Soviet lessons for Nigeria at a time like this


Soviet lessons for Nigeria at a time like this


By Akpo Ometan



Almost thirty years to this day, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics became history. It had been in place since the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and was clearly one of the most assertive state entities in the world at that time.


But social dynamics being what they are, the Soviet system which had been unravelling from within for years was now no longer able to hold together. It took the final General Secretary of the ruling party and closing President of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to superintend over the last pages of that script. The Russian Federation and the many other republics that emerged from that dissolution exercise have since come to take their place in the constellation of the nations of the world.


In Nigeria for some time now, there have been an increasing spiral of discontent and disillusionment with the state of things. While some canvas a restructuring of the current order, others go as far as to canvas even more widespread self-determination and secession. In all of this, the reality is that the present administration would generally prefer that the status quo remain as it is. Indeed, no less a person as President Muhammadu Buhari has been known to either deflect the question of restructuring or outrightly wave it away. Not even when his own party had convened a team to probe the issue which ended in a report advocating that the nation should restructure. The President would still not be moved.


As for the issue of secession, he is most equivocal that that must never happen. In the outgoing week, the administration moved heavily against champions of secession in the South East and South West parts of the country.


Polity watchers however say that there may indeed be a sense in which something definitely would have to give. And they are looking towards the National Assembly which is expected to shortly go into the closing phases of a constitutional amendment exercise to help chart out a pathway. But can that be done with the continuing personal opposition of President Buhari and his close coterie of suporters? And if that is not done, how would the very restive and agitated segments of the population who are seemingly pushed to the wall respond? We wait.



President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria






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