Nigeria@53: With These Few Reasons…

Posted: September 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

By Prince Charles Dickson

A person’s ugliness is the god’s doing; the person’s lack of clothing is his/her own fault.

How many recall those ‘good ole’ days in secondary school, the Literary & Debating Society days. We visited schools; the debates were intense, yet fun-packed. It was a matter of pride.

They were days of the Press Clubs, and Principals’ cup and inter-house and schools sports competition. But those debates were way up there.

Whether the topic was “Mixed schools are better than single schools”, “Boarding is better than day”, even “Mom is better than Dad”…I love those final submissions, with these few words of mine I hope I have been able to convince and not confuse you that Nigeria is better left this current way than discussed.

Before the final submission, was always that introductory protocol, panel of judges, co-debators, guests and friends, I am here to tell you, Nigerians must talk….
Now to my debate – should Nigerians not talk, should they talk and why, is it worth the talk or should we just go on auto-pilot? Even these days the auto-pilot button is on malfunction mode.

“The people on the highland don’t care for the survival of the people under the water because they still have chance to breath and cling to their crumbs. The Abuja lands retainers are too afraid to let go than the landlord who gave them the lands. The fact is that nobody is losing anything that is properly appropriated, except for the fear of losing corruption-laden affairs in Abuja.

It is becoming clear by day and night that there are differences amongst different nationalities who feel they need to talk before slitting throats of each other. There is no law or power on earth that supports the arrogance of a few against majority resolve. I strongly believe if the “president who heads the executive council and the senate president who heads NASS have said they support an independent platform for Nigerians to talk”, it is a waste of time paying attention to uncommon grandstanding, self aggrandizement and arrogance of nonentities who believe they represent certainty. So talk, we certainly should.

Those were the conclusion of my friend, Wakilawal. But really what are the contentions regarding the renewed agitation/calls for a national talk. I have never seen a madman who accepted that he was mad let alone accept any low mental level. Nigerians talk about God, love God, serve God and look up to God even to the envy of the Israelites/Italians/Arabs et al. Therefore, when we are confronted with any situation we go on our knees in prayer and supplication to God even when the problem is self-inflicted.

So with the nod to the Sovereign National Conference/Constituent Assembly/National Talk/Dialogue, my admonition takes me back to 2005, it was named the National Political Reform Conference. Its approval and set guidelines was reminiscent of the late Abacha’s Five Leprous Fingers hand experiment.

A fruitless journey, one dare says. But who is afraid of Nigeria being balkanized? Is the dialogue solely about division? Why are we scared as regards the unity question? What is wrong in us really redressing the issues that affect us such as ethnicity, tribal cum indigeneship/residency matters? How about all these political power problems – our structural and systemic defects? Is our federal system not all feeding bottle fiscalism?

The unity everyone so craves and holds on to has a messy history of having been evolved in the heat of the passion moment by the bedside between Lord and Lady Lugard. Lord Lugard says, “Sweetheart, what do we call this business of South and North.” She responds, “Honey, let’s call it Nigeria”. Is this what we are afraid to discuss?

While this enterprise called Nigeria remains very viable, it really has not arrived anywhere and there was no need deceiving us. It was imperative for us to sit down together and do a soul-searching exercise of the system, the structure and the people.

Let everyone – man, woman, child (mad people inclusive) – talk! Not some select few who will be teleguided. But there are more answers than questions. Nigeria has become a nation of committees, workshops, seminars, panels, conferences, probes, and inquiries with no findings or results. The reports are left to gather dust at Aso Rock file cabinets. Of course, that is when one does not go to court to bar the report from being made public.

We had the constituent assemblies of IBB and Abacha, and their fantastic blueprint which never was or will be implemented. It has remained “choosing the wrong formulae for calculating a nation’s political woes”.

From simple humour to laughable seriousness as same persons that are the problem are quartered in some hotels, free food, phones, call cards and banters. Political jobbers that will just job, recall the last one was almost a billion naira spent on some 354 persons, almost a million per day on a person for almost three months yet no consensus.

(Certain of one’s conditions one must take responsibility for, but others one cannot take the blame for.) Killer whales are no whales but species of dolphins. Nigeria is a nation everyday evolving as a problem. We may criticise Jonathan, but what about the rogue governors, thieving councilmen at the local level?

A bandwagon of ministers, aides, a young and disillusioned populace, a corrupt laden few ‘god of men’ and masquerading elders, yet universities remain on strike for three months; who really is ASUU if not part of the problem. A professor works at NUC on secondment, he is an ASUU member.

Nigerians need to talk, but we are in quagmire regarding what to say, who to talk to, how to talk. Understanding Nigeria and its needs only gets compounded; in a breath it is corruption, in another leadership, and in a sweep it is followership, at 53 years of independence, and few months to our centenary, will we get to talk out our differences, or continue to collect counterfeit currency for our daughters’ bride price so that she remains betrothed. Only time will tell.

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