The burden of indivisible Nigeria (3), by Taju Tijani

The thieves who run Nigeria are averse to an active population who are politically enlightened. They prefer mugus and passive zombies. Jonathan knows that there are workable alternatives to our forced unity but he has to work assiduously to hide that truth. Nigerians merely bond together for the sake of survival but tribalism sits at the centre of our heart and dictates our deepest actions. Consider the virus of hatred tearing Yoruba and Igbo apart on discussion forums on the Internet. Consider the deepest agitation of the Boko Haram. The Biafran. The Omo Oduduwa. The Niger Deltans. It is one direction: separate destiny!

Hatred for one another has drained one Nigeria of its value, its integrity, its strength, its protective structure, its transparency and its synergy. What we practice is to convert the power of federalism and deploy it to pursue impunity and vendetta on perceived political enemies as we see in the case of Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi and the so-called G7 governors.  Our unity is now a passing meteor, a dry well and a melting vapour. One Nigeria has landed us into chasms of darkness for 100 years.

The rising cry for autonomy, dissolution, separateness or independence is our best hope of meeting the developmental aspirations of our people. The strident agitation for self-determination is the answer to Abuja’s aloofness, remoteness and disconnection from the majority of the public. This is the crisis of political disengagement in an unwieldy federal structure. Our unity does not encourage mass access to politics except for few. That is why APC could undertake a tragi-comedy visit to Babangida and Abubakar to the chagrin of thinking Nigerians. Babangida? God have mercy!!!

The dominant cabalistic position means a political project does not even need to be idealistic and principle-driven; the essential requirement is simply to fabricate a set of perspectives – G7 Governors rushing to the bosom of APC – in order to overwhelm the interior compasses of Nigeria through the glacial prism of realpolitik.  And worse, we are forever ready to tolerate every embarrassing pretence of our politicians in their mad desire to further their resource cleansing pogrom rather than any genuine production of democratic exchange.

Our unity is going through a decay because our politicians are bad educators. They teach the wrong values – corruption, arrogance, impunity, brutality, revenge, wickedness, stealing – in a space of their uninspiring time in the saddle of political power. Consider the life story of Jonathan. The hope of all Nigerians after his emotion-laded, salacious, and disadvantaged shoeless past was that he will do politics differently. Jonathan, a once vulnerable, shoeless boy from the riverine Itueke is no longer interested in the vulnerable Nigerians in our society. Rather he has proven to be too educated beyond his intelligence. He has become a leader who gives monstrous accommodation to corruption as we see in the rehabilitation of Diepreye Alamieyeseigha and his ongoing silence on Oduahgate.

The problem with Jonathan is that he is dull. He is also a conformist. He has a wishbone but what he desperately needs is a backbone. However, we are watching and interested in how the political fabric of the ongoing national conference would be threaded. But there is a political disaster on the way. Jonathan faces a clash of conviction: satisfying the narrow agenda of tiny elites or acceding to the genuine desire of millions of long-suffering Nigerians yearning for their own republics.

Oduduwa republic is on standby. Biafra is on standby. Boko Haram republic is on standby.  Ijaw republic is on standby. One united Nigeria has not produce austereans in government. Rather it has allowed politicians to indulge their fantasies for opulent living, prestige cars, billion dollar mansions, heart-stopping salaries, private jets, pomp, parties, foreign homes, sexual orgies and blissful philandering. Our federal unity structure has encouraged profligate monoculture. It has encouraged rouges and charlatans. Our federal unity promotes a dysfunctional, obsolete structure that encourages resource cleansing. Self determination by the nationalities will encourage bolder innovations, common touch, faster community and grassroot development, homogeneity and less hidebound than one Nigeria  of disparage interests, desperation, injustice and aspirations.

Self determination of the nationalities is the politics of the future and the cure for the haemorrhaging nature of our unity. Therefore, the ongoing national conference is the last rituals for a wobbly unity before its burial. The conference is a way to reawaken from the comic-book obsession which seems to suggest that our unity is not negotiable. In the eyes of our tiny, slave masters, Nigeria should remain a mugudom where the genuine aspirations of 170 million people for freedom is forever denied by clowns who could not survive if we go our separate ways.

Well the die is now cast. It is either we stand and be counted or sit and do nothing.  One Nigeria that fetishises corruption is as doomed as a sinking Titanic.  Jonathan with pontifical dogmatism has ruled out any alternative to inclusive union. He is the very Judas betraying the nationalities into the hands of thieves, brigands, exploiters, slave masters and plunderers. No persuasive articles or polemical essays have succeeded in dissuading Jonathan from the near-religious belief in the unity of Nigeria to the exclusion of various alternatives.

He cannot puncture his own limiting orthodoxy because he has allowed business mogul interests to capture our democratic process. Little wonder they are idolised and live above the law. They have become part of the nexus of power that create policy that favours the rich and their cronies. The interest of the business class has been woven into the fabric of the main political parties either PDP, ACN or APC. Our democracy has been reduced to a cabal of privateers who will forever block the aspirations of the self determination agitators.

Every era produces politicians who seem to sum up the spirit of their age. In our own case, the most perfect example is the complete enthronement of turbo-charged corruption on incomparable global scale.  There is a huge contrast between Jonathan’s background and those who surround him. Two thirds of his minsters are billionaires. They are brazenly privileged and wealthy. What would a tiny, rich, selfish, ruling elites do to save Nigerians from the bondage of century of unhappy amalgamation?  Nothing but a guarantee of more monstrous impunity, monstrous corruption, monstrous resource cleansing, monstrous bondage and monstrous injustice in a failed experiment of one Nigeria that had kept us structurally deformed for the last 100 years.



Note: This article was first published in 2013.