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« 3rd Term Funeral: Give us Step by Step Middle Class Revival Plan | Main | Sweet Riddance to more Terms Rubbish!! »

May 18, 2006

Beyond 2007: Shaky Future Awaits Nigeria

by Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu (Dundalk, Republic of Ireland) --- While we celebrate the defeat of the obnoxious 3rd term amendment that sought to give President Olusegun Obasanjo an extra term in office, we must pause and reflect on the short and long term consequences of the total dumping of the amendment of the 1999 constitution.

All and sundry had accepted that the 1999 constitution needed an amendment to reflect the true yearnings of Nigerians. But the consequences of the total dumping of the amendment process which contained 115 points of amendment aside from the 3rd term clause amounts to “dumping the baby with the bathwater”.

This scenario no doubt is more of a victory for the North, who had hitherto in their usual unprogressive stance opposed in toto the amendment of the 1999 constitution in spite of the many positive aspects of the proposed amendment. The 3rd term imbroglio poisoned the atmosphere sufficiently to pave the way for a radical dumping of the whole process.

The evil manipulations, insincerity and tactlessness of the arrowheads of the 3rd term quest, must be blamed for unwittingly playing into the hands of the unprogressive caliphate North, who has relentlessly and stubbornly sought to maintain a terribly unjust, highly centralised, unprogressive, exploitative, and lopsided status quo.

In this regard Chief Tony Anenih the architect of 3rd term, and President Olusegun Obasanjo must take the greatest blame. Perhaps if there had been no 3rd term agenda, the whole nation would have been engaged in a progressive and democratic constitutional amendment, with little chance of the process suffering the same fate as has now befallen it.

The questions we now need to ask is: what happens to the proposal to enshrine rotational presidency in the constitution? What happens to the proposed increase in derivation to 18%? What happens to the proposed creation of an extra state in the South-east? What happens to the proposal to remove immunity from the rabidly corrupt governors? What happens to the proposal to introduce measures that will actualise true federalism?. These and so many other progressive amendments have been killed because of an ill advised and selfish wild cat 3rd term chase.

If by any act of omission the North returns to power prematurely, knowing the character of the North, the proposed progressive constitutional amendments are as good as dead. And Nigerians will commence another long run in the wilderness. The consequence is that once again we have ended up running round in a circle, with no prospects of ever achieving a just and progressive society.
Obasanjo’s greatest disservice to the Nigerian people, is undoubtedly his inability to restructure the nation along zonal or regional lines, in spite of the popular clamour that trailed his administration from inception. The implications of a persisting status quo structure, nullifies every other thing his administration might have achieved, which in any case could be overturned in 24hours.The over centralised system remains highly susceptible to abuse, and could easily breed a dictator.

It should be noted that in 60 years the essential character of the North has not changed in regards to their policies, that most of the time contradicts the very essence of the stillborn Nigerian nation. It remains to be seen if there would be any substantial difference in the coming dispensation. President Olusegun Obasanjo can still enshrine his legacy in gold, by the choice of whom he chooses as his successor. The choice of a progressive would go a long way in giving Nigerians hope in a hopeless land. Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and Dr Dora Akunyili easily comes to mind in this regards. In civilised and progressive climes where character and performance determines who becomes president, these ladies, incorruptible, and detribalised heroines of the Nigerian nation would be unbeatable. But in Nigeria? Well let’s wait and see.

Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu
Dundalk, Republic of Ireland

Posted by Administrator at May 18, 2006 10:03 AM


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