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« Gender Equality Agenda and Obasanjo’s Presidency | Main | Ogbanje in Sanskrit »

May 09, 2006

Nigeria can only get Worse, Not Better

by Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu (Dundalk, Republic of Ireland) --- The madness that is currently going on in Nigeria, should not be a surprise, it is the direct implication of operating a very strong centre, where the “winner takes all”. A Nigerian President is the equivalent of a “God”.

He has absolute control of the Police, Armed forces, judiciary etc.He uses the police and Army to hound and even kill those who oppose him, and uses them to protect those who support and sing his praises. He decides projects to execute in states or zones, and decides those not to be executed in certain states or zones in line with the unwritten marginalisation policy. He decides who to appoint to certain so called sensitive positions, and those from certain areas not to appoint, also in keeping to the marginalisation policy. If a President from “A” tribe is in power, he makes sure that he appoints only people from his “A” tribe to strategic positions and into positions where there is a lot of “Egunje” .

Because the President is like a God, he has the power of life and death. He can obey the law when he chooses, and disobey it when he chooses. The kidnap of a sitting governor, and burning down of government property in Anambra state, the total destruction of the governors office in Oyo state and the subsequent arbitrary impeachment of the governor at the whims and caprices of a political godfather connected to the “ God of Aso rock” is a clear testimony to the “Godliness” of Aso rock.

The Godlike nature of Aso rock is such that Aso rock plays the role of a father to the states. The states being the children of the Aso rock father, are not allowed to make their own money. They depend on the Aso rock father for monthly handouts. The God of Aso rock does not love all his children equally, infact he hates some of his children, and can sometimes withhold the monthly handouts to such a hated child. There are some particular children that the God of Aso rock hates so much, that he can become very creative when he wants to exclude those children from any development initiative that can be beneficial to them.

The recent Niger-Delta initiative is a clear pointer to such scenarios. The initiative was designated “Coastal states of the Niger-Delta” in order to cleverly exclude Abia and Imo States who happen to be some of the children that the God of Aso rock hates. But the lie was exposed when Edo state which is not a coastal state was included in the initiative.

Funny enough when those children of the God of Aso rock who are being maltreated, complain of the injustice being meted out to them, and announce their intention to separate from the God of Aso rock, they are severely punished for ever contemplating such a thing.
Most of the children have asked their father to convene, a “Sovereign national conference” where the father and the children can talk to resolve all their problems. They also proposed a situation where they can have some level of autonomy in their own homes and control their own resources instead of receiving handouts, but the God of Aso rock backed by certain favoured children that are benefiting from the injustice has consistently refused to convene any such conference.
The consequence is that some of those hated children are now planning to wage “Guerrilla warfare” against their father, the God of Aso Rock. Can you blame them?

Against this backdrop, of overwhelming Godlike powers of a Nigerian president, all of whom have todate been tribal leaders, What is the guarantee that Nigeria will get better when another president assumes such powers, knowing the nature of the African and their penchant to abuse power?. Indeed those of them like Gen. Babangida, and Vice president Atiku. whose names have been bandied about for the presidency makes the scenario even more frightening. The reason every ethnic group is struggling to produce the president, is because of the overwhelming powers and possibilities inherent in that office, and because of the high level of injustice, and marginalisation being perpetrated against other ethnic groups by presidents who come from different ethnic groups.

The multiplier effect is that every ethnic group believes it can only get justice when someone from their own ethnic group is the president.

In genuine nations, hence your rights are guaranteed, it doesn’t matter where the president comes from, what matters is the issues, not the race or ethnicity. In the Nigerian instance the reverse is the case. Given the failure of the Obasanjo administration serving the interests of the Feudal North, against popular demands, to restructure the country to preferably autonomous ethnic regions and the attendant devolution of powers, which will in effect permit each region to develop at their own pace, and herald a very weak centre.

I predict a continuation of abuse of powers, absence of the rule of law, ethnic politics and the attendant continuation of marginalisation of certain groups. Even if crude oil is sold at $1000 a barrel, I predict the continued ravage of massive, blinding poverty for obvious reasons.

Looking at my crystal ball, I see increasing ethnic and religious strife, I see the Niger-Delta, and the OPC increasing their militancy, and I see the Igbo East beginning armed insurgency. Finally I see what looks like Nigeria breaking up into smaller units, either as outright disintegration or a forced return to autonomous regions. Except of course there is a revolution, or surprisingly a Pan- Nigerian “Messiah” becomes the president in 2007, Nigeria can only get worse, not better.

Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu
Dundalk, Republic of Ireland

Posted by Administrator at May 9, 2006 09:22 AM


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