FEATURE ARTICLE

Tuesday, February 6, 2024
[email protected]
Arizona, USA
STATE OF THE NATION: AWO'S CRUCIAL MESSAGE TO ALL NIGERIANS

oincidentally, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a pragmatist and staunch Awoist and one of the residuum political disciples of the late Sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo. President Tinubu must be reminded to fulfill the political agenda and emancipation of hapless Nigerians from amoral Nigerians. Tinubu's consequential presidency is instructive to discerning minds; we must get it right as we navigate the current state of anomie in our dear but troubled country.

The words of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, are still fresh in our minds and instructive to the Nigerian authority. The government of Tinubu needs to reconsider the genuine restructuring of the fractured Nigerian federation. The present structures are very defective, weak, and unsustainable. Nigeria is a nation in search of its true identity. It is gratifying that the administration of President Tinubu is considering a total overhaul of Nigeria's geo-economy and structural defection. President Tinubu's systematic approach to reordering Nigeria should be understood and encouraged.

Awo's evergreen words on marble are auspicious in the present state of the union:

"After rain comes sunshine; after darkness comes the glorious dawn. There is no sorrow without its alloy of joy; there is no joy without its admixture of sorrow. Behind the ugly, terrible mask of misfortune lies the beautiful, soothing countenance of prosperity. So, tear the mask!"

Nigerians should tear off the mask of bigotry, intellectual laziness, self-induced problems, and hopelessness. I am not an advocate of a national divorce but an agitator for solid triforce of the geopolitical structures of Nigeria. Nigeria is a troubled marriage that needs the stakeholders (suitors) sitting together by mediators to discuss her reunion or amicable and peaceful dissolution. Our unity in diversity has been battered by so many years of misrules. The sociopath leaders in politics and religion who have bracingly ruled and shepherded Nigeria have no respect for the masses and the people they rule or shepherd. Through their ostentatious lifestyles and the masses' misery, a hobbessian state has been created and nurtured (a state of collective greed and lawlessness). Confusion, contradictions, distrust, jealousy, backbiting, hatred, etc., are rooted in our macro-micro and social interactions.

The fundamentals of the Nigerian economy are weak, and the country is currently stagnating. Nigerian economy defies any known economic logic because of chronic corruption and selfishness. The embarrassing nosediving of our national currency is a direct foreign consumption of needless goods and services. Nigerians cherish anything foreign to national endowments that contribute to the nation's growth and development.

The country's infrastructures are comatose by decades of neglect, and the wailers among us want economic abracadabra instantly! The propensity for every citizen's wealth accumulation and instant gratification is a national disgrace. No Nigerian citizen is excluded from the aso-ebi-like woes of a nation. Bring Jesus Christ or Muhammed to Nigeria today; the duo will be frustrated and fail woefully. The only remedy for our collective trouble is swearing into any office or job in Nigeria with Sango, Sonpona, or other traditional paraphernalia or weapons for oath-taking. With blasphemy, Nigerians have taken God and Allah for granted for too long without any deterrent!

Sadly, a discerning mind can see, not by happenstance, the recent ugly development bequeathed our traditional rulers! Our once-upon-a-time cultural heritage, mores, and virtues: "Kabiyesi or K bi s, have been reduced to endangered species. Our Obas, from all geopolitical spectrums, are political prey and pawns in the hands of politicians, religious leaders, and perverted bandits or domestic terrorists.

Retrospectively, under colonialism, the brutish British, under the leadership of Lord Lugard, conjoined Nigeria earnestly for their administrative convenience. After more than a century of our pseudo-union, in 2014, President Goodluck Jonathan, the then circumstantial president, celebrated our futile centenary amid widespread corruption. This was celebrated with nothingness under our national and divisive canopy. Awo's theory and exposition about Nigeria as a "mere geographical expression" is still very tenable in the present structure. Our leaders have made nonsense of our rich diversity through religion, ethnocentrism, and egocentricism. Nigeria is more polarised along these nuances now more than ever. The previous administrations had missed and messed up a lot of opportunities to restructure Nigeria. Tinubu is in a vantage position, and he is privileged with this unique opportunity to reorder our fragile unity.

The restructuring of Nigeria will correct every perceived age-long problem. Without equivocation, our leaders have fractured our union. The status quo is untenable and unsustainable. Nigeria is a nation that has been sitting on a keg of gunpowder. For decades, Nigerian leaders have been robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Meanwhile, Nigeria is a microcosm of a village whose inhabitants live together with Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD). A beautiful town with human and material resources that refuses to veer away from the famished road in her journey to the unknown. Our unity in diversity has been toyed with for a long time. Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, and other ethnic nationalities now coexist in a pseudo-union, a state of mutual suspicion. In the diaspora, every time you tune in to cable television or listen to national public radio, there is always bad news about Nigeria. Our country has become a Hobbesian state where life is short, brutish, and nasty!

In reality, we should celebrate our success at home for the world to celebrate us. It's time to get serious! In the last three decades, the country has lost some of its finest human resources to Europe, Asia, and America. We do very well in our various professional callings abroad. When we are outside of Nigeria, we are one Nigeria; when we are in Nigeria, we are more polarized along religion and ethnicity. We are subsumed in self-aggrandizement. Yet, our untapped resources and potentials are subdued and wasted away with queasy imagination. Our impeccable academic credentials are stultified. We preoccupied our minds with nothingness and other mundane affairs. It is high time Nigeria invoked the spirits of our nationalists to renew and encourage the stakeholders to restructure the country so that their labor will not be in vain. Since the Nigerian independence, our brotherhood has been built on a shaky stand. The country's corruption continuum has morphed into an institutionalized malaise. Tinubu should see his distinct administration as another unique opportunity to unite Nigeria. There should be a credible sovereign national conference to discuss all those nagging issues and other national idiosyncrasies tearing us apart. Our marriage of convenience should be redefined to meet the 21st-century challenges, growth, and development.

A note of caution: do not call this admonition of restructuring Nigeria an attempt to exit or dissolve Nigeria, but call it a communal discourse for internal cohesion and national integration. This is the time to tear the mask of suspicion, bigotry, jealousy, greed, and hopelessness. The late Chief Obafemi Awolowo has given us the roadmap and political formula to attain the much anticipated, acceptable, and tenable state of the union through his various political activism, intellectual resources, and wisdom. This is where these true leaders' minds should meet to foster enduring national security and development. The results of genuine restructuring should produce regional police and give every state in the union autonomy to flourish with its potential and resources. The spate of kidnapping, banditry, blissful ignorance, corruption, and terrorism should be addressed through state policing and regionalism.

As President Tinubu's government walks a fine line during this trying period, he should be reminded that Nigeria is a country full of so many contradictions. He will be discouraged, but a disciplined mind knows his onion as a means to an end of his vision. Tinubu must be a benevolent leader, focused, and transactional to transform and salvage a dying Nigeria. Our story should be history rewritten, a future reassured. But if we fail this government, or this government fails us, irrespective of where we reside or live, our nation's woes will not unburden our collective conscience and consciousness.

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