igeria is a country that refuses to acknowledge its divisions, struggles, and tumultuous past. Anyone who claims the country is now united is either delusory or living in denial. The era was marked by mistrust and suspicion, as well as regional power intrigues.
The regional trio’s cold war was not visible to the public. Azikiwe, Awolowo, and Ahmadu Bello, the three regional leaders, did not share the same vision of what Nigeria should or ought to be.
The way they dressed, their demeanors, regional policies, and remarks should have indicated this. While the South East and West were ready for independence, it took the North another three years. Political events before and after independence, as well as the tragic civil war, served as painful reminders of our long and complex history.
Since then, the major ethnic groups have grown increasingly suspicious and distrustful of each other. Furthermore, no government, military or democratic, has made a meaningful effort to address Nigeria’s persisting issues. Committed leaders of war-torn nations were able to unite their people and return to the global stage, but what did our leaders do?
Instead of tackling the governance deficiency, broad societal malaise, and decadence, they were more concerned in establishing cosmetic committees and conferences to feather their political nests.
The country will continue to be in chaos until someone is prepared to address all of the demands and concerns of the people and establish a true framework for peaceful cohabitation. When politicians declare that making Nigeria a nation is a mission that must be completed, it is often amusing.
Indeed, the way events are developing is eroding government trust. Nnamdi Kanu, Sunday Igboho, and even the leaders of Boko Haram and other banditry groups are the handiwork of a stupid government. These emergency regional leaders stand up for their people and provide things that the government should have provided but did not.
Nature despises voids. We appear to underestimate the strength of these non-state actors, but it is becoming clear that many people still believe in them, despite the fact that they and their groups have been labeled as terrorists.
One may assume that the government’s apparent dedication takes the shape of generic press statements released by Garba Shehu and his colleagues, who, I am sure, are sick of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different outcomes.
Who now believes the Presidential Media Aides? When it became clear that the Ex-Service Commanders had run out of ideas for dealing with the country’s insecurity, the same administration kept them on the job for another year, rewarding them with non-career ambassadorships upon retirement. The benefits, according to one source, was a canopy to hide from the International Criminal Court’s waiting dragnet.
Never before in Nigeria’s history has the recruiting procedure for crucial government positions become a source of contention and conflict. One region of the country has received far more favour than others. The facts and numbers are readily available, but the administration, like the ostrich, continues to bury its head in the sand, providing its body as evidence for the doubters to take selfies (pictures).
Nigeria’s challenges have been centered on issues such as leadership and recruiting processes, constitution revision, revenue sharing formula, good governance, restructuring, resource control, insecurity, and fiscal federalism. People in and outside government who benefit from the existing order, on the other hand, would strangle any suggested change that tries to address their insatiable thirst for power and wealth.
The #ENDSARS demonstration has deepened the already widening division between the North and the South. While the protests in the South against the high degree of impunity within SARS units and general Police brutality in the country were successful, the North appeared unconcerned.
The fact that most Northern states did not engage in the protest lends support to the notion that something was wrong. Because there is widespread agreement that SARS activities have gone too far, a country devoid of tribal, ethnic, or religious divisions should have spoken up with one voice in the fight to end the disease’s crimes.
The cease-and-desist warnings issued to Fulani herders in various parts of Nigeria today left a bad taste in the mouth. The assassinations and arson attacks on Hausa businesses in Ibadan have added a new level of ugliness to the situation. Killing the innocent and stereotyping a group are both unacceptable. The stereotyped group should purge itself of the elements that have tarnished their image, but is it a coincidence that practically everyone is accusing Fulani? Officials from the government and individuals affected are savoring the wrath of the moment, with some threatening fire and brimstone.
It is stupid to use our monthly data plans to fan the flames of violence from the comfort of our own homes. Every region now has its own story championed by those who have no right to be in charge. But the question remains: have we truly addressed the underlying concerns and problems? No, it is not true! Those who should seek out Gilead’s balm are those who cause difficulty in the first place.
I can confidently declare that the North is a rich field for businesses, growth, and development, having spent the most of my adult life there and counting. Many people who had little when they arrived in the North are now millionaires. The people in the North are extremely accommodating, dependable, and friendly. A typical Northerner’s life is uncomplicated, and he or she lives for the present now, knowing that tomorrow will take care of itself.
The vast territory in the North is a resource that both the government and individuals have yet to fully use. The importation of valuable assets such as land for agriculture and agribusiness has escaped the notice of Northern officials. Nigeria is sitting on a tinderbox like it has never been before.
Peace will undoubtedly return if authorities choose to honestly handle the majority of these well-known contending and clashing concerns.