E O EkeSaturday, July 29, 2017



igerian senate failure to vote for restructure, a missed opportunity to make good history.

I am not surprised that the senate failed to pass the amendment on devolution of power. It exposes what many people know, which inform the strategy they have advocated.

The vote exposed how far the north is prepared to go, in defending and maximising its unfair advantages which the 1999 constitution accords her.

This action informs my preference for an ANC like organisation for the liberation of Nigeria.

Such organisation will attract Nigerians of different ethnic groups and religious persuasions to fight for a better Nigeria under the rule of law where justice as fairness reigns supreme.

It has been obvious to me that only a coalition of democratic Nigerians can create the critical mass for the change Nigeria needs. No single ethnic group can do it. Igbos tried and failed in Biafra.

The north already has a strangulating hold on Nigeria. They control the army, customs etc. They are minded to use their position, power and advantage to pursue islamisation and domination of the country. No strategy that ignores this will succeed.

Therefore, pursuing the struggle via ethnic organisations only gives the north opportunity to use the federal might against the ethnic group.

My position has been that the Nigerian problem should be framed as problem of injustice and corruption and that the attempt to see it from ethnic lens is ethnic nationalism and a strategic mistake.

This is because, I believe that a better Nigeria, where no group has undeserved advantage and where the rule of law is sacrosanct is best for every individual, irrespective of ethnicity or religion.

While the outcome in the senate may provide ethnic nationalists brief propaganda material, it will never be sufficient to break the mould and deliver the outcome they seek.

This is why Nigerians must unite and rise above ethnicity and religion, if the country will not disintegrate into ethnic enclaves, fighting the federal government for autonomy.

The Nigeria problem is now like Knotted ball of rope. One has to carefully examine the knotted ball to know the strand one can pull without making the knot tighter.

On examining the ball, there are some strands, which if pulled, will begin to unravel the knotted ball. The problem is unwillingness of those who must pull the strands to act.

A look at the most successful group of Nigerians, the corrupt political class, will reveal the formula for the transformation of Nigeria.

The corrupt elites have used it successfully and will stop at nothing to prevent the silent and suffering majority from doing the same. They neither allow religion nor ethnicity to come between them and their aims and objectives.

However, they fan the flame of religion and ethnicity to stop ordinary Nigerians from coming together to fight for their common interest.

They tell their people not to vote for people of other ethnicity or religion, but have as their best friends, corrupt leaders from other ethnic groups.

The Nigerian corrupt elites see themselves as one family, irrespective of ethnicity and religion.

This is played out when they celebrate their birthdays, their wedding ceremonies and those of their children and when any of them commits a crime or suffer bereavement.

The corrupt political class appoint the judges and nominate those who become Senior Advocates.

Then the senior advocates and judges abuse the law to acquit them when they loot the treasury. They are the ones who arrange and grant permanent immunity from prosecution to corrupt politicians or prolong trial indefinitely.

The farcical trial of The senate president and those of many ex-governors, who looted their state treasury expose the mockery they make of the law and due process.

Their loyalty is first and foremost to themselves and not to the country, morality or noble values and they vigorously defend their selfish interest, whatever the law says. They are also ever ready to play the ethnic and religious cards, when they believe it is in their political interest.

It is therefore easy to see, why any attempt to restore the rule of law, ensure justice and equity and end impunity in Nigeria, which does not take into account the relationship of the political Class and the judiciary may not succeed.

Part of the solution would require ordinary Nigerians, irrespective of ethnicity or religion to come together and unite under civil values to build a free society, under the rule of law.

Nigerians must seize whatever role they have in the existing polity with the view to maximising it to lay the foundation of a civil and free society.

It is therefore clear that any group like Arewa youth, IPOB etc., which Pursue secretion interests on the basis of religion or ethnicity cannot represent the solution and a viable future.

The history is that leaders of such groups, use the groups to gain the right to be admitted into the corrupt club, which must be disbanded to give Nigeria a future.

This is why they have neither transformed Nigerian nor liberated their people.

Ordinary Nigerians must do what the criminal elites have done, swear not to allow religion or ethnicity to divide them in the struggle for good government, justice, equality, and free society under the rule of law and fight for a new Nigeria.

Those who fight ethnic or religious battles are perpetuating the Nigerian night mare, making the change they promise their member more improbable.

Nigerians must unite to defeat corruption, nepotism and sectarianism. The alternative is disintegration into ethnic enclaves. I fear that this disintegration would be violent.

Nigerians must unite on the single demand for a new constitution of the people, written by the people and for the people and be united in rejecting the current constitution because it was written to ensure the domination of the north.

The senate may have just provided patriotic Nigerians, a platform to launch the struggle that will finally bring change to Nigeria and deliver the restructure many demand.