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In our present political predicament, we have three options: a federalism with an all-powerful central government, a decentralized federal government, and a fragmented Nigeria supplanted by separation.
The first option of a powerful and tyrannical federal government is what we have now. The second option of a true centralized federalism is being rejected, rebuffed, and resisted. But Nigeria is headed for the third option – fragmentation and separation
The imminent possible break up of Nigeria brings on the bone-shaking shivers doctors call rigors. Many writers have detailed how Nigeria is bursting at the seams with ethno-religious, political and economic problems waiting to explode. However, the apostles of one Nigeria have repeatedly denied or dismissed the notion and tried to nudge us out of that zone. By definition, a failed state is one that has simply ceased to function. Going by this definition, Nigeria is a failed state because nothing works in Nigeria. Nigeria is a divided nation. Nigeria is a collapsed state and her break up is imminent. The signs are all over the place: an Oduduwa Republic for the Yorubas is inevitable.
I believe there is a very strong case for Oduduwa Republic for the benefits for both the historic rivalry between east and west, north and south, oil states and non-oil states, Christian and Muslims communities, democrats and autocrats, soldiers and citizens that have bedeviled Nigeria since its founding are pulling us apart to the extreme. We’re closer to the breaking point. The elements of traditional prejudice of the three major ethnic groups – Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba – continue to ignite enmity, distrust, and hatred. The three groups have remained incontestably hostile – forever. Today, there is more animosity than there is collegiality. The three groups are full of expression of self-hate, suspicion, and intolerant of each other.
Our history proves that ethnic unity is more of a dusty artifact of an ancient political arrangement than the outcome of genuine political incorporation or enhanced cohesion among the different ethnic groups. The fragile state of affairs has been held together by a tsunami of lies and misrepresentations in whose wake the country is reeling perpetually. Successive governments were dominated by evil and murderous perpetrators of crimes
Ethnic fragmentation and persistent hotbeds of political criminality were encouraged and sponsored by the rulers. As a result, we were submerged in ethnic hatred and rabid nationalism that swept throughout the nation like a disease.
The absence of a true democracy to ensure devolution of federal power is a powerful incentive against unity and cooperation. Nigeria is convulsed by internal violence. It can no longer deliver positive political goods to her citizens. The government is fast losing legitimacy. The government has become illegitimate in the eyes and hearts of a growing plurality of 180 million Nigerians. Nigeria sinks deeper and deeper into chaos and calamity. The north-south divide remains the greatest obstacle to a strengthened democracy and a workable union. We’re battling economic confusion, continued corruption, prolonged poverty, and sustained mismanagement. The scale of corruption dwarfs any brazen robbery of public treasury in recent memory. Our world has been turned into a medieval hellscape. Corruption flourishes on unusually destructive scale. Our corrupt ruling class mostly invest their loots overseas, not at home, making the economic failure of the country much more acute.
Our rulers siphon funds from the state coffers. They dip directly into the coffers of the shrinking state to pay for lavish residences and palaces, extensive overseas travel, and privileges and perquisites that feed their greed. Nigeria has failed to grow economically and its citizens have failed to flourish. For many years, Nigerians have been trapped in an irreversible debilitating cycle of poverty and hopelessness. The paralysis of our democratic structures has illuminated further the mockery and the failure of our democracy. The twice forgotten man in Nigeria has always been the poor. The government response to the abject poverty that has defined the lives of the poor is zero. Our political leaders are not chosen on the merit of mass support. Most are selected by god fathers, elevated to position, supplied with resources and, as expected, subjected to the king maker’s control.
The Presidency and the National Assembly are inarticulate giants with uneasy gait, subjected to abuse and confuse in their responses to national issues. Checks and balances that are part of a healthy democracy have been deleted in our system. It’s no surprise that our representative democracy is nothing but a disguise in name. It is no exaggeration to say that there are no legislatures in Nigeria. If they exist at all, they are rubber-stamp machines. Our judiciary is a derivative of the executive rather than being independent. Nigerians know that they cannot rely on the court system for redress or remedy. The mass poor of our people nurtures a healthy suspicion toward these manufactured leaders. It’s an open secret that money is the chief argument these leaders are offering to induce and buy loyalty. These manufactured leaders lack personal integrity, commitment, and ability. Tragically, they’re not fighters for a new life for our people but figureheads of the old.