Image: The author, Dr Akin Awofolaju
When you are a carpenter and the only tool you have is a hammer, definitely every solution to you looks like nails to beat.
If some parts of the nation wanted to pull out of the federation what make us think it can only be through forces and war. I believe reality stares us into our face.
As an intelligent man you don’t have to climb palm tree with your bare hands to prove you are strong, you can just borrow a ladder from John Doe to climb the damn tree or why will you carry a machine gun to kill a lion when a three- man hunters from Kenya killed 3 lions with their bare hands, sometimes it doesn’t take our strength or conspicuous forces to move a feather.
You will be astonished on what’s required to get any job done, you only need your cerebral acumen and commonsense. I strongly believe we can just come to a round table not a jamboree conferences, with all stakeholders and discuss what’s at stake sincerely and weigh the pros and consequences in altruistic ways, and then if right decision were not taking, we can decide what the next alternatives will be, but our inaction could be our worst enemy.
The question that comes to mind ,and to ask our versed majority is simple, “Today, are you better off, than where you are 10, 5yrs ago, or 3yrs ago or simply put, you are 55 years old , Do you own a house? This has nothing to do with this present administration, of course, the change mantra is the best ever when it comes to accountability and probity but it’s only taking too much time and Nigerians are out of time and duly impatient because there have a cemented minds of no trust. Nigeria of 170 million populations, we have 135million above the age of 21.
You have to agree to disagree. How many of Nigerians will agree to continue living the way things are today? Honestly speaking, even the rich ones were also crying because their Rose Royce ply on the same pot holes, untarred roads and the repairs cost govt fortunes – 1billion naira per kilometer. Or their mansions are surrounded by slums houses; the postmaster can’t even deliver their ordinary mails to their houses because there is no thorough fare. I strongly believe that there will be a time in Nigeria where the poor will have nothing to eat but the rich ones, and I hope the time is not here yet.
We need to come to the part of reality when we all say enough is enough. Besides, Nigeria can agree peacefully to divide and people will take what legally belong to them territorially and go and personally, I won’t care whose oxen are gored, it might be the change we dread to have. Czechs and Slovakia had it good in 90s and both countries are thriving survived it as well, Soviet union went through it, divided peacefully on resolution, the heaven didn’t let loosed, despite the facts that they are richer and more populous than Nigeria while Russia solely parted with lion share oil and other republics had nothing besides Kazakhstan and few others that were also rich in oil. Sometimes you have to learn to part with what you have to get what you don’t have in life. Soviet Union then was a replica of Nigeria now in all ramifications. There was no war then and there won’t be war anywhere if proper concessions are reached and mongering fears are appeased.
You bet every states in Nigeria has a minimum of 3-5 mineral resources and if its’ of commercial standard now, so what, Singapore has no mineral resources but its economy based on their peoples sheer hard works on services and it becomes a strong emerging market of the world and #1 diverse Asia tigers corridor. As far as I’m concern as a Yoruba man, the oil can go to whoever wants it. Czechoslovakia model could be a perfect solution to Nigeria panacea there is.
Besides, I see no reasons why Gen. ADEBAYO’S position should be taking out of context; it might just as well mean what Nigeria needs at this opportune time as a clarion call. We are country of over 170m, about 2.54% of world population, produces .6% of world output, and by 2050 Nigeria population will be over 470million, youth population is growing exponentially around 65% of total population with vast majority unemployed, under-utilized, malnourished, despairing alternatives that informed a danger premises and escalating time pressured clime.
Basically, with an upsurge population that will make Nigeria the third most populous country in the world after China and India by 2050. Worst still, in 21st Century, our power supply remains a luxury for our middle class, pipe borne water is damn scarcity, post office system is dilapidated but yet with this mammoth problem our economy remain resilient, #1 in Africa due to her macroeconomic stability, youth unemployment is another bane but it can be turned around, youth population avoid us opportunity for cheap labor for any smart investors both locally and internationally.
Vodafone the then biggest telecommunications company in Europe left Nigeria in 2007 for lack of ease to do business and multiple taxations in Nigeria, and 5 months later they fired their CEO in England, who advised them to leave Nigeria because MTN came in shortly after their exit and took the center stage of our telecommunications goldmine and delivered billions of Naira returns in profit in their first year and over 45% returns on their investment.
Our innumerable natural resources are untapped, natural gases in Bonny burns all day wasted because we focus on oil, our government should not be in business or management of oil resources, but in regulating it and give NNPC to highest bidder by true privatization. Government can collect royalty yearly on it but not the damn manager. Nigeria have over 254 mineral resources across the country but nobody cares to roll up their sleeves to experiment the tenacity of start-up pains but only to reap where we didn’t sow.
If Nigeria must remain as unified Nation there must be equitable distribution of wealth or true federalism as often call, we need knowledge- based manpower, sustainable capital investment , true affordable education,
the core of any sustainable economy as the new goals of this recent concluded UN resolution where -“Poverty reduction” is #1 Goal followed by “No Hunger” mantra on the planet out of all 17 SDGs , Nigeria falls on all 17 of them, and I wept for my country during the sessions at UN on its 70th.
Which way Nigeria? The only sustainable solution to Nigeria right now, are as follows: first and foremost are the, Nigerialiness-(attitudinal change Bottom-up, Top- down) ; proliferated free market economy-privatized developments ( Roads, transportation, power supply, services, enabled SMBs that will create jobs for our hungry idling youths.
Be that as it may, I call all well- meaning Nigerians to rethinking , listen to Gen. Adebayo clarion call, and come to this roundtable to discuss whether to stay together and do the needful as listed above or divide and go in our separate way for the betterment of our generation yet unborn.
What make a Wiseman not to act at the time when action is needed makes the fools to act on their behalf and there is nothing they can do about it? Evil thrives only when the righteous are silent on issue that is paramount to all.
Stay focus and keep motivating!!!
If better can be achieved GOOD is not enough
Akin Awofolaju, PhD, CLE, CFE CSP
Global Development Economist