In recent times, the call for restructuring the nation has become louder than ever before. Well-meaning Nigerians including professors, public affair analysts, political and economic experts within and outside the country are now calling for the restructuring of the nation. While some see restructuring as a bailout from the projected doom’s day of Nigeria’s economy, others are demanding the shot to avert political bigotry and corruption that currently rule the political space. No matter the side of the story we may choose to identify with, Nigeria, as we have it today was never in the state that the founding fathers foresaw.
Back in 1960, Nigeria was a new nation with the potential to be among the world’s leading power thirty years down the line. She was the giant of Africa and a potential seat seeker among the advanced nations of the world. This was what made the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe, and the host of others fought for her independence. They were of the opinion that the nation cannot reach her world-class potential in the hands of the Whites. Therefore, in order to prevent the vine owners from settling down for sour grapes, these heroes became restless, placed their lives on the line, and forged ahead in harmony to demand a nation we could truly call our own.
It’s 60 years now, but Nigeria, the nation of promise with the projected future wallow in the quagmire of backwardness and corruption. Indeed, the Nigeria of today in light of the founding fathers’ dream is best described as a hijacked plane with a dead pilot on air!
We cannot deny the abundance of natural resources God has blessed us with as a nation, neither can we deny the human resources raised on our soil who after being rejected at home now hold the world stage in different countries.
The call for a better Nigeria is therefore justified if we must make progress as a nation. However, restructuring is not the way out. No matter how appealing it may look, restructuring will only amount to taking poison in the guise of a cure. This is because even with restructuring, the nation would only fare as far as the leaders allow her to go.
Restructuring the nation does not eradicate corruption from her political sphere. In fact, any attempt to restructure the nation without good governance first will make corruption and favoritism grow wings like never before. Giving in to devolution of 60% of power to the states or going back to regionalism as some had opined would amount to a speed in the wrong direction. Such efforts will be tantamount to giving corrupt officeholders a higher chance to feed their greed. These bad eggs will go on to convert the region’s wealth to their private property while backing it with constitutions that would be formulated to silence their critics.
The consequence of this would be regional stagnation and development ratio that is based on the level of corrupt office holders in each region. This means that each region would develop based on the sincerity and greed quotients of her leaders. Such loop-sided developments would in turn foster coups and unrest in affected regions.
Moreover, restructuring Nigeria can lead to secession. A region that becomes dissatisfied with federal ruling can easily cave herself into an independent nation. Already, Nigeria today is filled with many voices crying out for secession. Recently, a group of dissatisfied Yoruba’s from the West lent their voice to the creation of Oduduwa Republic, the cry for Biafra has also been raging since the time of the civil war. Any shot at restructuring will strengthen these resolves and Nigeria may finally be divided into three different nations.
If restructuring could cause so enormous harms as these, then it is best we unify our voices and demand for good governance. After all, the problems we face as a nation today have their roots in years of bad governance.
At this tense period when there seems to be no hideout for oppressors and political tyrants, thanks to the invisible whip of social media and international human rights concern groups, restructuring is the last card our corrupt politicians will want to play to remain perpetually in power. They have switched political parties and gave empty manifestoes for so long. Now it has dawned on them that the citizens are not buying the lies anymore. Restructuring has become their only hope to tarry in power a little longer.
The time has come for the masses to arm themselves with their constitutional right to peaceful protests. Democracy allows the electorates to demand accountability and transparency from those voted for. Corrupt politicians should be made to face the full wrath of the law. Those found guilty should be impeached and made to serve jail terms as the law demands. Sanity should be restored to the political space and the constitutions revisited. The nation belongs to the people and only politicians with true love for their country should be allowed to contest ever again.