For Africa’s sake, Nigeria needs to put itself together now
For Africa’s sake Nigeria needs to put itself together now. And this is for very good reasons. The country is home to about one in every five Africans and at a time when even the Black African Diaspora is so severely embattled, it is most important that its most obvious ‘natural champion’ is seen to be strong, focused, purposeful and progressive. Very sadly, this is not the picture many get today.
From its parlous economy to the clearly inadequate management of security and social matters, the nation comes across today as severely challenged. Its poverty levels are continually rising and the security situation is clearly most distressing. The nation needs to sit back and ask itself; what have we done wrong over time? What do we need to do now to get the wheels running properly once again?
For many discerning commentators, the clear place to begin is a re-evaluation of the politics of the nation. As things stand now, the Nigerian people are permitted room to queue in the sun once in every four years to presumably elect leaders that would pilot the affairs of state. But this today, has largely come to be a charade of an exercise. The right people, more often than not do not emerge, the system lacks basic credibility and it has clearly become a ritual that almost everyone with a honest cap on his or her head believes is fruitless and meaningless. The reports of widespread malfeasance in interventionist agencies like the North East Development Commission and the Niger Delta Development Commission, the easing out of the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and the annual ceremony of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC posting questionable and incoherent losses are some obvious pointers as to the depth of the problem. The nation needs a honesty moment.
It is time to embark on a comprehensive resetting of the governing fabric of the nation, and while the clamour for a restructuring of the federation may not be a 100 percent solution in and of itself, the experience from the immediate pre-independence years clearly suggests that it would indeed do more good than the currently unbridled harm that the presently misnamed federal arrangement is doing to the nation. And if we will add one more point, it may be cheaper and more honourable overall, for the nominal giant of Africa to convene that conference today and not be pushed by Mali-type circumstances to do so over the process of time.
President Muhammadu Buhari has a great chance to make history: would he take it up? We wait.