Nigeria needs restructuring, not elections, by Leke Agbarin-Agba
It is time for all southern traditional and political leaders to rise and hold a Southern and Middle Belt meeting on restructuring immediately. A communique from such a strategic meeting should aim to: boycott elections for the ethnic groups in the Middle Belt and the South; demand restructuring along the six geopolitical zonal lines
The only way for Nigeria to get out of the current catastrophe that they have complained so much about is through the restructuring of the polity to return to true federalism as was practiced before the military interventions of 1966. The Middle Belt and the South should boycott the elections because there is no choice to be made. So far all the potential candidates for both the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party are Fulanis. Some of them talk about restructuring but none of them has said exactly how he intends to restructure Nigeria. The same Fulani say they own Nigeria, which they claim was given to them by God.
Nigerians should therefore wake up from their slumber and ask for the immediate restructuring of the country. It is also time to close ranks. It is time for all southern traditional and political leaders to rise and hold a Southern and Middle Belt meeting on restructuring immediately. A communique from such a strategic meeting should aim to: boycott elections for the ethnic groups in the Middle Belt and the South; demand restructuring along the six geopolitical zonal lines – where resides viable political and economic units – away from the resources being stolen in unviable states that neither support themselves politically nor economically.
Thirdly, resource control should be embraced so that states can take advantage of resources that abound in their territories. State Police should also be introduced for the federating units. So far, Nigeria has put the geo-political zones to good trial and pointers show that the zones are workable political units. These structures can bring good border control and efficient resource use. Having only six federating units will cut down drastically, the total Nigeria recurrent expenditure leaving significant resources for capital expenditure needed to develop Nigeria instead of the status quo of mortgaging the country to the Chinese and the West through the taking of huge loans that do not support the manufacturing base needed to create jobs and prime the economy. Those advocating for the current 36 states as the federating units should understand that it is not sustainable because it is no different from the status quo which has heaped big recurrent expenditure that we have today.
A meeting of the Middle Belt and Southern traditional and political leaders, particularly the governors, is urgently needed. The northern governors last week held a meeting with the lawless Miyetti Allah: therefore the southern governors need to wake up and meet to discuss the current unfortunate events in Nigeria and map out a line of action, NOT just talking as it were. Although there have been two conferences by the mentioned parties in Enugu and Bayelsa, there is the need for the group to meet a third time to back their rhetoric with meaning action. They should issue a communique after their meeting to boycott the next presidential election until after restructuring since there is no choice to be made in the so called election.
Lastly, the southern and middle belt traditional and political leaders’ summit should send delegations to Russia and China to match the support that Britain and the U.S give the Fulanis in the massacres of innocent people. If this is not done, the south and the middle belt would be enslaved.
An analysis of the status quo today in Nigeria confirms that there is no security and that the war to Islamise Nigeria has already started. So bad is the security situation that former defence minister, General Theophilus Danjuma warned that the Nigerian Army is aiding and abetting the deplorable slaughter of innocent citizens and cautioned that unless Nigerians rose up to defend themselves, they will be killed “one by one”. People are being slaughtered everyday by foreign Fulani troops who infiltrate Nigeria’s porous borders with ease and aided by their Nigerian counterparts. In reality, a war foisted and waged by Fulani invaders who are killing innocent people in every corner of Nigeria, has already started and claimed the lives of thousands of innocent farmers, women and children across Nigeria.
In the face of all the killings, what is the reaction of the Nigerian presidency? Victims and survivors are told to neither defend themselves, nor talk about their plight. This is facilitated by the Federal government strategy of disarming vigilante groups standing up to defend their people. Added to that, fighters of the deadly Boko Haram are not only being released in their large numbers and unleashed on defenceless citizens, they are being absorbed into the army and heavily compensated each time they release school girls that they abduct as sex slaves at will.
On the political front, the candidates for the major political parties – the All Peoples Congress and Peoples Democratic Party – are all Fulanis. Incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, former governors Rabiu Kwankwaso and Sule Lamido are the major contenders. These same candidates have been mouthing “restructuring” of the polity without clarity or action on what manner of restructuring they want for Nigeria. The long and short of it is that the restructuring chatter is another cunning strategy to get to power and be no different from the ruling APC that made the same noise in its manifesto. This is the reason why so many Nigerians believe that there should be no election because whether the APC or PDP wins, the Fulani will continue from where the previous Fulani dictator left behind.
Today, Buhari has messed up the erstwhile robust economy that he inherited. On another note, he said he came to fight corruption but ended up showing that he is more corrupt than the previous administration which he condemned and continues to condemn with relish. He started by prosecuting members of the opposition for allegedly spending $2.1 billion to prosecute the 2015 election – Sambo Dasuki, Olisa Metuh, Femi Fani-Kayode to mention but a few. In the process of the show trials that ensued, he broke all Nigerian laws ignoring due court process. The same government have taken $25 billion from the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation coffers via fictitious contracts and hushed the House of Representatives from investigating the scandal, flouted the rights of both the National Assembly and that of the judiciary and disobeyed the laws of the land in all ramifications.
Since the inception of the administration, the economy has been badly managed and is currently under distress. The Secretary to the Government of the Federation was engulfed in a widely reported case of corruption that raised so much dust and only got removed after much public pressure. The Mainagate was no different. Yet, the presidency exceeded its powers – arrested judges, bastardized government and governance. Nepotism came home to roost at the Aso Rock Villa, the seat of power. Nigeria then left democracy and embraced autocracy and an extreme form of dictatorship better described by Junaid Mohammed as government by Buhari and his relations. People cried out over the glaring nepotism and Buhari said he was going to address the lopsided appointments but never did till date. The result is that Nigeria’s democracy is dead and the country is being run like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates by Buhari and his relations.
Enough is enough, The middle belt and the South should free themselves now. It will be too late if they wait for the February 2019 election because judging by the released registered voters list, the election has already been rigged and like stated earlier, there is no choice to be made in the election.
. Agbarin-Agba lives in Annapolis, Maryland, United States of America.