The June 12 date celebrated as Democracy Day in Nigeria is one which calls more for sober reflection when juxtaposed against the current realities of the Nigerian nation.
The journey of freedom for the people of Nigeria is one fraught with its good, bad and ugly portions.
Some school of thought believes we asked for independence when we were not ready and that the agitation for independence was largely spearheaded by youngsters who were novices without any experience of how to run a nation.
This school of thought believes that it would have been better if the supposed novice youngsters who fought for independence had not done so then and but had instead allowed more time for our colonial masters to plan the nation and to use the income from the nation’s resources to develop infrastructure and the human capital of Nigeria.
In retrospect this school of thought believes that whatever independence Nigeria got then was not even a complete one as the nation in several ways still remains tied to the apron strings of its past colonial rulers.
Another school of thought however believes that those who clamoured for independence meant well, were ready and well-equipped to put Nigeria on world map but greed and parochial knowledge of governance derailed their success which was further compounded by another set of young bandits from the barracks who left their primary function of defending the nation and hijacked the governance.
I ask myself many times if we deserve the type of leadership we have had since the so called independence and my answer is Yes and No.
Yes, we deserve the leadership we have had because naturally leaders emerges from the followers, thus the leadership we have is a reflection of the larger Nigerian society.
Also, I say no, we do not deserve the type of leaders we have had because the black man has been put in a precarious situation from birth and designed to fail by the limiting structures put in place by rulers of the world thus leading to a constant struggle for survival.
Yet I still believe with unconditional LOVE we can overcome any challenges which is majorly internal.
Our natural greed is a great contributor to the suffering of majority of our people. Even the poorest display this selfishness, when food is ready, they eat 90% of the meal before thinking of their offsprings. This is a vicious circle created by greed and the struggle for survival.
Unfortunately, there will never be solutions if there are no identifiable problems, what is the problem of Africa, with Nigeria as a case study?
What is the meaning of Nigeria, if we can explain and confidently say it out loud, then we should continue using it, otherwise it should be changed to something meaningful.
The Yorubas have an adage which says “Oruko ni ro ni, Oriki ni ro eniyan”, which means the name given to a one contributes to what that person can become in life. I believe some spiritual books attest to that as well.
State of our Union
There is a need for us as a people to be sincere and discuss why we are together as a nation. To critically examine if there is anything that binds us together that gives us the false hope that anything good can come out of our relationship if we choose to continue with the faulty foundation.
Do we understand why we are in this world and our mission as a people or race, yes some spiritual books says it is all Vanity upon vanity, all is vanity, ordinarily it sound right but debatable.
Let us examine democracy as a system of governance in Africa. Is this the right system or should we come up with what can work best for us in terms of effectiveness, cost and easy management. The American model of democracy which Nigeria is practicing seems to be too expensive and complicated for our development.
I will suggest that the following model be adopted:
• Nigeria be demarcated into 6 provinces with each having its own Premier, Constitution, Police and revenue generation laws.
• The existing states can still remain under them if they so wish or they can be dissolved or reduced to a more manageable number.
• The President at the central should have less power but should still retain control of the National security apparatus and territorial space.
• Federal elections every 4 years for the following positions:
• President and 3 senators from each of the 6 provinces.
• The province or region will manage their resources and there shall be no exclusive list of minerals for Federal Government.
• There should be room for referendum every 10years on the state of the union and each component part of the union should be allowed to determine if they still wish to continue as part of the union or if they wish to take their exit from the arrangement.
Written by : Engr. Bola Babarinde
APC South Africa Chapter