igbo counterparts in that particular order.
Now, most of the other ethnic nationalities that components Nigeria is also very represented in varying degrees. Factor in that when I refer to these ethnic nationalities, that I mean THE ELITES and not the everyday people.
What these ELITE have done is to monopolize, in terms of ownership, all the socio-politic-economic apparatus of viability, self-determination, and realization.
Thereby, turning us all, the everyday people into beggars and crumb appreciators. We mostly depend on them, we mostly look up to them to have any hope of getting even the most basic MASLOW things.
We have become a society of sycophants, hypocrites, eye service specialists who fight among ourselves to come off as relevant in the eyes of these Prebendelistic power hungry and self-serving stooges we now refer to as our leaders. Every single member of the Nigerian elite regardless of his/her ethnic origin is guilty of this, directly or indirectly.
They hold the power and all the necessary things we may need to become viable as individuals. The prebendelistic unitary feeding bottle system in place in Nigeria ensured that we will forever remain disunited and forever beg for crumbs. It made sure that we will have to look up to the skewed federal hegemony for everything, directly and indirectly.
Let us dwell on that fraudulent document called the 1999 Nigerian constitution and its prebendelistic tendencies.
Section 44 (3) of the 1999 Constitution provides thus: “Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this Section, ‘the entire property in and control of minerals, mineral oil and natural gas in, under or upon any land in Nigeria…shall vest in the Government of the Federation (ABUJA)’ and shall be managed in ‘such manner’ as may be prescribed by the National Assembly. ”
While Part 1, item 39 of the 2nd schedule of the 1999 constitution goes on to state that “…Mines, and Minerals…and Geological Surveys” are within the sole purview of the federal government.
Thus, a state government in Nigeria can not conduct a mere geological survey of non-oil minerals in its domain, that’s how “progressive” the 1999 Constitution is.
Take away things like crude oil earnings, mineral resources and maybe Valued Added Tax (VAT) earnings which are part of the central government’s exclusive list of no-go areas for other levels of government and this country, as presently constituted will die financially. Now, also bear in mind that most of the funds used to fund the “federating” units come from the central government in Abuja. Now, you can’t actually do without an Abuja.The money flows through the Nigerian arteries from Abuja.
What this means is that all the levels of government will become little prebendalistic enclaves serving the same purpose in smaller geographical areas as obtained from Abuja to the whole “Federation”. By this, I mean that your State Governments (SG), Local Government Areas (LGAs) and Local Councils (LCs) are just vampires feeding off the blood bank called ABUJA.
Directly or indirectly and because the central government is in charge of almost all the economically viable systems, we have become leeches who must either conform to the aforementioned status quo or perish.
I will give you a few instances.
When you cry too much, they will create more states and LGAs for you, thereby creating another problem, another little prebendlistic hegemony closer to your home. A hegemony that you need to sulk up to or die of thirst.
This is why when you scream blue murder, they will create another autonomous community and foist a traditional ruler who cannot even lead his own nuclear family talk more of leading the whole community. Again, they have created a smaller monster that you need to sulk up to or die.
That is why a Nnia Nwodo with due respect, when interviewed, will talk about more state creation and more federal government appointments for “his people”, thereby bringing the sacrilegious feeding bottle hegemony closer to you.
This gives you a few more individuals (Ministers government agencies and parastatals heads) to sulk up to within your immediate environment and you will see this as being given a sense of representation whereas you are being screwed more by the prebendalistic system.
That is why Ukpabi Asika, an Igbo man agreed to become the governor of East Central State from 1967-1975. You can imagine, even during the Nigerian Biafra war, he agreed to rule over an entity that he was not actually in charge of from far away Lagos.
Even our so-called ELITE agreed to become partners of this fraudulent arrangement because they too could not help it. I mean, because of over-concentration of power at the center they could not even help themselves but become agents of this flawed system just to remain relevant.
This simply perpetuates the come and chop or it is our time to chop attitude.
Do I blame these our elites? Yes, I do, but I also understand them. Prebendalism forces you to conform by fire and by force. It is like a mirage, the more you look, the less you will see. An abracadabra come to life.
In fact. Prebendalism and its unitary feeding bottle tendencies in our case favor the few beneficiaries to the detriment of the majority.
It reduces accountability because funds needed to run the government doesn’t actually come from the people like is expected in a true federal state.
Resource control stipulates that monies are generated from the grassroots people and their environment by the people themselves and tax paid to the center. This is what Tony Osborg will call the bottom top approach.
If a small community in the Niger Delta is allowed to explore its mineral resources or tax companies who explore same and pay tax to the center, they will know exactly how much they are contributing and then ask for the equal amount of output in terms of development in their areas from their immediate leadership.
This singular act will increase accountability because they don’t have to go to Abuja to complain if denied their rights, they will simply consult their local leadership who most likely, will be their next door neighbor.
So, what the unitary feeding bottle prebendelistic system we currently have has done to us is simple; make the whole system very confusion ingrained, capture all the most viable resources by putting laws in place that guarantees that only the central government can have access to the most important resources, deprive federating units the power to access or explore some of these same resources even when found in quantum in their backyards thereby sealing our fate in almost everything.
The central government, because of this skewed system of Unitarianism, will now have the power to ignore or stop willing communities from helping themselves.
Also, factor in the already ethnic and tribal divides that has empirically become the cornerstone upon which developmental decisions are made in this country.
I mean, we are not a nation and it does not take a psychic to figure this out.
Resources that can even help maximize our economic output at the grassroots level could lay fallow for so long until the central government decides to maximize its prebendalistic financial powers needed to maintain the prebendalistic hegemony.
The outcome is that we will remain leeches, beggars. and entirely dependent on the almighty and all-conquering center.
The center mostly funds the civil and public service system. The states and LGAs as presently constituted are all mini PREBENDALS and grandchildren of their grandfather the chief PREDENDAL (Central governments).
Since the center and their agents in the states and LGAs dictates the pace and sometimes refuse to pay their civil servants, these civil servants will indirectly become an extension of the whole exercise. They will start taking bribes as they are doing now and appointments into the civil service will become a lucrative thing that the citizenry will perceive as a gold mine.
It becomes a come-and-chop center. and Instead of collectively asking that the right thing is done, we will become extremely individualistic in pursuing ventures that will serve our own selfish interests. This weakens any attempt to collectively challenge the status quo as people will be more fixated in looking for ways to get into the system to maximize their own pockets.
If you look at the long narrative above critically, you will agree with me that prebendalism has proven to be a very powerful tool in this Nigeria. In fact, it has succeeded more than anything else to keep Nigerian one so far, at least, superficially.
I am not a tribalist or an ethnocentric freak, but our situation in Nigeria makes it impossible for one not to view things through the prisms of ethnicity. I mean, look at the 1999 constitution, for instance, that fraudulent document made tribalism and ethnic-ism official.
With things like the quota system that sacrifices merit at the altar of mediocrity, it makes it impossible not to delve into our ethnic makeup with regards to our union.
I do not support Nnamdi Kanu because I am Igbo. Listed above are the reasons why I support Nnamdi Kanu’s IPOB especially now that they have made it clear that the recommendations of Aburi Accord of 1966 which was founded on a confederation background (An advanced and better type of federalism) will be their blueprint for the unborn state of Biafra.
The ease with which the recent restructuring bill was kicked out at the red chambers further cements my support for Nnamdi Kanu’s drive.
Nigeria as presently constituted is a PONZI SCHEME.
Above are my own truth and understanding of events. It is not unarguable, i am sure that a few twists and turn can be taken to perfect this projection. Prisms abound and we are all welcome to view things through different ones.
©Sopuru Chukwu B. Ehidonye