by 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 Oransanye 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 than 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 hapless families. On reflection, perhaps preaching and persuasive cajoling might just make them see reason to abandon their folly and foolishness. We should call them to a classroom for an urgent meeting. Should anyone wait for the extra-legal treatment before yielding the shark infested 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 and oath taking. 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 self-govern 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.
Nigeria has to be restructuring in 2021, prelude to the so-tagged magic year 2023. For all intents and purposes, the Yorubas have recently decided not to fight anyone on this matter. If all reason fails, we shall stay at home and abstain from all others in Nigeria. We shall let Nigeria be.