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Nigeria needs a truly federal system to accelerate development and unity & end overbearing, asphyxiating and monstrous octopus centralisation – [Serving] Senator Olúṣọlá Adéyẹyè

July 31, 2018

Nigeria

EXCERPTS OF A RECENT PAPER by Senator Oluṣọla Adeyẹye, Chief Whip, Representing my Senatorial District – Ọṣun Central – at Nigeria’s Upper Legislative House – TOLA. 

 

The gales of doom have not only approached our doors, they gustily and ferociously bang on them! … In any case, were we to be totally oblivious to these gales, we got good help over twelve years ago when American Intelligence apparatchiks predicted that Nigeria would disintegrate before or not too long after 2015.

Decades earlier, in 1937 to be precise, Burma (now called Myanmar) was separated from British India. Eleven years later (1948), Ceylon now called Sri Lanka became independent of British India. Of course, Pakistan was separated from India in 1947, while Eastern Pakistan broke away from Pakistan in 1971 to give rise to Bangladesh. In other words, during the lifetime of the oldest members of this audience, a sequential breakup of India had occurred yielding five sovereign countries all of which have taken their rightful seats as chartered members of the United Nations, namely: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

In briefly reminding us about the breakup of what were four countries (Yugoslavia, the USSR, India and the Scandinavian Kalmar Union) into what are 26 sovereign countries of our contemporary world, my point is not to glamorize the disintegration of sovereign countries … Rather, I have refreshed our minds with empirical case notes that robustly countermand and debunk the fallacy that the disintegration of countries, is intrinsically pernicious and innately injurious. On the contrary, for example, rather than remaining together in a commonwealth of internecine conflicts and obligate mutual destruction, India and Pakistan have been far better off by parting ways into separate republics, each choosing its own substantially different courses of national actualization and development.

Despite the divergent paths taken by India and Pakistan, they are today very powerful countries; both are nuclear powers.

It is an irony of history that although this lecture is being delivered on the campus of what was once ranked as the fourth best hospital in the British Commonwealth, Nigerians now embark on regular medical trips to India.

As for Nigeria, if the truth be told, our republic creaks and moans from the battering gales that precariously dangle us on the precipice of disintegration. The American prediction has not come true. But we would be suffering from delusion-induced astigmatism … if we fail to see that it is not too late for the prediction to be fulfilled.

Although I am an incorrigible believer in the unity of Nigeria, I have taken extensive time to discuss the pros and cons of Nigerian unity so as to debunk the oft-repeated fallacy that Nigerian Unity is non-negotiable. Those who tout this arrant superstition do so because of their mistaken ideology that the greatest purpose of nationhood is unity.

The truth, of course, is that whenever being “united” becomes inimical to the peace and progress of a country, its citizens should summon the wisdom and courage to peacefully disunite. Therefore, for us to properly contemplate and solve Nigeria’s seemingly intractable problems, we must first overcome the Gale of False Assumptions about National Unity.

Nigerians, are a superstitious lot. It does not matter too much what religion we profess, nor the level of education that we have acquired; superstitions run through our blood. This is the reason that when things are clearly not well, when they get as bad as possible, when we should get angry and be emboldened to take corrective steps, we calmly retort by saying “it is well!” This proclamation, ostensibly an exercise of faith in the ultimate triumph of omnipotent God, insidiously yields a docility of temperament and cadaverous unconcern!

The truth of course is that nations, just like individuals, sleep on whatever bed they had laid. The pervasive dysfunction and decay in our national institutions are the creations of Nigerians, not God. We can pray for as long as we wish in our churches and mosques. We can tarry in our endless camps and so-called vigils. None of these alters the immutable truth that whatever a nation sows, the same it shall reap.

Under “the gale of structural abnormalities”, Adeyeye profers that Nigeria’s “… malfunctions are the inescapable manifestations of constitutive defects in structure”, and without terminating them, the country’s “debilitating malfunctions that result in inefficiency, corruption, malaise, disorder, and underdevelopment …” will continue.

No President, king or emperor will make Nigeria work until we evolve a truly federal system. Successive rulers have denigrated Nigeria into a tragic enclave of overbearing centralism and shifty Byzantinism. As bestowed by our current constitution, the Federal Government is a monstrous octopus; its tentacles continue to asphyxiate the progress and unity of our people. We need to devolve far greater power from the central government to the federating units of Nigeria. We need to terminate the virtual omnipotence and omnipresence of the Federal Government which cause the epilepsy of our power supply, paralysis of our railway system, incapacitation of our police, ruination of our educational system, pollution of our environment, corruption of our polity and strangulation of our economy.

When the British first came to Nigeria, Nigeria’s population was about half that of the U.K. When they left in 1960, Britain and Nigeria had approximately equal populations. Today, Nigeria’s population is more than twice that of the U.K. This is probably the greatest nightmare rushing towards Nigeria like a speedy bullet. The Malthusian predicament, far deadlier than Boko Haram, is speedily approaching.

 

THE FULL PAPER:

AVERTING THE APPROACHING GALES

 

 

A few of Restructuring/National Question-related essays on this blog. More can be accessed through the search box on the Home Page.

https://emotanafricana.com/2011/10/10/time-to-end-nigerias-pseudo-federalism/Tola Adenle/

https://emotanafricana.com/2012/09/17/true-federalism-is-the-way-forward-alani-akinrinade-at-yoruba-assembly/

https://emotanafricana.com/2013/06/17/the-national-question-and-the-nigerian-constitution-femi-aborisade/

https://emotanafricana.com/2016/07/25/nigeria-must-restructure-or-break-up-retd-lt-general-alani-akinrinade-warnssunnewsonline-com/

https://emotanafricana.com/2017/09/21/yoruba-voices-on-restructure-rather-than-working-on-the-next-mega-party-preventing-a-sinking-titanic-through-dialogue-is-the-way-to-go-tola-adenle/

 

TUESDAY, JULY 31, 2018. 12:56 P.M. [GMT]

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