Nigeria has crossed many hazardous junctures in her short political life and has narrowly escaped fatal accidents but somehow got away from them all unscathed, until now. The few wise ones among Nigerians have ceaselessly prayed and warned so that the country does not have to face the ultimate danger of loss of many lives that a crossroad that is carelessly and negligently managed portends.
Nigeria is at such potentially dangerous political crossroads where religious differences, ethnic bigotry and unbridgeable cultural animosities have divided the long enduring but now bifurcated Unity Road into several treacherous and non-passable crossways. It is quite obvious that crossing the dangerous and convoluted sociopolitical junctions that are right now in front of Nigerians will entail bloody loss of many lives for members of the polity.
It was Joseph Schumpeter who wrote in Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy that: “Democratic government will work to full advantage only if all the interest that matter are practically unanimous not only in their allegiance to the country but also in their allegiance to the structural principles of the existing society.”
Unfortunately, The Power-That-Shouldn’t-Have-Been (TPTSHB) in Nigeria has no such allegiance to the mere geographical expression of a country and a non-nation called Nigeria. And more sadly, TPTSHB has no allegiance whatsoever to the “structural principles of the existing society”.
The several fault lines of division on these two issues are so wide, so deep and so high that it is practically insurmountable. As a result, concerned Nigerians are now calling into question the viability of the country to meet the needs of the citizens. Those who have wasted valuable time and resources on Nigeria and have observed critically the trend of sociopolitical and economic affairs of the country are now raising pertinent but worrisome questions.
Any Hope for Nigeria as a Country/Nation
Friends and enemies of Nigeria are now asking, Can Nigeria ever succeed in growing to become a nation state? For how long can the country survive as a geographical/political entity if it continues in its present shameful trajectory? Is our investments safe or is it time to wind up and leave the fools to their fate? Do we have enough stocks of weapon of mass destruction to meet the demand from Nigeria when the imbroglio of the warring factions start?
Joseph Schumpeter added a pessimistic view to the quote cited above, when he writes: “Whenever these principles are called into question and issues arise that tends a nation into two basic camps, democracy works at a disadvantage. And it may cease to work at all as soon as interests and ideals are involved on which people refuse to compromise.”
Clearly, Nigeria is in that deep ‘shithole’ where the country is divided into “two basic camps” and democracy is indeed “at a disadvantage”. Definitely, democracy has surely ceased to work as the people holding the rein of political power have vehemently refused to compromise on the knotty question of restructuring the political and economic platforms of Nigeria to make them more equitable, more justifiable and more freedom friendly.
Concerned Nigerians have pleaded with TPTSHB to no end. Since the democratic dispensation started in 1999, the forward looking Nigerians have pointed out that the unitary political structure inherited from the incompetent military vandals and prodigals should be reconfigured or reengineered or restructured into a federal structure in spirit and in practice, to no avail.
When the situation is as bad as it is in Nigeria, just like couples in a terribly sad and abusive marriage, the best advice any fair-minded friend and counselor will give to the warring couples is to urge them to consider amicable separation before any life is lost.
There is a limit to what any roof repairer can do to patch up a leaking roof when the rafters and other structural supports have rotted away.
The Nigeria House of Fraud is at this moment not repairable. Neither restructuring nor reengineering will do to correct the damages that a long neglect has caused. This Nigeria House is no longer fit for purpose. It must be professionally pulled down to limit collateral damages to neighbouring houses. A patch up job by cowboy builders (a.k.a politicians), will worsen the situation rather than improve matters.
We must let this house go. The moral, ethical and spiritual damages are far too intense and have gone beyond what is humanly repairable. Professional political builders of all kinds that were consulted have advised we must abandon and vacate this house immediately. They warned, staying in and around its premises is surely taking unnecessarily risk too far and that it is foolhardy to do so.
A Voice Crying in the Wilderness
This writer is a voice in the wilderness like many other voices shouting and wailing in the wilderness of Nigeria. Nigeria is now truly a jungle where it is insane to sleep with two eyes closed. Everyone is on tenterhooks waiting and watching for the next disaster by the corner. It is a hash and inhospitable jungle where everyone is scheming, planning and looking for suitable escape route to take when the expected national disaster finally comes home to roost.
How long can any human being last under such a climate of perennial worries of satisfying common basic necessities of life without resorting to corrupt practices?
How long can anyone last worrying on how to protect life and properties from marauders – Fulani herdsmen, militia terrorist, armed robbers, kidnappers, political assassins, etc.?
How long can any human beings last worrying on how to stay and keep sane under the daily stress and inhuman grind that have become the lots of most Nigerians?
For how long can the sane and upright Nigerians keep the lid on the bubbling high socioeconomic and political stresses; as well as the civil and community pressures that have built up over the years with possible social implosion and imminent big political explosion around the corner?
These are the uncharted and neglected dangers lurking at the political crossroads of Nigeria as we go into 2019. Since these political crossroads have not been properly signposted and managed for safe manoeuvring by a workable constitution, and without capable patriots at the helm of state affairs, the envisaged possible risk level of the danger ahead is hence very high. All those who are forced by circumstances beyond their control to use the dangerous and neglected political crossroads of Nigeria know fully well they are taking big gamble with their precious lives.
A responsible class of elite will not, under any circumstances, shepherd the Nigeria’s flock under their care into such danger that is visibly lying ahead in 2019. But that is what The Power-That-Shouldn’t-Have-Been is prepared to do.
Calling on the Civil Societies
Must the civil societies fold their arms while these foreboding dangers are still preventable?
The idea of holding elections in 2019 should be the last thing on the agenda of Nigeria right now, if we really understand what the odds stacked against us are.
We have been playing dice with fire since 1966. We were scotched badly from 1967-1970 when we were railroaded into unwarranted civil war. Obviously, it seems we never learned any valuable lesson from the untreated maggot-infested scars of that sad episode. We have been carrying on like drunkards that have no awareness of their misbehaviours and the havoc they are wrecking on families, friends and neighbours.
Now, anarchy rules the waves of Nigeria. Things have truly fallen apart. Yet most Nigerians are still carrying on with the usual dastardly business of screwing up their neighbours for profit and illicit gains.
Screwing up your friends and neighbours is a popular pastime in Nigeria. Politicians do it. Lawyers do it. Businesspersons do it. Professor/teachers do it. Civil servants do it. Doctors and medical personnel do it. Builders do it. Market men/women do it. Bankers and all professional bodies do it. The popular salvo is, everybody is doing evil and corrupt businesses; therefore, it is at one’s loss if one doesn’t join the swinging party of corruption.
Fellow Nigerians often make fun of the few sensible Nigerians who are ‘naive’ and who refused to join the swinging party of corruption and who kept pointing out the errors in the lives of Nigerians. The corruption ‘swingers’ will ask, “wetin you want self? You too, you no want money? You wan talk say, you no sabi make easy money”
When these few sensible Nigerians point to the ways and means of how the prosperous and opulent neighbours and the rich kinsmen and women came into their bounty wealth, Nigerians from the ethnic constituency of the Rich Fool will rally round their kinsman/woman. They will say, “Na jealousy dey worry una; you too, una no wan good things? na god give am the chance to make ‘awoof’ money; you too make una go pray to god to make una chop money well well to become a rich person”. (You are only being jealous. Tell me if you don’t want good things as well. It is the blessing of God that gave the opportunity to anyone to come into bounty money. You are advised to go and pray for similar opportunities). The power of prayer in Nigeria is very amoral.
This is the moral and ethical crossroads Nigerians are called upon to cross in 2019. Nigeria’s political leaders that are holding the rein of power do not obviously agree on “all the interest that matter” to the country and to the people and are not “practically unanimous” about worthy “ideals” of morality and ethical political hygiene. They are unwilling to compromise on self-centred “interests and ideals” that have separated the country into two camps. Under this immovable and unmovable intransigences, we can readily say the future of Nigeria is not looking promising at all.
This is the time for all those who can read the ominous signs in Tea Leaves, to shout and to make noises to attract the attention of slumbering Nigerians. We must not wait until the disaster has happened to point accusing fingers at whose fault it was. We can predict the consequences of our obduracy to change now because all the impending signs of disaster are in place.
As sentimental optimists, we must keep hope alive and that it is still possible to avert the accident waiting to happen. But first the hope of escape and safety can only be realistic, if we can accept there is a need to shift from our various arcane beliefs particularly of those premised on the supremacy of one ethnic group or culture or belief over another.
We must creatively manage the unfolding crisis to limit or avoid completely the loss of any life in bloody confrontations based on differences of ethnic nationalities and on religious differences of belief and faith that may likely occur if we refused to compromise on the “interests and ideals” that have divided us into two camps.
The Slave-owners versus The No-Longer-Slaves
The two camps that are preparing to slug it out by every means necessary are the camp of the Colonialist Fulani slave-owners and the camp of the indigenous people that are resisting and rejecting to be enslaved anymore. The scions of Fulani Caliphate have stated openly in the past and by their political actions in the present that they can only relate with other Nigerians as supreme conquerors. Now, other hitherto naive Nigerians have come to acknowledge and to understand the Fulani political intentions and oppressive machinations. Collectively, they are now saying, NO, to the godforsaken political arrangement of masters and slaves in Nigeria.
With the way things are at the moment and the intelligence reports coming out from all over the country, it seems the Fulani Caliphate have prepared and are battle ready with dangerous weaponry to shed the blood of innocent Nigerians in order to enforce the continuation of their slave ownership and colonial domination over Nigeria. There are sporadic terrorist attacks on communities for the purpose of dispossessing indigenous ethnic nations; of seizing and grabbing their lands, and the ethnic cleansing of indigenous land owners. These nefarious and macabre activities are presently on-going in the Middle Belt and the Southern States of Nigeria.
It is at this juncture, if it is not too late in the day, we shall be calling and pleading with the few truly emancipated Fulanis to do everything in their power to educate and to convince their ethnic kinsmen that the political thinking and practices of the world have changed.
That the world is no longer in the 19th century when barbaric methods of the slaughtering of innocent population; of terrorising communities unjustly; and of using cruel ethnic cleansing of other people on their ancestral lands, were permissible weapons and methods of gaining political suzerainty over others.
That the world has moved on and have accepted that each ethnic nation or agreeable ethnic nations have inalienable fundamental human rights to political self determination over their lives and to arrange their democratic affairs based on the principles of equality, justice and freedom.
This is the political crossroads that can and should be negotiated and agreed upon before Nigerians should embark on any electioneering project in 2019.
The Fraud Called 1999 Constitution
Another crucial and most critical issue today in Nigeria is the fraudulent Constitution in use which was imposed on Nigeria. Although, the opening paragraph of the constitution falsely claimed that, “We the people” agreed on its contents. The stupidity and foolishness of 1999 must be corrected now before Nigeria can have a honest settlement on boiling national grievances.
Abdulsalami Abubakar’s military administration performed a fraudulent act on Nigerians. By hiding the 1999 military constitution from being viewed and studied by those who were to contest the 1999 Return to Democracy election was a hideous and treasonable thing to do. As a result of that cladestine and unpatriotic act, Abdusalami and his handlers jeopardised the possibilities of building bridges of political, economic and social cooperation under a secular and nonpartisan constitution that should protect all and sundry without any tinge of favouritism.
In addition, we must recall the stupidity and carelessness of the class of 1999 political neophytes and opportunists who just wanted to be in power at all costs; who had no moral concern to know what is contained in the constitution with respect to the guiding principles on which to build the new democratic government; who never asked to see the constitution on which the electoral process was to be based; and who never cared to scrutinise the small prints of the constitution before swearing on oath to protect it. And as would be expected under such appalling mediocrity, Nigeria has been wallowing in a pigsty of Lilliputian politicians ever since.
The 1999 Constitution, to all intents and purposes was anything but secular and it is very far from being nonpartisan. It was a constitution deliberately and clandestinely tilted towards Islamic-Feudalism. It barely and grudgingly accommodated the believers of other religious faiths in the country. It was clearly a set up Constitution for the future declaration of a Fulani Islamic State of Nigeria.
The fraudulent military constitution of 1999 as it was in 1979 is not practicable or implementable under a Federal Republic in a country with many Ethnic nations and with many different religious leanings within it. The same fate that befell the 1979 Constitution is beckoning for the present one as well. It has to sink under the purposely built-in contradictions.
2019: A Break or Bend Year for Nigeria
2019 is going to be a break or bend year for Nigeria. The duty of all awakened Nigerians will be to ensure we can find a more auspicious way to manoeuvre the dangerous political junctions and crossroads ahead of us without incurring any major bloody disaster.
In this respect, 2019 election should be a no go area until we can agree on the appropriate political and economic structures suitable for our different nations and that can enhance growth and development both for individual nations as well as the collective federal nation after proper negotiations on all thorny issues in the polity.
The present covert ideology of the Fulani Caliphate that present the Fulani ethnic group as a conqueror of Nigeria and wishing to continue to play the master of the Uthman dan Fodio Manor/Estate of Nigeria should be the first issue to be dealt with and thrown out for its inappropriateness in a democratic political arrangement.
This important issue of asking the Fulani Ethnic nation to accept in principle and in practice the inalienable right of every citizen to freedom, justice and equality is the only basic requirement that other indigenous ethnic nations are demanding. That is, if Nigerians seriously still desire to continue to live together as one country. And if it is impossible for the Fulani Nation to achieve a change of mental and cultural reorientation away from a supremacist belief, then Nigeria must have sealed her fate not to exist as one nation.
We still have a very tiny chance and a slim ray of opportunity to correct the political imbalances that have made Nigeria ungovernable and unfit for human existence.
Final Word on Hope
But can we do it? Yes, I think we can.
It is still possible if we put our minds to it. It is going to be a laudable experience if only we have the will to try. It is not going to be easy but we can still create a haven of peace and harmony for the present and for the generation of the future if only we can grow up.
However, among many other things holding us down that we need to look into are the religious and cultural prejudices that came to us by imposition from foreign/alien shores. These beliefs and their incomprehensible dogmas are fundamentally unAfrican since they negate our spiritual well being as well as cause irreparable divisions among us. Yet a host of Nigerians are jealously holding onto them as the best thing that ever happened to their lives. This is the foremost bane of our political and social problems.
Are we brave enough to look under the forbidden carpets of our borrowed beliefs and religious cultures?
Yet we must look into all the various handicaps and ‘mindicaps’ and make intelligent decisions, if there is still a burning desire within us to live in peace and in a country that has a lot of potentials to offer for our welfare and happiness.
The ball is still in our various courts but it is dangerously close to the final whistle when providence will call a stop to the stupid game of ‘screw-me-I-screw-you’ for personal gains that is sending all of us to our early graves in Nigeria. It will be suicidal if we fail to take a sensible detour from the infernal abyss that is dangerously positioned ahead of us.
In The Spirit of Truth
SAM ABBD ISRAEL
18 August 2018