Restructuring Nigeria: My Perspective

Nigeria started off as a promising nation. The whole world marveled at this rising giant. But soon the dream of a great nation continues to die down. Due to the Nigeria's current political instability, there have been over the years, calls to restructure the nation for better governance. This article points towards that with a whole new perspective as to how we can best restructure Nigeria.

Glamour for restructuring Nigeria over the years remains a vital issue on the hearts and lips of the Nigerian populace. It is basically a redesign of the nation's political, economic, security, and social architectures. This is to help reduce the contemporary challenges confronting the nation. Every nation in the world seeks to create a place that accommodates all and sundry, where there is full human and capital development, peace, and harmony. Breaking the boundaries of hatred. Bringing the government closer to the people at all costs and sterilizing the nation of its predators. And all these are of immense necessity for a country such as Nigeria. 

Matters that take center stage in the restructuring of business range from the revolution of powers, revenue allocation, constitution change, and economic and security architectural transformation, amongst others. Whether it involves the restructuring of the nation's political, economic, security, or revenue allocation architectures, there is something still missing. Little or nothing is said about this restructuring I am about to show. However, the idea of restructuring differs among individuals and groups. But before then, let us look at the following;

THE CURRENT CRISIS 

I summarize the current crisis in Nigeria into two, that is, insincere dialogue and treacherous and bad governance. The government comes and goes, and national conferences, meetings, and dialogue sessions are held, yet it is only a shadow of the reality that is spoken about. If Nigerians had truly engaged in sincere dialogues and governance was good, there would have been good security, economic, political, and social systems. And probably, the issue of restructuring wouldn't have surfaced. I maintain that the current systems are not faulty. It is those operating the system that destroyed it. If we had people who truly are accountable, just, and fair, there wouldn't have to be anything about restructuring. But since it is not so, we see restructuring as a necessity for Nigeria's survival. Failure to work towards our nation's unity might plunge us into an era no one wants to think of. The era of death and decay; war and blood; doom and misery; barbarism and cynicism; fear and mourning. This I refer to as the "era of doom." It looks frightening and pitiful, but this is a reality that may unfold if proper measures are not taken to curb the current crisis. Nobody wants war. It's very thought, should irritate us. Benjamin Franklin once said, "there was never a good war, and there was never a bad peace." 

The taste for power is now a do-or-die affair, and with such, we are absolutely heading toward calamity. Nigeria is bleeding. The truth must be told. The truth? Yes, the whole truth. Once, I have come across a quote that says that truth is like surgery, it pains, and it takes time, but it definitely heals, but lies are like painkillers; it doesn't pain. It gives relief for only some time, after which the pain emerges again. All that I am saying is that lies expire. 

Our economy in Nigeria is on Oxygen; the political sector is in isolation; a social system is on nose masks and security social distancing from the people. They need vaccines too. Our economy is nothing to talk about. We claim Africa's largest economy, yet the hardship faced by millions of her people is unbearable. People are suffering. I assure you that the current security challenges can be strongly linked to the gradual death of our economic life. Where are those viable and lucrative industries we once had? All on anesthesia. I want to presume that they are not dead since those structures still exist. It is all about Oil! Oil! Oil! Hundreds of these industries are sleeping; the cocoa and groundnut pyramids are now flat lands; the white cotton fields of the north are stained with blood. Less I forget, farmers cannot go to their farms due to fear of the unknown. Investors have fled away as a result of a dying nation and economy. The Nigeria I heard of does not even seek after investors. Rather, investors sought after her. There is no longer competition among the states. The system has been corrupted. There has been a system fallout. 

Should we say there was a gross mistake in 1914, 1960, 1963, and 1999? Many Nigerians are still living in the pains of past conflicts. We use those dark days to hunt ourselves to date. Many want issues of the 60s or 70s to be solved today. Then I ask, when will today's issue be solved? A thousand years' time? That horrific past we must let go of. Mistakes we must accept, the forgiveness we must seek, and the peace we must strive for. In doing so, the chains of the past that have bounded us for so long will be broken, and we will be truly free people. As for now, we are still slaves to our past. That past will only damn us. 

Whose fault is it? The north, south, east, west, or central? I maintain that we are all contributors to the problems we face in one way or the other. That is why it is a collective responsibility to restore what has been lost. 

THE PERSPECTIVE

I do not reject the concept of restructuring so long as it does not hinder the unity and peaceful coexistence of Nigerians. If it means well for Nigerians, then let us restructure. But the question I keep asking is that, after restructuring, what next? Does Nigeria become a paradise? 

With all sense of responsibility, I say that if there is no corresponding attitudinal restructuring amongst Nigerians, then sorry to say this, we get it all wrong. If we do not change how we see one another, then the whole restructuring business is only a SLOGAN. And it may never truly come. 

We shouldn't see ourselves from a political, economic, social, or ethnic perspective but as one human family. Nigeria and Nigerians deserve better. We must not destroy our children's future. 

I was teaching sometime back, and suddenly we chipped into the Nigerian issues; suddenly, a little girl of 11 years said, "the north is the problem of Nigeria." With shock, I asked her, who told you, and she responded, "my mum." It was a bitter experience for me because it was a multi-religious class. So I began to wonder how children from the north will go relate to their parents. How did both child and parent feel? That day, I had to start a religious tolerance class. And I pray it had an impact on them. But, if these are things we teach our wards, then I fear for our future. What will be taken out of us if we teach them about patriotism, accountability, commitment, honesty, justice, fairness, equality, and all the good values and attributes we know? 

Unless we, the citizens of Nigeria, restructure ourselves individually, we can never have a restructuring, and the whole restructuring business sounds like a hundred years' achievement. 

WE WERE ONCE NIGERIANS

The flames of division that set to divide us continue to burn and widen. If a terrible thing happens in the north, the south does not care, and vice versa. What happened to us? We used to care for one another; we used to look out for one another irrespective of tribe, race, religion, economic, political, and social affiliations. We were simply Nigerians. All these are diminishing. We have silenced the language of LOVE. If love binds things together, then its absence sets things apart. To those, who reject and regret being Nigerians, I say to them. Go to God, and rebuke him for sending you here. It's quite easy, you know. Come back to us for feedback. When will I walk freely in the deepest parts of the north and my Muslim brother in the deepest part of the south without any fear? 

Is dividing Nigeria the solution? Let the will of God prevail. If we dare temper where God says no, we destroy ourselves in the end. Then the north, south, east, west, and central I could call home. But now, I dare not, for my rejectors await me. We are totally lost people, and we must find our way back home. We shouldn't let the essence of Nigeria diminish like the smoke sent up in the sky. We must find our way together or find our damnation separately. 

CONCLUSION 

I know I haven't said it all. But hope it reaches all. Leaving us with the preamble of the 1999 Constitution of The Federal Republic of Nigeria. I conclude if truly "we, the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, firmly and solemnly resolve to live in unity as one indivisible and indissoluble Sovereign Nation under God; dedicated to the promotion of inter African solidarity, world peace, international cooperation, and understanding," I assure you we shall see a Nigeria that we all love.

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