By Brady Nwosu
No doubt about it, Nigeria is an illusion. It is not only a failing state, but it has failed both man, and God, who endowed her with resources in more that sufficient measures. All the indices of a failed state has manifested and still bald-facing.
According to Britannica.com, failed state, a state that is unable to perform the two fundamental functions of the sovereign nation-state in the modern world system: it cannot project authority over its territory and peoples, and it cannot protect its national boundaries. … A failed state is composed of feeble and flawed institutions.
Nigeria is like the proverbial calabash tossed around by the river, and it thinks it was a fun, not knowing that the river was taking it to its perdition, destruction and point of no return. Anyone who holds this view is branded an alarmist. The ruling class pretends that all is well. All is not well, very soon there many not be a country fore them to rule or play politics. Nigeria is buffeted from all sides, yet, for the political class, all is well.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has rolled out its timetable for 2019 general elections, the politicians are busy politicking, and are so blind that they cannot see the writing on the wall that soon, they may not be a country for them to play politics.Every tribal group is the centrifugal force of the nation, and has reduced the nation to a construction site, where everybody retires to his or her ethnic group. Mutual suspicion among ethnic groups holds sway.
As it is, neither the All Progressives Congress (APC) nor Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has the solution to the problems of the country. Something drastic has to take place. If we continue on the present system, the country would collapse on all of us.
The Leaders’ Conference and Inauguration of the New Executive Council of the Middle Belt Forum (MBF) met on December 12, at Ajuji Hotel, Abuja, FCT. The Conference was attended by leaders and delegates from the following states of the Middle Belt Forum: Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Southern Borno, FCT, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Southern Kebbi, Kaduna, Gombe, Taraba and Southern Yobe. The political question of the Middle Belt in Nigerian politics was at the centre of their discussion.
The group noted the sustained attacks on the entire Middle Belt region by Fulani Herdsmen and expressed grave concern that these sustained attacks have continued for close to a decade and have worsened in the last few years making agricultural activities and travels within the region extremely dangerous with reports of kidnappings, rapes and murders being received on a daily basis. Conference was extremely unhappy that the responses by security agencies to the cry of communities under attacks have always been largely ignored. Conference strongly rejected the “Foreign Fulani Herdsmen” explanation given by leaders in order to evade blame about the nonchalance of Hausa-Fulani leaders for not bringing the mass killers to book and beggars the question: why are these herdsmen attacking only non-Hausa/Fulani communities? Conference expressed sadness that the Middle Belt autochthonous nations were not part of the negotiations since 1953, leading to Federalism in 1954 and the ones resulting in state creations in 1967, 1976, 1987, 1991 and 1996, saddling Nigeria with 36 gerrymandered “states” and a Federal Capital Territory.
Conference resolved as follows: To alert the world that Northern Nigeria is at war with itself and that this full-scale war was unilaterally imposed against the unsuspecting, “minority” ethnic nationalities in Northern Nigeria and that the world should remember that Nigerian autochthons since 1980 have been physically targeted and openly attacked not by Southerners, not by foreigners but by fellow Nigerians from what used to be the Northern Region.
To remind the world that these attacks have since 2011 heightened gaining in notoriety. Nigeria is at war with itself, a nation may survive an external war, but no country has ever survived a war with itself. That is the war in the so-called monolithic north. As the Middle Belt group is crying, so also other groups in the country.
Even though, the Buhari government is trumpeting on silencing the Nnamdi Kanu, the agitation for Biafra can never be quenched. The call for Biafra by most Igbo is still resonating everywhere, and this has not given the Buhari government any good international image, especially given the Amnesty International reports that Nigeria’s military had allegedly killed hundreds unarmed protesters in the Southeast and some parts of South-south.
Fulani herdsmen, as complained by the Middle Belt group are rampaging killing and sacking many communities, especially in the South and North Central regions leading for Southerners to cry fowl over what they termed as expansionist agenda of Hausa Fulani hegemony with its consequence of leading to civil war and ultimate fragmentation of the country. The Fulani herdsmen are now a big issue, and the talk about a national dialogue on Fulani herdsmen problem is being muted. They are enjoying immunity very difficult to explain. As it stands, there is deep animosity and mutual suspicion among the ethnic groups.
There is also a conspiracy theory about the Igbo. According to the theory, those easterners who fought in the Nigerian civil war and those who were under 10 years that were able to understand what Nigerian civil war was and suffered the evil of war have already been syndicated by Nigerian establishments and those who they served as proxy that they will not see presidency of Nigeria. And because of that in order to erase the memories of the war ,those that were born from 1970- date, they stopped teaching history in schools so that the people born after the war will have no idea of what their elders suffered in the war. Those born after 1970 were actually syndicated generation to occupy Nigerian presidency from Igbo extraction.
Unfortunately, because of that, history was no longer part on Nigerian educational curriculum. The same generation they planned to hold Nigerian presidency from Igbo extraction are the same people agitating for referendum for self determination, which means the conspiracy theorists have shot themselves in the foot and the best bet right now is to restructure the country to establish unity in Nigeria. The fear of Biafra has turned the Southeast a sieged zone.
Journeys by road had shown the same siege through countless roadblocks. As you are crossing one checkpoint, a mere look ahead of you, of less than half a kilometer, will reveal another barricade. It is all so frustrating. There is no war, or security breach. South East is not North East where Boko Haram still calls the shots (forget about Government’s propaganda of, “we have degraded Boko Haram”; Boko Haram is still very potent, controlling large areas, killing and maiming people on a daily basis. If it were not so, why did Buhari accept one billion dollars from Nigeria Governors Forum.
Therefore, Nigeria can’t meet the taste of future if political solution different from what we have now is not applied. That solution is military intervention, but not the type we have had in the past. The military has been used to alter Nigerian nation building and same force must applied to discontinue 4th Republic . There is the need for military intervention. Before you stone me to death for suggesting the way out of this quagmire, take a look at where we are coming from and where we are and see if there is a glorious future for this country under the present order. The military will not shed blood because we have shed more than enough blood, which hunts us, as we are yet to atone for it.
The military will be for a brief interim period of two years. They will organize a sovereign national conference, where all the ethnic nationalities come together and discuss on the way forward and from there, for the first time, they would come up with a constitution made by the people, not all those fraudulent constitutions that had been forced down on our throats. It is only through this that we can repair the faulty foundation, which Nigeria was built on. Within this period of two year, we begin to orientate our minds as to the kind of nation we want to build. Nigeria has been a forced marriage. A marriage forced on elites hardly works, while a marriage forced on two fools may turn out to be workable.
However, the peoples who made up today’s Nigeria were clobbered together because they were in the dark and like ‘fools’ didn’t know their left from right and what they were going into, and that was why the union worked under the imperial colonial maters. But when the colonial scale fell off from their eyes, various groups started asking questioning on how they entered into the marriage. That was the reason till his demise, the late sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo described Nigeria, as geographical entity, and refused to see it as a nation.
Nigeria is on edge. Even the blind are seeing the cliff on which the country hangs. In a nation that is churning out in great number soothsayers than any other nation doesn’t need such seers to tell us where and how we have arrived at this precarious stage.
The reason is simple: there have been cumulative injustices; cumulative unrighteousness, gross inequity, and we are now in the time of judgment.
Nigeria is troubled from all fronts, as various entrenched interests are intent on driving nation through the path of damnation. There have been cacophony of voices, and like the Tower of Babel everybody is speaking at the same time and no one seems to be hearing the other. Under this atmosphere of anomie, no one of group is ready to advance reasons that are acceptable as the panacea to the nation’s problems.
Mutual suspicion among various ethnic groups, and religious organisations has taken the front burner. While most people especially, from the South and the Middle Belt are calling for restructuring, the core North doesn’t want to hear about it, and maintained that the status quo is maintained. In the same confusion, while some are making case for the implementation of the 2014 Confab report set up by former President Goodluck Jonathan, others, especially from the North argue against it saying, that it was not representative and that the composition was lopsided in favour of the South. While some say the unity of Nigeria is negotiable, others say it is sacrosanct. For most Nigerians, the country is clinically dead.
Brady Chijioke Nwosu . Former PDP Imo State Governorship Aspirant writes from Sokoto.