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Let us dialogue, now is time! – By John Danfulani

 

Let us dialogue, now is time! - By John Danfulani

Even before the lowering of the Union Jack on 1st October 1960, certain  forces have asked pertinent questions bordering the 1914 political solemnization of Northern and Southern protectorates by representative of the Crown Lord Lugard.

The colonial master’s amalgamation hatched a federal entity that its experience can’t be found in any pre-existing federal structures in developed and less developed worlds.

More to that, reasons that instigates units and constituents to hem a federal political setting are totally absent in Nigeria experience.

Because reasons that gingered the colonial master’s welding of Southern and Northern protectorates were centred on their exploitative economic interest and administrative conveniences, dissenting voices were surprised.

After every round of protestation, colonial masters merely convocated constitutional conferences at home and abroad – not with intention of sincerely addressing concerns raised but to cool down tension in other to have a conducive atmosphere for their business of economic exploitation, cultural subjugation, and political domination.

After gaining the so-called political independence in 1960, the political and economic  caste that succeeded the colonial masters ignored commentaries and agitations asking for a dialogue to settle multifaceted questions related to the structure, allocation of powers to layers of authorities, and even existence of Nigeria as a single political entity. 

Advocates of this position coined names like:

1. National Conference, 

2. National Dialogue, 

3. True Federalism, and,

4. Sovereign National Conference. 

On each occasion, opponents of this advocacy innovate technical mechanism of evading poignant issues. 

If communiqués of groups included words like Sovereignty and True Federalism, Nigeria unpatriotic and compradorial ruling caste, their apologists dodged through running commentary on technical grounds like: you can’t have two sovereigns in a body polity, and there is nothing like True Federalism. 

While folding up their opposition, they arrogantly pique; Nigeria is indissoluble and indivisible political entity. 

The refusal of Nigeria political class and their exploitative and unpatriotic business caste to accept the impeccable realism that there are questions to ask and answer to provide about the entire Nigeria project indirectly triggered a 30 months civil war that annihilated almost a million Nigerians and destroyed properties worth billions of Naira. 

Till this day, claims from the federal and Biafran sides on whether certain policies that looks genocidal were part of the overall war strategy of leaders of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) are making the rounds. 

One last major controversy associated with Nigeria civil war narrative came through a book one of the world’s greatest writer Chinua Achebe published before his demise.

Truth be told, conscious and deliberate refusal to address centrifugal agitations that emanated from political and military brass from South Eastern Nigeria contributed in no small measure to the destructive civil war. 

After the civil war in 1970 people with the long history of this agitation muted.

Their muteness wasn’t masterminded by the fact that the old questions of the corporate existences of Nigeria and related matters like the structure of Nigeria’s federalism had been settled by the boom-boom of bombs and zing-zing of riffles between 1967-1970. 

Even though open advocacy was a rarity, academicians in ivory towers and other research centres  busied themselves writing, researching and publishing opinions on the structure of Nigeria Federalism and other national questions thereof. 

Occasionally, a few media outlets do remind the nation of the existence of uncleared national questions through their editorial opinions.  

To say the truth, no region hasn’t agitated  for one form of national dialogue or the other, or openly threatened to break away from Nigeria. 

In 1957 the then northern region threatened to permit other regions proceed on self-rule if the motion tabled by Action Group for self-rule in 1957 materialized. 

Before this period, the leader of South West region threatened to end the political wedlock if the colony of Lagos is not added to the area under the control of his region.

These few instances cited vividly demonstrated that centrifugal disposition was not only displayed by South East region alone.

The difference is, others merely issued threats but South East walked their threat through a declaration of a separate republic in 1967.

Having gone through  this compressed analogy of how Nigeria was created, reason for its creation, and persistent calls for restructuring, a careful reader will accept the impeccable and incontrovertible reality that the leadership of Africa’s most populous and endowed nation have been playing the ostrich, all along. 

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