/Nigeria: Path and Process to Real Change

Nigeria: Path and Process to Real Change

by Dr. Akin FAPOHUNDA

Dr. Akin Fapohunda

The way we are, no one in Nigeria can thrive ever. It has been 60 wasted years. October 1, 2020
is here already as an opportunity to institute directional change.
Rather than political, the case for change in the political re-configuration of Nigeria is virtually
economic. No harm is intended for any member of Nigeria. It is just that we no longer have the
resources to maintain the Presidential bureaucracy of 42 ministries and over 700 departments
and agencies. The Oransaye Committee white paper is so pretentious about any organic
reforms. The bi-camera legislature of over 500 members sucks life out of the nation. The
multiplicity of 36 State executives and legislatures is another drain on our national life.
The political class at all levels is holding on to the jugular of the Nigerian nation. We are
breathing only with grave difficulty. Their grip on our resources and mopping up of
infrastructural development funds will eventually lead to our bankruptcy and eventual take
over by the Chinese. It will never happen that the ratio of 70 to 30 per cent in favour of
consumption will be reversed unless the existing polity is restructured.
As a digression, rather vilify, we may just have to pity our political elite and their hangers on. All
their scheming and shameless accumulation of money corruptly is simply to buy and rig
themselves into positions. It is an endless cycle of stealing and brigandage all in pursuit of the
quest to rig and torpedo others in the quest for power. Hardly is this fun at all to them and their
families. On reflection, perhaps preaching and persuasive cajoling might just make them see
reason to abandon their folly and foolishness. Should anyone wait for the extra-legal treatment
before yielding political space?
Whereas, all it would take to lower the temperature of political contestation would be to make
a switch in favour of modified parliamentary system. Rather than nation-, state- or senatorial
district-wide campaigns at humongous costs, everyone will contest in a home territory based
on family name and pedigree. It would hardly be necessary to print even posters, as the
primary requirement would be personal name recognition in the contestant’s community of
extraction.
Most campaigns would be on foot, knocking on doors and getting to know prospective voters in
an intimate way. Out of the window goes money mongering. Thuggery shall become untenable
in the circumstance.
With a win in the manner so described above, the opportunity for becoming anything will now
lie in the parliament. It is a house of credible representatives of the constituencies that will
determine who becomes part of the executive as Ministers. The head of the government at any
level would be a Prime among equals, hence the term Prime Minister. There shall be no more
lobbying to be appointed into positions by a President or Governor that may have rigged across
the country.
Furthermore, autonomous regions for every ethnic nationality in contiguous territories will
sweep away all quests for domination, but promote healthy competition, such that each can act
in their self-interest, without let or hindrance. The central government would be cooperatively
maintained.
Let the very best of Igbos preside over Eastern Region. The Yorubas were and will be better off
minding her internal affairs and contradictions if any, within a homogenous worldview of
common values of “alajobi.” The same for other Regions.
Of course, it should also be amplified federalism within the regions. In the new Western Region,
the homogenous Okuns (Kogi) or Igbominas (Kwara) might retain their identities and selfgovern as friendly but distinct neighbours to the Ekitis. The Yelwas might choose to exist as a
socio-economic unit autonomous from the Egbas. The Ijeshas might find it expedient to try
dealing with the Ekitis, or even choose to be unique in “Osomaalo” separateness. Most of these
sub-ethnic nationalities are likely to appoint business-like Managing Directors as the heads of
their governance, instead of the money guzzling Executive Governors. It would be to each
according to the ability to pay their respective ways.
The foregoing will entail the Western Regional Government being tantamount to Development
and Planning Commission only, for managing collaborations and cooperate programmes
between and among what might be Provinces. Who needs the States as they are presently
constituted?
The above scenario is what beckons to all regions across Nigeria. The earlier we formulate and
undertake course corrections in favour of the above imperatives, the better for us all. We
should not be fearfully afraid of working in our self-interest. Just one ethnic nationality should
not immolate us into self-defeat.
It has to be restructuring in 2021, prelude to the so-tagged magic year 2023. For all intents and
purposes, the Yorubas have decided not to fight anyone in this matter. If all reason fails, we
shall stay at home and abstain from all others in Nigeria. We shall let Nigeria be.